Fun, Inexpensive Things to Do in New York City – August, 2016


SummerStage (all month): NYC’s city-wide summer performance series. Many performances are free to attend, although some of the big-name concerts in Central Park require paid tickets.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors (July 20 – August 7): Three weeks of free entertainment at NYC’s famous Lincoln Center. Many of the concerts are held at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Headliners for 2016 include Darlene Love, Patti Smith, the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

NYC Restaurant Week (July 25 – August 19): Participating restaurants serve special set-priced menus for lunch and dinner.

Summer Streets (August 6, 13 & 20): NYC closes about seven miles of city streets to traffic (from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) and opens them up for people to play, run, walk, and bike. The route extends along Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. There are lots of activities spread out along the route, and everything is free.

Free Films in Bryant Park – Monday nights, August 1, 8, 15, and 22.

Free Shakespeare in the Park (August 2 – 14) – The Public Theater’s annual free Shakespeare performances at Central Park’s outdoor Delacorte Theater. This year’s August production is Troilus and Cressida. No shows on Mondays.

Central Park Film Festival (August 24 – 27) – Enjoy free outdoor films in Central Park (in the area between the Sheep Meadow and 72nd Cross Street Drive). Bring a blanket and a picnic. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis, so arrive early. The gates open at 6:30 p.m. and screenings start at 8:00 p.m..  There’s DJ entertainment from 6:30 until the movie starts. The following are not permitted: alcoholic beverages, glass bottles, chairs, video cameras, and tape recorders. The films are I Am Legend on August 24, Tootsie on August 25, Desperately Seeking Susan on August 26, and Stuart Little on August 27.

Free Central Park Tours – Introductory tours to the park offered by the Central Park Conservancy. August 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 28, 31.

Free Broadway in Bryant Park Lunchtime Concerts (August 4 & 11) – The casts of current Broadway and Off-Broadway shows perform during these free concerts on the Bryant Park lawn from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m..

More Free Things to Do in New York City – See our list of free sight-seeing activities

Free Events and Activities Posts – A list of posts about free events and things to do in NYC.



Subscribe to the NYC Cheap Travel Newsletter and stay up-to-date on the latest NYC deals and money-saving travel information.