New York holiday can be a great experience any time of year, but traveling during the holiday season can be magical. There is so much to see and do that the hard part will be staying long enough to see it all. Bring your walking shoes along and prepare for a generous helping of festive cheer!
When visiting New York City, you’ll find many free things to do that are among the best travel experiences available in the Big Apple.
Best Holiday Markets in New York
For some fun, unconventional retail therapy New York City offers several holiday markets. The vendors and offerings vary, which adds to the fun of planning a tour of holiday markets because you never know what treasures you’re going to find.
Here’s our “short” list of markets to visit when you’re in New York City during the holidays.
1. Bryant Park Winter Village (Midtown Manhattan)
2. Christmas Market at Amaze Light Festival (Flushing)
3. Columbus Circle Holiday Market (Midtown Manhattan)
4. Grand Central Holiday Fair (Midtown Manhattan)
5. Grand Holiday Market (Upper West Side)
6. Pop-Up Holiday Market at Empire Outlets (Staten Island)
7. Market at Westfield World Trade Center (Financial District)
8. Turnstile Holiday Market (Hell’s Kitchen)
9. Union Square Holiday Market (Union Square Park)
Holiday markets can be found in many places in New York City, so we recommend the New York Marriott Downtown, – Opens a Dialogue near the Financial District as a central location for your holiday market experience.
Must Visit Botanical Gardens in New York Holiday Travel
A trip to New York City isn’t complete without a visit to the world-famous New York Botanical Gardens, and their vacation experiences are amazing!
Holiday Train Show – Using natural materials like berries, twigs, leaves, and bark, the team at Applied Imagination creates over 190 of New York City’s iconic buildings such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and more.
There are more than 25 model trains and trolleys running through this magical miniature town, with approximately half a mile of track. The Holiday Train Show runs from November 19 through January 16.
NYBG Glo – Experience New York City’s largest outdoor holiday light display at NYBG Glo. The beautiful garden landscape and historic buildings of the New York Botanical Garden are illuminated after dark for the holiday season. Hurry, tickets sell out quickly for this spectacular event every year.
The New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx. We recommend the JW Marriott Essex House, – which opens a dialogue as a great central location across the street from Central Park.
Best Christmas Shows and Art Exhibits in New York
New York is famous for shows and spectacular performances, and they go all out for the holidays. If you have the time, here are our recommendations.
- The Christmas Spectacular, Starring the Radio City Rockettes
2. Christmas Carol
3. Fantastic Factory: The Holiday Multiverse at the Chelsea Art Center
To be close to most shows in New York City, we highly recommend staying at the New York Marriott Marquis, – which opens a dialogue in the theater district.
Want to experience NYC in festive form without all the crowds? Then January and February are also great times to visit.
You can still ice skate at Rockefeller Center, several museums offer free admission days, Central Park is a winter wonderland, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island look amazing in the snow. Don’t forget to visit Rolf’s German Restaurant, which offers a truly unique holiday dining experience year-round.
US South—faced with continued failure in their efforts to run successful farms launched a lawsuit claiming that “white racism” is to blame for their inability to produce crop yields and on equivalent to that switched seeds in order to sell black farmers a subpar product at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in March 2017.
Despite above-average rainfall, the black farmers saw limited soybean yield from the Stine seeds during the 2017 harvest.
Best Holiday Window Display In New York
Retail in New York City is famous for its spectacular holiday window displays. These enchanting annual displays can be a welcome and festive part of holiday shopping, and best of all, they’re completely free to watch, as long as you don’t find yourself at the counter because you need the right one.
The gift has been received (even if it is for you) !). Here are some of the displays we recommend.
1. Bergdorf Goodman (Fifth Avenue at W 58th Street)
2. Bloomingdale’s (3rd Avenue at E 59th Street)
3. Macy’s Santaland (Seventh Avenue at W 34th Street)
4. Saks Fifth Avenue (Fifth Avenue at W 50th Street)
5. Tiffany & Company (Fifth Avenue at W 49th Street)
There’s a lot of retail in New York City, so we recommend The W New York Times Square, – Opens a dialogue near Times Square as your retail central location.
What are the best free things to do in NYC for young couples?
|2||Staten Island Ferry|
|3||Window Shop on Fifth Avenue|
|5||Watch Street and Subway Performers|
|6||Walk from Grand Central Station|
|7||New York Public Library|
|8||Picnic in Central Park|
When visiting New York City, you’ll find many free things to do that are among the best travel experiences available in the Big Apple.
An example: Walking the Brooklyn Bridge can be one of the most memorable things you do on a trip to New York, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
This plan is a good weather assumption. Strong winds can make this an unpleasant journey, and for all the right reasons you want it to be enjoyable.
Expect it to take about an hour (two hours round trip) and don’t forget to bring a camera to capture some pleasant views of the Manhattan skyline.
If you decide to start on the Brooklyn side and go to Manhattan, make sure you get clear directions to the Brooklyn Bridge base.
take a free tour
Address: 1233 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029, USA
There are guided tours in New York City that are worthwhile, but most of them will involve an investment of your own.
