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Frugal Find: Summer in New York City

   Posted On: June 20, 2014  |    Posted In: Saving  |     Posted by: Broke Millennial®

The wealthy may abandon Park Avenue for refuge in the The Hamptons, but some of us are willing (read: have to) tough out the strange smells and extreme heat of summer in New York City. Below is a list of free or cheap things to do for New York City dwellers or potential visitors. I updated this list from my Broke Millennial’s Guide to New York City for Cheap(ish) with new tips I’ve found over the last year.


Oddly they didn’t want to just give me the hosting gig at The Late Show
Then obviously get a Nathan’s hotdog after…

Suggested Donations:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The 9/11 Memorial
  • P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (MoMA’s sister museum)
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art
Queens Museum of Art
  • The Cloisters – free ticket with your Met ticket (which is donation only!)
  • Whitney Museum of American Art – Friday evenings 6:00 pm – 9:00 (pay as you wish)

Free Hours:

  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – Friday evenings from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • The Museum of Moving Image – Friday evenings 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Saturdays from 10 am – noon
Bklyn botanical garden
Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom festival) is worth paying for

Cheaper with ID’s or Standing in Lines:

What other fun cheap or free things are there to do during the summer in New York City?

*LINK LOVE* Lessons I found Inspiring this Week


Check out my new gig and read about my first business trip: Our Journey to the Chambliss Center Inspired by Paycheck to Paycheck Documentary on MagnifyMoney


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36 responses to “Frugal Find: Summer in New York City

  1. Great list for people visiting New York (or I suppose those who live there as well!). I still haven’t been to NYC but I definitely will be referencing this list when I finally make my way there.

  2. Wow, great list! I had no idea so many of the NYC museums and galleries had free hours or were by donation. I’ll be in the city over the July 4th long weekend and hopefully can fit in a few suggestions from your list!

    1. Coney Island hotdog eating contest!!! It’s super touristy, but I love going down there for the 4th.

  3. What seems so cool about NY is that you have a lot of the same stuff LA does, but you can actually get to it easier with public transportation! I’d love to do some more of the free/cheap stuff LA has to offer, but I’m so lazy about wanting to drive hours in traffic jams. Call me crazy! 🙂 Looks like some pretty fun stuff!

    1. I’m with you on the traffic jams! I’ve only spent a little bit of time in LA, but that traffic is horrible. A 30 minute drive took my family two hours to come pick me up from the airport for Thanksgiving (granted it was the holidays..).

    1. I stumbled upon it during a run down by the water the other day. I don’t think they’re there every weekend, but the information is on their website.

  4. This is an awesome list Erin!! One thing I have yet to do but REALLY want to do is a Summer Concert Series concert. When I was going into work in Midtown, I would always hear them playing and wish I could stand around and watch and now that I have a flexible schedule, I don’t want to wake up at 4am to take the train in to stand in line for a spot. I will have to check the schedule out and see if anyone is worth the wake up. 🙂

    1. I haven’t been down there yet – I’m partial to Gantry Park and Astoria Park 😛

      I’ll have to explore it later this summer.

  5. This is an awesome list! It definitely stinks not to have the $ to spend every weekend in the Hamptons, but I kind of also love when the city is empty and it feels like your very own playground :). One of my faves is taking the ferry to Governor’s Island and spending the day there. Great spot for picnics and biking with awesome views of the city!

  6. Great list! I will add that the Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays. Take a day off of work in the Fall (Oct/Nov) when it won’t be too crowded and it is a ton of fun!

    Also, I hear bikes are free on Gov’s island on weekdays. Another one that might be worth calling in sick for!

    1. Yes! I always forget about the Bronx Zoo (probably because I haven’t done it yet). Peach comes to NYC for 3 months in the fall and will be living in the Bronx, so we’ll have to check it out then.

  7. Oh, NYC. I miss it! This is a fantastic list. When I lived in NYC, I loved going to Two Brothers and getting a slice of pizza, walking along the High Line, walking in Fort Greene in BK, and just getting lost. I was thinking a lot about NYC this weekend because of the Mermaid parade.

    1. I do love just wandering around the City and getting lost (but not really because it’s so easy to find your way around!). I still haven’t done the Mermaid Parade. I keep thinking I’ll do it next year. One of these times…

  8. great post.. i am going to bookmark this one.

    we have talked about a NY trip for years, but i have always thought it would be cost prohibitive, on many levels. this post has a ton of great ideas for entertainment in the big city for the budget conscious.

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