Aerial shot of Central Park, Manhattan, New York | LivingIn
Guide to NYC Things to Do

Getting More Out of NYC in the New Year

January 7, 2019

The new year has arrived, which means it’s time to execute our New Year’s resolutions. One of ours is to carve out more time to explore the city. Between the time spent commuting, working, meeting up with friends, and hitting the gym, it’s easy to feel like we’re just skimming the top of what NYC has to offer. This city is an absolute treasure trove of museums, parks, concerts, and other hidden gems. Why not take the time to enjoy them this year? Join us!

Cherry trees in full bloom on the lawn in front of the Brooklyn Museum | LivingIn

Free Museum Days

According to the NYC comptroller’s office, there are 162 museums within the bounds of New York City’s five boroughs. There is something for everyone, and almost all of them offer free admission days or times. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: For NY or NJ residents with a state ID, the Met is always “pay what you wish.”
  • The American Museum of Natural History and the Staten Island Museum: both are always “pay what you wish” for all visitors.
  • The Bronx Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian: both are always free.
  • The Brooklyn Museum (pictured above): free the first Saturday of every month, as well as Thursdays from 6-10pm.
  • The Museum of Modern Art: MoMA offers free admission every Friday night from 4-8pm.
  • The Frick Collection: visitors enjoy a discounted rate of “pay what you will” on Sundays from 11-1pm.

1964 New York World's Fair Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park | LivingIn

NYC Parks

New York City has an impressive number of green spaces and parks. So while you’ve probably already spent hours roaming Central Park, there are dozens of other parks you may not have explored. Some of our favorites—which all include great views of the city, perfect picnic spots, and seasonal offerings like outdoor movies, food festivals, and holiday markets—are the following:

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, complete with twisting paths, various sports courts, and outdoor dining options.
  • Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (pictured above), which boasts a zoo, a boating pond, the New York Hall of Science, and an aquatic and hockey center.
  • Prospect Park, where you can explore its expansive acreage of untamed forests.
  • Pelham Bay Park, which, at 2,766 acres, is three times the size of Central Park and holds its own golf course.

People kayaking on the Hudson River near Manhattan | LivingIn

Various Free or Low-Cost Events

If parks and museums aren’t quite for you, there are plenty of other free and low-cost events around the city to take advantage of in 2019…

  • Brooklyn Brewery Tours: From 1-5pm every Saturday and 1-4pm on Sundays, beer aficionados can take a free tour of the brewery and then indulge in a few of their favorite varieties in the tasting room.
  • Green-Wood Cemetery: Founded in 1833, this cemetery was once the state’s biggest tourist attraction. Home to 600,000 bodies and resting on Brooklyn’s highest point (Battle Hill), Green-Wood Cemetery is the perfect place to reflect and get a deeper understanding of the city’s history.
  • Shakespeare in the Park: A rite of passage when it comes to NYC living, plan to line up bright and early to get your hands on a pair of tickets for this year’s summer offerings.
  • Public Boathouse Kayaking: The Downtown Boathouse and the Long Island Boathouse (along with a handful of others around the city) both offer free kayaking in the warmer months.

In a city like ours, the opportunities for activities—free or otherwise—are endless. For even more ways to get more out of NYC in the new year, check out our expert guide to the off-beat museums that fill up the city’s unexplored corners.

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