NYC On A Budget? Check Out These Low-Cost and Free Events Going On This Summer

People equate New York with exorbitance for good reason- even those who live there have to get creative with making ends meet. But if you’re looking for a good time that won’t wreck your wallet, there are plenty of free and low-cost events to check out this summer. Thanks to the internet, it’s so much easier to find exactly what appeals to you. Are you into outdoor events with pulsating energy and crowds? Bet. Looking for a more relaxed vibe? Also, bet.

New York is happening all year round, but it takes on a special guise in the summer. If you aren’t comfortable with mass transit (understandable, it isn’t for the faint of heart), you can explore on foot pretty easily in Manhattan, which has streets in numerical order.

Don’t sleep on Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn- they have their charms as well. As for Staten Island? It doesn’t have the huge tourist attractions as the other boroughs do. But you can take the ferry and enjoy the fantastic Italian food.


If you’re a New York newbie, check out our feature on cultural norms, what to do and what to avoid here.

Here are some exciting events taking place in The Big Apple this summer.

Vinyl Nights


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If you aren’t comfortable dancing indoors yet, Vinyl Nights is ideal.

Take the 7 train to Hudson Yards and it lets you off right by Bella Abzug park where the party takes place on Thursday evenings from 6-9. In the event of inclement weather, it’s usually postponed to Friday.

The crowd is mixed and friendly, and you’ll always find somebody to do the Hustle with you. Look out for the guy selling alcohol- he’s a real one!

DJ Misbehaviour and other DJs on rotation play the very best in funk, old-school hip hop, disco and more. They are also known to throw in a few odd tracks you wouldn’t expect.

House Of Yes

There’s no such thing as a dull night at House of Yes in Brooklyn. It literally doesn’t exist.

This is probably the most inclusive nightclub you’ll ever go to. As long as you are at least 21 and understand consent, this is the space for you to be yourself.

House of Yes offers events which are either free before a certain time or inexpensive.

The Every Body party is a weekly queer dance party on Wednesday nights. It’s free with RSVP.

The Dirty Thursday parties are also free with RSVP or $10 without. These are either devoted to one particular artist or an era of music, like the 90s.

Check out the HOY site for more events.

Street Fairs

Summertime means street fair and outdoor market season. You’ll see all kinds so many in the city and other boroughs.

According to NY Carnivals, there’s the Bleecker Street Festival on June 18, the Amsterdam Avenue Festival on June 26 and the UWS (Upper West Side) Summer Fair on July 17. And that’s just a fraction.

If you’re over Manhattan, there’s the Broadway Astoria Festival in Queens on July 3, the Seventh Heaven Festival on June 19 in Brooklyn, and the Longwood Avenue Festival on June 25 in the Bronx.


The summer parades are set to return with an almighty bang and we’re here for it!

Here are three of the major ones.

The 40th annual Mermaid Parade is back on June 18 in Coney Island.

The NYC Pride parade, which is always a hit, rocks Fifth Avenue on June 26.

The West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn is September 5.

Park Fun

For all the concrete and noise, New York is endowed with many green spaces, which offer a welcome escape.

In addition to going for a walk or riding your bike (note some parks ask that you dismount), there are events the whole family can enjoy.

Chill on the lawn in Bryant Park with your snacks while watching movies on a big screen. Check out the schedule here.

Shakespeare In The Park takes place at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Be sure to check out Danai Gurira as the titular character (yes, for real!) in Richard III.

Check out more information on how to get free tickets here. 

Lincoln Center's "Summer For The City"

The historic Lincoln Center is on fire this summer.

There are a ton of free events from silent disco to live music. And yes, we mean a ton.

Simply show up early to get a good spot and that’s it.

Several events are connected to The Culture, such as the Jubilee for Jimmy (a spoken word celebration of James Baldwin) on August 3 and Afro Punk Silent Disco on August 11 and 12.

Peep the deets here.