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Wonderful Free & Low Cost Activities New Yorkers Love and You Will Too!

Published: June 13th, 2014

The Library Hotel Collection wants you to get the most out of your trip to NYC!  Sightseeing can really break the bank when you don’t know about all of the free and inexpensive ways to spend your time in New York City!  Whether you are interested in activities for the whole family or something that adds some romance to your trip, New York has something for everyone.  Below, we have put together some of our favorite ways to enjoy our beautiful city.  Maybe we will see you there!

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Technology addicts, we have found the museum for you!  This 14,000 square foot, four story interactive technology museum offers free demonstrations for kids and adults.  Allowing guests to try video game design, robotics and new toys, the excitement will thrill almost anyone!  Reservations are recommended and should be made up to 2 weeks in advance in order to ensure a fun filled afternoon.  The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is located at 550 Madison Avenue and 56th Street.  They are open Tuesday – Wednesday and Friday – Sunday from 10am – 6pm, and Thursdays from 10am – 8pm.  Admission is free.

Bronx Zoo

The beautiful grounds of the Bronx Zoo spans 265 acres where you can see more than 600 species of animals from all over the world. Learn about the history and current roles of some of your favorite animals.  Kids will enjoy lions and tigers and bears all day with countless exhibits and attractions.  General admission on Wednesday is “Pay-What-You-Wish” donation.  Every dollar given supports the Zoo’s work in caring for animals.  To enjoy the total experience on Wednesdays the donation is $14.95 per person.  This will include access to special rides and attractions available on the day of your visit.  Please note, that it does not include camel rides.

SummerStage Concert Series

New York City is home to so many beautiful parks. A great way to enjoy them is with music from a free SummerStage concert. You can find these concerts in each of the five boroughs.  Artists vary from contemporary to traditional to emerging talent.  There are many options for all age groups and musical interests.  Ask our concierge for help deciding on the right show and location for you!

Midsummer Night Swing

Looking for an event that’s more lively and interactive? The Midsummer Night Swing is a series of music and dancing events held at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park throughout June and July. The show begins with a 45 minute dance lesson that coincides with the genre of music that evening. Once the live music starts the atmosphere transforms. Everyone’s spirits are high as the dance party begins! Tickets are available here for $17 per person.

Shakespeare in the Park

The best way to enjoy a play on a summer evening is in a beautiful New York City park.  Shakespeare in the Park is a great way to see a professional show at no cost. The open-air Delacorte Theatre allows for a beautiful transition from sunset to black throughout the performance. A variety of plays are performed depending on the date, with multiple performances each week. Tickets are distributed at noon but we recommend lining up as early as 7am because tickets are limited.

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

Every Monday through August, HBO sponsors a movie screening in Bryant Park. As New Yorkers, this is something we look forward to every summer.  With New York City as the backdrop, HBO offers new films and old classics all for free.  As the movie does not start until sunset, it is a great opportunity to have a picnic dinner and enjoy a bottle of wine. We recommend arriving at 5pm as soon as the lawn opens to the public. If you arrive much later than 6pm, finding a spot with a good view of the screen will be hard.

Looking for more FREE or low cost activities to enjoy in New York City this summer? If you want to use your vacation to enhance your fitness and well beingexplore the city by sail, or enjoy the rich cultural opportunities in New York City, you’ll find great advice here and by speaking to your Library Hotel Collection Concierge team.  If you need any help at all planning your days or would like more information on any of these exhibits, please do not hesitate to contact us at