New York: Free in the Big Apple
Whether you live in or around New York City, or just visit here from time to time, here are some great freebies you might not be taking advantage of.
‘Close to free’ theater and concert tickets are offered by several services whose purpose is to fill waning audiences. Some free/$few dollar events might be a Mostly Mozart during the day, or a known play in its last weeks of production or ballet tickets at Lincoln Center. Others are up and coming comedians and cabaret evenings, off off theater. A favorite of The Women’s Travel Group is www.studentrush.org. You do not have to be a student; however, once you accept tickets, please follow the simple rules. Other services like this are: www.tdf.org, www.playbyplay.com and www.theaterclub.com. Most services have a small annual fee.
Rehearsals for The NY Philharmonic are held Thursdays in the morning; if you are lucky you might catch someone like Yo Yo Ma as performances are announced months in advance. Tickets are $20. Check out the The Metropolitan Opera Facebook page for announcements of opera rehearsals. Or ready set go, try for Met Opera rush tickets: $25. For those be signed up, and get ready to hit buy the second they go on sale. Playbill.com lists rush tickets for plays and www.nytix.com lists all shows with rush tickets including those you go to the theater for. Prices are $27 to $50 max. Most fall around $35.
Everyone knows the Discount Ticket Booth in Times Square. Most people do not know, you can buy matinee tickets a day ahead at TKTS South Street Seaport at the corner of Front and John Streets, at 190 Front Street.
Museums in New York are expensive so plan your day to stay a long time, perhaps eat at one of the many restaurants and amortize the admission fee. At writing, here are some free times to note:
- Asia Society. Fri 6–9pm free. …
- Brooklyn Museum. First Saturday of every month 5–11pm free. …
- The Morgan Library & Museum. Fri 7–9pm free. …
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Fri 4–8pm free. …
- The Neue Galerie New York. First Friday of every month 6–8pm free. …
- The Rubin Museum of Art. Fri 6–10pm free.
PS if you are a NY resident, you will want to enjoy free admission to over 35 museums for a year with a NY residents’ card.
General websites for Good Deals
Our favorite is Evelyn Kanter’s with daily alerts of new happenings as soon as they are available. Evelyn will hopefully give a talk to our group in NY during our stay. Her site will help you with tickets to late night talk shows and other much anticipated similar events.
www.thoughtgallery.com for free or close to free lectures and learning experiences. Our favorite is the NY Historical Society a snazzy museum with fascinating women’s history exhibits. Also lectures at night from some of the most important people in this country.
www.clubfreetime.com is much liked by some friends. The small fee $19.95 opens up a world of free event: theater, music, talks, galleries, dance, tours,tours, movies etc.
Finally Big Apple Greeter: a service of the NY Borough Presidents’ office at www.bigapplegreeter.org which matches you with a docent and a neighborhood you want to visit. FREE FREE and one of our best secrets.
Free iconic building tours
Our Favorite: Tours of Grand Central Station and area
Second: The NY Public Library at 42nd Street
Most NYers do not know the 1900 Alexander Hamilton’s US Customs House (Tiffany woodwork and Reginald March paintings). This building is also a wing of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and one of the most important buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Free tours available daily.
Other National Register of Historic Places in NY with some free tours are: Town Hall founded by The Suffragists in 1921 to spread progressive ideas; The Plaza Hotel (yes you can wander the first floor and basement). And although there are endless more to list, we finish here with the Armory at 67 and Park Avenue; its amazing inside and Teddy Roosevelt connections are well worth the $15 ticketed tour.
The Outdoors and Nature
Enjoy the parks, birds, fishing, hiking, bee keeping, fitness, outdoor movies, local forts etc., at another free site: https://www.nycgovparks.org/programs/rangers
If you have time amble the Brooklyn Bridge and continue to Prospect Park; you will have walked through part of the famous Battle of Brooklyn when General Howe chased George Washington back to Kips Bay.
And if you want to walk in the life of the man of the moment, NY City Parks offers a tour of Alexander Hamilton’s life here plus endless others for FREE.
The Women’s Travel Group added New York City to its mainly international tours calendar for October 12-16 2017. Not only are the leaves perfect during that week, but controversial Chinese artist, A Wei Wei is mounting a city wide sculpture exhibition called ‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbors’.
So if you do join The Women’s Travel Group to New York, and have a special interest in mind, ask us for help in pursuing that hobby. If we don’t know the answer, one of our contacts will.