10 cool, cheap things to do in NYC

by Allison Furlong

NYC is the city that doesn’t sleep, which means your itinerary is probably jammed packed. And all those activities can wreck havoc on your wallet. Here are 10 things to do in Manhattan without breaking the bank:

1. Amateur Night at the Apollo
If you’re on a budget or just don’t really feel like dropping hundreds of dollars on Broadway, don’t. Instead, head to Harlem where you will see – hands down – one of the most entertaining shows of your life: Amateur Night at the Apollo. It happens every Wednesday night, tickets start at $20 and it has begun many a career (Ella Fitzgerald got her start on that very stage)


2.Strand Bookstore
With an extensive collection of new and used books, the Strand is a must-see on any literature lovers list. And if the books you currently have are weighing you down, you can always cash them in. Score!


3. Small’s Jazz
While there are hundreds of jazz locations throughout NYC, Smalls Jazz in Greenwich Village is the real deal. Aptly named, its intimate environment makes for a memorable evening. You aren’t forced to buy food like numerous other tourist traps. $20 standard cover. Perhaps not a hit amongst the uber-claustrophobic.



4. Kat’z Delicatessen
An institution since 1888, some say no visit to NYC is complete without a visit to Kat’z. You can eat pastrami while you wait for your pastrami on rye. And for God’s sake, don’t forget your ticket stub! If you want to be extra touristy, you can even sit at the ‘When Harry met Sally’ table.


5. Citi Bike Newbies to NYC will no doubt be surprised at its sheer size. While walking or taking the subway makes economical sense, you often end up having to take a few taxis here and there, which can add up real fast. A better alternative? Biking. Citi Bike is New York City’s bike sharing system. For residents and visitors alike, $20 gets you a bike for a whole week (at 30 minute intervals) Don’t try to use the voucher below. It doesn’t work!


6. Drink beers on the Staten Island Ferry There are dozens of Statue of Liberty tours in NYC. But what those operators fail to tell you is you can catch a pretty impressive view of the highly iconic statue – for free – from the Staten Island ferry. It’s also completely legal to purchase beers at the terminal and drink them on the ferry. Try the Brooklyn East IPA! Delish.


7. MoMa (on Friday night) Warhol and Van Gogh for free? You betcha! MoMa admission is free for all visitors during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, held every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets aren’t available in advance.


8. The High Line
The High Line used to be a highly debated eyesore/railway line. Now it’s a great use of space, a unique viewing point of the city and best of all it’s free!


9. Find Jesus in Times Square
Okay, so you don’t have to look for a long-haired man. But as one of NYC’s prime people watching areas, you’re bound to raise a few eyebrows. There’s also lots and lots of ladies covered in body paint (and nothing else) You heard it here first.


10. Dollar Oysters
No cheap-ish list would be complete without mentioning NYC’s extensive list of restaurants which feature infamous dollar aphrodisiacs. You’re welcome.



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