I love some of the major tourist sights in New York – I always try to go up the Empire State Building on my first night – but mostly I find the high entry prices off-putting, so I tend to make sure I find out what free events are going on around the city. There are literally hundreds, so here’s my pick for June:
1) Shakespeare in the Park, Delacorte Theatre
Cymbeline and The Tempest are the two Shakespeare plays being staged during The Public Theatre’s 53rd Shakespeare in the Park event which starts today, May 27, and runs until August 23. Tickets (two per person) are distributed at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show, and also in an online lottery, here. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.
2) Please Touch the Art, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Get involved with Danish artist, Jeppe Hein’s art installation which is scattered throughout Brooklyn Bridge Park. It features playful benches, fun fountains and a mirror maze, all of which you can walk through, get involved with and touch.
Buy a ticket to one of the many concerts or classes happening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a Friday night and your ticket will get you into all of the exhibitions for free. At the moment, a trip onto the museum’s rooftop to see the latest installation is high up on my New York agenda.
4) Times Square Swing Dance flashbomb
This year, ‘FlashBomb’ organisers Svetlana Shmulyian and The Delancey Five band are back for their third event – a one-hour swing fest with DJ Douglas McMillan co-hosting the free event. It all takes place on the Times Square pedestrian island from 7-8pm, with plans to set up at the foot of the TKTS steps.
5) Museum Mile Festival
As part of this great event, visitors can enjoy free admission to some of the world’s finest art collections during extended evening hours. The 23-block stretch of Fifth Avenue is home to nine participating institutions—El Museo del Barrio, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt, the Jewish Museum, the National Academy Museum, Neue Galerie, the Museum of the City of New York and the Africa Center.
(Photos: Delacorte Theatre by Joseph Moran)