Tuesday, 16 August 2022

10 Cheap & Free Things to Do in NYC

Last month we took the minions to New York City for their first ever trip to the Big Apple. They were very involved in our planning process to ensure everyone got to see and do items on their travel bucket lists. Here are 10 of the best free and cheap items we found on this trip and on our other travels to New York City.

10 Cheap & Free Things to do in New York City

Take the Staten Island Ferry to See the Statue of Liberty

This commuter Ferry is free! We hopped on at about 10 am and had a fantastic view of lady liberty from the ferry. Honestly, the photos I have don't do it justice. Since you also take the ferry back from Staten island, you can view the statue twice! To get the best possible views of the statue of liberty at no cost, it's recommended that you avoid rush hour and weekends.



Women's Rights Monument in Central Park


Tour Central Park Statues, Fountains, & Movie Filming Locations

It's hard to be in Central Park without feeling like you're on the set of a movie or TV show. Check out The Mall in the middle of the park to enjoy the monuments and see what vendors are selling. This area also leads you to the famous Bethseda Terrace and Fountain. Movie locations in the park Molly and Jack were most excited about include Tavern on the Green (Ghostbusters), the snowball fight from Elf, and the bridge from Enchanted and Spiderman.


Get a Slice From Joe's Pizza

Jack is really into Spiderman and had to get a slice of pizza from the place where Peter Parker worked and was fired in 2004's Spiderman 2. Cheese slices were around $4 each and huge.


Take a Walk on the High Line

Get a birds-eye view of the city from the High Line at no cost! The High Line is open from 7 am to 11 pm in the summer and is a formal rail line turned elevated walking path and park and runs between 14th street and 34th.


Play in the Heckscher Playground at Central Park

This playground has a fantastic water feature to enjoy when it's hot out. It's really like nothing we've seen before. If you're not near this playground, consider checking out another one of the 21 playground the park offers here.


The kids called this mascot "Stop Touching me Elmo"


Visit Time Square

Going to New York without a visit to Time Square may feel like going to Vegas and not entering a casino. The bright lights and the hustle and bustle is bound to impress. Just be wary of the costumed mascots because if they pose for a photo with you, they'll want a tip, and if more than one poses with you, you may find yourself handing out plenty of tips.


Check out the Books on Display at the Flagship New York Public Library

Located 5th Avenue and 42nd Street this library is like nothing you've ever seen before. Check online in advance for ours or to arrange a tour of the Historic Rose Main Reading Room and more.


Visit the Harry Potter Store

Whether you want to buy something (Molly purchased a Scabbers plush, and the kids split the cost of a giant chocolate frog to share) or browse, this store is the ultimate for any Harry Potter fan.


Stroll Through Battery Park

Steps outside the Whithall Ferry Terminal (or the Ferry to Staten Island as I found no locals called it by the official name) is a long path that borders the water. While you walk, you can check out monuments along the water's edge and enjoy the ocean breeze.

The Rough Location Where Hamilton was fatally shot


Enjoy the Hamilton Monument

While this is technically not in New York proper, we serendipitously found the Hamilton Monument in Weehawken New Jersey, where we were staying, just in front of our express bus ride into Manhattan. After spending the majority of our car ride to New York singing alongside the soundtrack, everyone was pleasantly surprised to see this monument, the spot where sadly, Burr did not miss his shot. If you're staying in New York proper and want to check it out, you can buy a bus ticket to New Jersey from the Port Authority. It cost us $10.10 USD for the four of us each time we headed into the city.


Stay tuned for my next post on 10 splurge-worthy New York City experiences!