Wallet Hurting After the Holidays? 7 Ways to Have an Incredible & Free January in NYC

Everyone in New York City loves saving cash. It's a virtue of living here. We're constantly overcharged for drinks, apartments, and cabs, and subsequently, we've always got our noses to the ground, searching for a way to save a buck (or, you know, hundreds).

Luckily, there are ways to have a blast in this city without spending all your money all the time. Sometimes you'll have to spend all your money, but like we said, not all the time.

In January, there are a few ways to have a great time in NYC, completely for free.

Do you believe us? No? Well, we are totally affronted by your distrust, but it's not your fault. We're all used to spending way too much money all the time. We get it. Sometimes you're more broke than you can even handle

Happily we've compiled a list of free things that are happening in NYC in this first month of the new year. Read on to find out what they are.

1. Free Days at Wave Hill

wavehill A pop of color to brighten your day! Dazzling wonders await in the Tropical House—like Kohleria 'Brazil Gem' #wavehill #flowermagic

We can all thank Target for spotting our trip to the stunning, 28-acre garden and cultural center. It overlooks the Hudson River and Palisades in the Bronx, and the whole thing is pretty gorgeous.

Wave Hill offers free admission on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., so make sure you get there before noon when you're taking advantage of this deal. 


They also have two sets of free shuttles to the park; one from the Metro-North Riverdale Station, and the other from the 1 train at West 242nd Street.

A free day strolling the natural oasis at Wave Hill is the perfect remedy for anyone who's craving a little nature in their lives.

2. Winter Jam

carriethompson106 This is how we #winterjamnyc #centralpark

This year's Winter Jam will be on January 23rd, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It'll turn up in the Central Park bandshell, where snow will be blown in.

Want to know what Winter Jam's all about? It's put on by NYC Parks, and it's the ultimate snow day for New Yorkers of all kinds. It's a free winter sports festival, with snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding, and sledding.

There will also be a Taste NY Winter Market, and you'll unfortunately have to purchase any delicacies you want from there, but everything else about Winter Jam is free of cost, including winter equipment. 

You'll also have the chance to take a skiing or snowboarding lesson, completely free of charge. We knew we loved NYC for a reason!

3. Sunday nights at The Knitting Factory

davehelem The boys are back in town...#comedyattheknittingfactory #acf15

If you want to see a high-profile comedian, but you don't want to shell out the hundreds it would take to see that comedian at Madison Square Garden, you should probably try your luck at The Knitting Factory's Sunday night shows.

We feel like we should mention that The Knitting Factory has a $1 Bud cans and $5 burger deal on Mondays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., but no, that doesn't have anything to do with their free comedy show on Sunday nights. We just thought you'd want to know about that deal's excellence. 


Anyway, their Sunday night comedy show starts at 9 p.m., and the doors open at 5 p.m. Yes, that's way earlier than the show. It's necessary. They never tell you who will perform in advance, but past shows have seen the likes of Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, and Louis CK, so, you see what we mean.

4. Rock n' Shop (17 Meadow Street - Brooklyn)

venus_n_furs_vintage We're still ✨glowing ✨ from Rock ~n~ Shop last night. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported us. We love seeing #cool #vintage finds make their way into to the perfect hands 🙏🏻 #acreativedc #rocknshop #vintage #kitsch #midcentury #fleamarket

We were devastated at the loss of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, but luckily Rock n' Shop has sprung up in an attempt to fill that void.

Which, we're cool with. It was conceived and is curated by the rock band and art collected The Bushwick Hotel.

All day on Sundays in January, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Rock n' Shop will feature live music and plenty of art, crafts, apparel, and jewelry for sale. There will be delicious food for sale from plenty of different vendors.

If you're looking for a rockstar Sunday funday you won't have to pay to attend, you just found it.


5. MLK Day (various locations)

mfaboston Monday, January 18, is our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House. Thanks to Citizens Bank, we’re celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King with a day of free admission. Musical performances, tours of the collection, and art-making activities all day. #MLKDay

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most incredible figures in the history of the United States. He was a minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

He’s well-known for his use of nonviolent resistance to promote equality and hope, and he served as a beacon of inspiration for black and white Americans alike.

Luckily, there are plenty of free opportunities to celebrate his life on January 18th. There will be a free discussion and concert at the Apollo Theater from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Harlem Gospel Choir will put on a free concert at the Kupferberg Center in Queens at 12:30 p.m.


The Brooklyn Museum of Art will host a free Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including a speaker and a choir concert. Brooklyn College will host “A Shared Dream” Tribute & Concert for free at 5 p.m.

We're glad the city has provided us with so many costless, inspiring opportunities to remember one of the most important figures in America’s history. It’s also important to continue Dr. King's legacy. His fight is far from over.

6. Friday nights at the MoMa

sophieswanderlust #newyork #moma #museumofmodernart #instaart #artgram #newyorkcityart #artinnewyork #artandthecity #artallovertheworld #artisall #picoftheday #artworkoftheday

There's a ton going on at the MoMa. From Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, through May 1st; Picasso Sculpture through February 7th; and Joaquin Torres-Garcia: The Arcadian Modern through February 15th, the museum's current exhibits are nothing short of incredible.

Plus, the MoMa is far and away one of the most famous museums in the country. It's sometimes referred to as the most influential museum of modern art in the world.

Luckily, thanks to UNIQLO, admission to the museum is free on Friday nights from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can also get free admission on Friday evenings to the MoMa's Friday night film series, too. Free MoMa on Friday nights for the win!

7. UCB Shows

ucbtheatreeast If You Build It, 9/20/15. Matteo Lane, Kara Klenk & John Early. Photo by Mindy Tucker @withreservation

If you love laughing, you should definitely check out one of the United Citizen's Brigade's two NYC locations. They've got one space in the East Village and one in Chelsea.

If you love saving cash, you should definitely check it out during one of their free shows.

At their East Village location, their Tuesday night Chemistry show is absolutely gratis, as are their Thursday night open mics. They've also got a free show on Monday nights called The Improv Nerds Jam, and their Wednesday night Rotisserie Jam is also costless.


At their Chelsea location, the famous ASSSSCAT 3000 on Sunday nights is also free (though get on it, those reservations go quickly), as is their Friday night Lady Jam and Liquid Courage.

Check out the East Village schedule here, and the Chelsea schedule here.

Check out 9 Best Cheap Things to Do & Eat in NYC

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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