Free and Low-Cost Things to Do in New York City This Summer

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New York City Tourism + Conventions, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, is spotlighting a selection of free and affordable activities for visitors to enjoy this summer. The organization has also just launched a new NYC on a Budget content hub on nyctourism.com, offering a comprehensive guide to seasonal events, outdoor activities, cheap eats, tips for securing free and discounted event tickets, and more.

“During the warmer months, NYC’s streets, parks and beaches come alive with free and affordable festivals, concerts, outdoor dining and more. There’s no better time to enjoy these offerings and experience the value of a visit to the five boroughs.” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions.

Suggested summer activities include:

Arts, Culture & Entertainment:

  • Escape the heat and see world-class art at one of NYC’s many museums this summer. Check out NYC Tourism’s Free NYC Museums guide for a full list of cultural institutions that are either always free, free on specific days of the week or free for select hours.
  • Enjoy musical performances all summer long with SummerStage. Dozens of free and ticketed live music performances are taking place in parks across the boroughs, including Manhattan’s iconic Central Park.
  • Summer for the City returns to Lincoln Center with more than 200 events, many of which are free or pay-as-you-wish. Programming includes musical story times for children, film screenings, stand-up comedy, workshops, performances and more.
  • As part of its 20th anniversary celebration this year, Madison Square Park is offering an array of free public artworks by four artists. This summer’s exhibition is Seed by New Mexican artist Rose B. Simpson, on view through September 22.
  • Catch free film screenings this summer at Paramount+ Movie Nights in Brooklyn

Annual Events & Celebrations:

Sports & Outdoor Activities:

  • During next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,cricket fans can watch matches on the big screen at free outdoor viewing events on Lower Manhattan’s North Oculus Plaza. There will be 10 game days with notable matchups including Australia vs. England on June 8, India vs. Pakistan on June 9, and the Final on June 29.
  • Some of the world’s greatest national soccer teams will compete this summer during the CONMEBOL Copa América and UEFA EURO tournaments. If you can’t get to a match in-person, locations throughout NYC will be playing them on the big screen. Consider Football Factory at Legends, Soccer Republic at Bar 43 and many other bars for viewing fun.
  • Open Streets is back with more than 130 car-free locations across the five boroughs, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy more public space. Details about this year’s Summer Streets program will be announced soon.
  • Explore NYC with PlaceChase, a self-guided walking tour and scavenger hunt all wrapped up into one mobile app. Additional walking tours can be found at nyctourism.com.

Dining & Shopping:

  • Crowd favorite NYC Restaurant Week® is back from July 22–August 18, with hundreds of restaurants citywide offering prix-fixe menus. A full list of participating eateries will be available July 6.
  • Grand Bazaar is a weekly retail market on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, with stalls by local independent artists, craft-makers, vintage/antique dealers and more. Special events this summer include a Pride-themed Summer Brunch & Shop on June 30 and a NYC Summer Vintage Bazaar on July 14.
  • Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood is home to restaurants, breweries, distilleries and a Japanese food hall, with tours and events hosted throughout the summer months.

In 2023, NYC welcomed 62.2 million visitors, including 50.6 million domestic and 11.6 million international visitors. This year, visitation is expected to grow to 64.8 million, a 97% recovery of 2019 record levels. Visit nyctourism.com for all there is to see and do in New York City.

About New York City Tourism + Conventions:

New York City Tourism + Conventions is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) and convention and visitors bureau (CVB) for the five boroughs of New York City. Our mission is to invite the world and energize the City, building equitable, sustainable economic prosperity and community through tourism for the mutual benefit of residents, businesses and visitors. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nyctourism.com.


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