For example, it costs $33/per person for adults to visit the NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center. Consider a City Pass for New York that pays for a variety of attractions at one price and enables you to skip the ticket lines if you’re going to do multiple tours.
You might want to add some free things to your itinerary at that price level.
One example of such a freebie is the Conservatory Garden Tours in Central Park. These are performed on Saturday mornings from April to October. Check out tours and meeting points locally.
If you want to see the cash saving, visit the Federal Reserve Bank where free 45-minute tours are offered Monday-Friday (except during bank holidays) and reservations are required.
Are you looking for more? Check out Free Walking Tours of New York City, where you’ll only be asked to tip if you’ve enjoyed it.
We are all trying to save money. But offering a free tour to anyone who gives you a good guided tour is always best. Some are going to refuse it because accepting cash is against the rules, but it never hurts to try.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry
Address: 4 South St, New York, NY 10004, USA
It takes about 25 minutes to travel between Staten Island and Manhattan and is completely free. You’ll appreciate the views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the lower Manhattan skyline.
Consult the Staten Island Ferry Schedule as you plan. If you’re just sightseeing, it’s best to avoid rush hour.
Some people are planning their lunchtime trip to Staten Island. The Ferry Cafeteria serves inexpensive drinks and snacks.
Considering what a Harbor Ship Tour would cost, it’s simple to identify it as one of the best free things to do in New York.
Rest assured that there are more free attractions and landmarks in NYC to be found when you leave the ferry.
Window Shop on Fifth Avenue
Address: 767 5th Ave, New York, NY 10153, USA
This is the glass entrance to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. This photo was taken early, on Saturday night.
Exclusive stores along Fifth Avenue host fashion shows that designers from around the world are drawing from. Most of what these stores offer is way more than what we can spend on a change of clothes.
FAO Schwartz is a world-renowned toy store well beyond high fashion, and technophiles will find stops to suit their tastes, too.
It doesn’t cost anything to watch it. It’s one of those New York-unique experiences. Try showing up with an imaginary dollar healthy budget. Compare what you would buy with your travel companion’s imaginary purchases.
The stretch from 34th to 59th Streets earns the most raves from window shoppers.
Free Museums and Free Museum Day
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
Are you interested in a specific museum? If so, go to their website and search for “free days”. Many people will give free entry on certain days.
The Metropolitan Art Museum and the American Museum of Natural History list, but read their admission fees carefully. These are “recommended donations” and it is possible to pay less if you cannot afford those rates.
Would you like more ideas? http://About.com View a list of Museum of the City of New York deals and free admission for visitors.
Watch Street and Subway Performers
In the image above, a pedestrian passes by a Subway musician at Union Square station. People may gather at any other time to listen to his prasad and make some changes in its direction.
Underground musicians enjoy a steady stream of fans. How big is that settlement? In fact, the MTA has a committee where artists are required to listen if they expect to claim the busiest platforms.
Break dancing and ragtime can also be experienced in the parks. It’s hard to plan for some of these impromptu performances, but be accessible a few times to stop by and drink at this free experience.
free juilliard performance
Address: 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA
The Juilliard School attracts renowned unique visitors and some of the world’s best learners in music, dance, and drama.
The box office provides free theater tickets and sometimes additional tickets are available on the day of the performance.
Be sure to check the Juilliard Events Calendar to see how the schedule may match up with your travel dates.
Walk from Grand Central Station
Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
Grand Central Terminal is one of the most popular and busiest train stations in the world. The image above was taken shortly after a major storm that crippled the city. This time there was a new photo of an empty Grand Central.
This is a landmark worth stopping by on your New York City itinerary, and it won’t cost anything to drink in the atmosphere of this place.
It opened nearly a century ago and has recently been renovated to enhance its Beaux-Arts features. You can take a free Grand Central walking tour and learn how to enjoy the celestial murals and galleries.
Visit the New York Public Library
Address: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
When you move to a new city, visiting the local public library may not be on your periodic list of things to do.
But this is not a normal public library.
The library hosts everything from fashion shows to presentations. Some of those activities come with an admission fee, but it costs nothing to take an hour or two and look around the location.
The head branch of the New York Public Library was the largest marble building in the country when it opened in 1911. Free one-hour tours are available Tuesday through Saturday at 11 am. and 2 p.m.
Picnic in Central Park
Address: New York, NY, USA
It’s common for budget tourists to replace expensive restaurant visits with picnic lunches as they try to handle the cost of food on the highway. Given the weather, Central Park in New York City provides an exceptional opportunity to put this approach to work.
For families in NYC, this is one of the excellent free stuff to do. For years to come, you’ll be creating memories that your kids will take with them.
FAQ-New York Holiday
What are the best things to do in New York City?
