Free Things to Do in NYC

(Last Updated On: June 26, 2018)

New York City has so much to offer in the way of culture and art. These activities can sometimes get pricey because admission isn’t cheap! To help make it easier to find free things to do in NYC, we’ve compiled a helpful list of free museum days in NYC.

free things to do in NYC

These museums in NYC that are always free.

The American Museum of Natural History is a great place to go if you want to see what New York museums really have to offer. This iconic museum can basically be free if you want it to be. While their site lists an admission price, read the fine print. It is only a suggested donation. You can pay whatever you can afford or nothing at all.

The American Folk Art Museum is a totally free museum. The museum does accept donations but does not require them or even expect them.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts does have a suggested donation, but you don’t need to donate anything. In fact, many people love to pop in here on a hot NYC day to cool off for free.

The Brooklyn Museum is like many others and does not require an admission fee. They have changing exhibits and many popular things for you to check out. The museum accepts but doesn’t expect donations.

The Harbor Defense Museum offers people a chance to tour a small portion of defense on the harbor. Note that Navy tours are not included with the museum.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has exhibits both about and gay subjects. The exhibits change regularly and the museum does not expect donations but will gladly accept them.

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology gives you a chance to not only learn about fashion and design but also about one of the most prominent fashion schools in the world. It is free.

The National Museum of the American Indian provides exhibits of different things related to American Indians. Aditionally, the museum features information about many tribes across the country and not just about the ones that came from local areas.

The New York Transit Museum is actually in a portion of the subway! It offers insight on how the system was built, the many changes over the years and other interesting facts. If anything, it’s a chance to cool off in underground. Tourists can even visit for their chance at learning the subway system better!

Queens County Farm Museum  gives you a glimpse of what New York City used to be like not all that long ago. When the city was just a farm, it was a very different time. Check out everything

Here are New York City museums that are free on weekends.

Guggenheim free things to do in NYC

The Guggenheim Museum offers a pay as you wish program on Saturdays in the evening. While many people choose to donate, many also enjoy the museum for free.  

The Jewish Museum is a quirky museum that features art from Jewish artists and offers free things to do in NYC. The museum is free every Saturday!

Here are New York City museums that are free on Mondays.

The Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue is a museum that gives you free guided tours. Every Monday, you can get in for free. If you have a group of six or fewer people, you can also take a free tour!

Here are New York City museums that are free on Tuesdays.

The Staten Island Museum is off the mainland in New York City and gives you a chance to enjoy exhibits for free in the afternoons on Tuesdays. The museum features information about the island and the city in general.

911 museum free things to do in NYC

The National September 11th Museum offers free admission on Tuesday from 5-close. You can visit the memorial for free any time if you’re looking for free things to do in NYC.

Here are New York City museums that are free on Wednesdays.

The Museum of Jewish heritage is much different from the Jewish Museum. It is a somber experience that features Jewish artists and also exhibits related to the heritage. It’s free on Wednesday afternoons.

Here are New York City museums that are free on Thursdays.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of the best free things to do in NYC. It’s free on Thursdays during the hours of 3-5 pm. It offers children a chance to explore different exhibits in a safe environment.

The Museum of Chinese in America gives a glimpse of Chinese heritage in New York and all across the United States. Kids are always free in the museum. Everyone gets free admission on the first Thursday of each month.

Here are New York City museums that are free on Fridays.


The Museum of Modern Art is free on different days throughout the year. They offer special free admission days and special events. Every Friday, though, from 4-8, the museum is free for everyone!

The Whitney Museum of American Art has exhibits that change on a regular basis. Fridays are pay as you wish from 7 until closing.  

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan provides kid-friendly exhibits as well as free play spaces. On First Fridays, the museum is free from 5 until 8 pm.

The New York Hall of Science is one of the premier science museums in the city. It offers free admission some Friday evenings on a seasonal basis.

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