This is an obvious one but it costs nothing to walk or run in the park. I enjoyed circumnavigating the entire park which is about 10km. There’s a pedestrian lane on the road that leads right round, but also plenty of smaller footpaths to enjoy. Keep an eye out for the birds - bright red northern cardinals and super confident sparrows have their home here.
This former freight train line is now a raised footpath. In wintertime it’s main draw are the sculptures and the view. In the summer there’s much more going on.
I went to evensong at St Thomas, 5th Avenue. The world-class choir sing every weekday at 5:30pm. It’s very welcoming even if you don’t normally go to church. Just stand and sit when everyone else does!
Every Friday the MoMA throws open the doors at 5:30pm with free tickets until 9pm. Either arrive early enough to queue (from the 42nd entrance I think) or arrive a bit later and walk right in. You’ll be able to see this van Gogh along with numerous Picasso’s and a great female representation without spending a penny.
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
This gallery has exhibitions and events dedicated to showcasing artists and subjects in the LGBTQ+ community.
There are plenty of other smaller museums that are free including the American Folk Art Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (weekdays in winter). Check out this article for more info.
This is a grand yet welcoming building. There’s a small exhibition on the second floor and access is permitted to two of the reading rooms, including the famous Rose Main Reading Room. The exhibition near the ladies’ loo was especially interesting - how the library had influenced people that had worked there.
I enjoyed these free things along with the more obvious things like the Staten Island Ferry and the 9/11 memorial. I also splashed out on an opera ticket and a visit to the Guggenheim, because when else will I be in the city?! Let me know if you have any more tips on fun and free frolics in the Big Apple.