100 Things to do in NYC For Your New York Holiday Trip
1. Check out the new cast on 54 Below
2. Rejuvenate in the Aire Antique Baths
3. Take an Alphabet City Beer Company Wine Cruise in Summer
4. Take in the city outside at the Natural History Museum
5. Swim in the Astoria Pool
6. Listen to some live music at Baby’s All Right
7. Shoot Pickleback Shots at the Belfry
8. Have a club-mate drink at the Bossa Nova Civic Club
9. Ice Skate Around the Trees at 30 Rock in Winter Village in Bryant Park
10. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race in Boxers
11. See the Animals at the Bronx Zoo
12. walk across the Brooklyn bridge
13. Find great gifts at Brooklyn Charm
14. Walk the Fruit Streets of Brooklyn Heights
15. Watch an Outdoor Movie at Bryant Park
16. See a Show at the Bushwick Star
17. Get Down to Celebrate Brooklyn! concert in prospect park
18. Geo-cache around Central Park
19. Hit Some Baseball at the Chelsea Pierce Batting Cage
20. Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
21. Look at the Tapestries in the Cloisters
22. Watch stand-up at The Comedy Cellar
23. Have a whiskey at the coolest little bar in town, the Copper & Oak
24. Hang out with crazy stuff hanging from the ceiling in the cubbyhole
25. Visit Any Restaurant Along Arthur Avenue in the Bronx
26. Go bird watching on the East River Waterfront Esplanade
27. Fly a kite at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
28. Go to Film Forum and have eggnog on the weekend
29. Play bocce at Floyd’s in Brooklyn Heights
30. Buy comic books at Forbidden Planet
31. See art at the New Museum, then grab some drinks at nearby Freemans
32. Drink Sangria in the Frying Pan
33. Enjoy the company at Gallo Green Rooftop Bar
34. Watch the DJs at The Good Room
35. Drink a $3 Beer and Whiskey Shot Deal at Gotham City Lounge
36. Free bike rentals on Governor’s Island in the summer
37. Explore Green-Wood Cemetery
38. Nap on a hammock on Governors Island
39. Lean back on the High Line’s wooden lounge
40. Have dinner at HIT in K-Town
41. Lie on the rocks around Chelsea Piers
42. Watch Weird Foreign Films at the IFC Center
43. Get pizza from Catona Pizza & Pasta in the Bronx
44. Go to a show at the knitting factory
45. Enjoy a Broadway show at the 100-year-old Theater Lyceum
46. Listen to free music in Madison Square Park
47. Witness to Manhattanhenge
48. Sing in Mary’s Distress
49. Relax in McGolrick Park
50. Trek to Coney Island and watch a Cyclones game at MCU Park
51. Eat Spicy Pork Meatballs at The Meatball Shop
52. See an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center
53. Slurp Noodles at Momofuku
54. Explore the Morbid Anatomy Museum
55. Watch Moth StorySlam
56. Take in the Museum Mile Festival and see some of the city’s most iconic art for free
57. Date the Museum of Sex
58. Slurp Soup Dumplings from Nan Jiang Dumpling House in Flushing
59. Celebrate the Holidays at the New York Botanical Garden’s Train Garden
60. Wasting Time at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library
61. Watch a midnight movie at Nighthawk Cinema
62. Get started on a dim-sum crawl on Doyers Street in Chinatown
63. Taste the Beer at Other Half Brewing Company
64. Dance on the DJ set on Output
65. Watch a flick from the balcony at the Paris Theater
66. Explore the Trails Around Pelham Bay Park
67. Go to Pete’s Candy Store open mic on a Sunday afternoon after brunch
68. Go to a restaurant in the 100 Club
69. Start Sunday with a Bavarian Cream Donut from Peter Pan Bakery
70. Rent a stand-up paddleboard from Manhattan Kayak Company
71. See comedy at the People’s Improv Theater
72. Attend poetry readings at the poet’s house
73. Visit Puerto Rico Coffee on Bleecker Street
74. Go to Prospect Park on a clear evening and watch the bats and the stars
75. Complete the Corn Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum
76. On Saturday, dine in Briskettown, then head to Radegast to catch a brass polka band
77. Play Tennis at Riverside Clay Courts
78. Take the Train to Rockaway Beach on a Quiet Weekday
79. Listen to Music at Rockwood Music Hall
80. Have a champagne lunch in the Round Table Room at the Algonquin Hotel
81. See Buddhist Talks at Rubin
82. Share a pitcher of beer and scarf with some free hot dogs at Rudy’s
83. Sip afternoon tea at the Russian Tea Room
84. Watch the Amazing Actors at Shakespeare in the Park
85. Work up a sweat during concerts at DIY venues like Shea Stadium
86. Hang out in the sheep meadow with some beers poured in a thermos
87. Dancing at the Silent Disco hosted by Lincoln Center
88. Take the Staten Island Ferry
89. Peruse the $1 Shelves at the Strand Book Store
90. Sip a PBR and listen to live tunes at Sunny’s in Red Hook
91. Eat PHO. Original Sandwiches from the Fabulous Deli Sonny & Annie’s
92. Throw money in the fountain near the Temple of Dendur
93. Head to the Tenement Museum for a fascinating guided tour
94. See comedy at Union Hall
95. Shop at the Union Square Farmers Market
96. Laugh at the AsssCat 3000s
97. Eat Vanessa’s Dumplings
98. See a Jazz Set at the Village Vanguard
99. Listen to The Piano Man [Colin Huggins] in Washington Square Park
100. Ride the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island