15 fabulously free things to do in New York City this summer
Central Park is the site of free concerts, theater and walking tours. (Photo: ZeroOne / Flickr)
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Every single day of the summer, Central Park's calendar is packed with activities like catch-and-release fishing, guided tours of gardens and wild spaces, concerts, theater — not to mention that the park also hosts the charmingly manageable Central Park Zoo, a carousel, puppet theater and, oh yeah, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (whose admission is always a suggested donation that you can tailor to your budget). But, honestly, the best way to enjoy Central Park is to wander its paths with someone you love, discovering its ponds, bridges and public sculptures as you go. If you're the type who must plan ahead, you'll find maps and a somewhat overwhelming schedule of events at the park's official site, centralparknyc.org.
New York Philharmonic
During the New York Philharmonic's regular concert season, you've got to pony up some bucks to dress up, sit quietly and savor this major-league orchestra in its home at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. But in summer, the band loosens its bowtie a bit, offering free concerts in some of the city's most beautiful parks. You should feel free to loosen up, too, with a blanket, a picnic basket and music-loving friends. This year, "the Phil" will be playing Dvorak's Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in Manhattan's Central Park, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park and Queens' Cunningham Park. For locations and times, check out the orchestra's summer schedule.
Staten Island Ferry
Did you know that you can get a boat tour of New York Bay, complete with cool salty breezes and views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? Stop — there's no need to reach for your wallet. New York's iconic Staten Island Ferry makes regular trips between lower Manhattan and the borough of