Save Your Summer! 10 Completely Free Things to Do in NYC This August

It's nearing the end of summer, so more than likely, you're getting low on cash.

Of course you wanted to go to all the epic events that went down this summer in NYC, but you may have overdone it just a bit. Before you resort to maxing out your credit cards, remember that NYC has tons of free events to enjoy.

This may be shocking, but NYC is not super expensive 100% of the time.

Everything from cultural events to even the most dope parties can cost you no money at all.

Here are some of the coolest, completely free events happening this August, so you can rest easy that you'll be able to pay off your bills this month.

1. NYC’s Outdoor Pools (August 1st-September 22th)


Because you need a refreshing escape from your stuffy apartment this month, there’s this.

Across NYC, over 60 outdoor pools will be free and open to the public until mid-September. Take a dip in one of your nearest outdoor pools between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m... as long as you’re cool with screaming children running around and sharing what’s basically a public toilet. Sorry, just keeping it 100.

But daily pool cleanings at 3 p.m. will make it less gross for all of us. Thanks, NYC!

2. Vinyl, Funk and Drunken Doughnuts (through September 28th)

Mix up your normal happy hour scene with this super sweet twist.


Every Thursday night at 4 p.m., head to The Tuck Room at 11 Fulton St. for bites of glazed, sea-salt and old-fashioned doughy delights. You can always opt for the typical rum and Coke, but booze-infused whipped cream, jams and ice cream. But don’t worry if you get too full. You’ll be able to dance with your new food baby to the jams of DJ J-Zone.

3. Citi Summer Streets (August 5th, 12th and 19th)


Pedestrians rule the streets this August–at least for just three weekends out of the month.

NYC will close off Park Avenue at Central Park all the way down to Lafayette Street a City Hall Park to cars for three Saturdays to run, bike, walk and get active with your neighbors.

Make your way to each rest stop along the road from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for awesome events, especially a mega inflatable water park next to Central Park you never thought you’d ever see in your life. Just walk over and enjoy the street without the possibility of certain death by crazy taxi.

4. Party Like it’s 1999: 25 Years of Single Females (August 5th)


So this party is slightly creepy, yet fun at the same time...but you can finally dust off your favorite flannel shirt or your windbreaker suit!

Celebrate 25 years of strong independent, single ladies on the day that the creepiest ‘90s psychological thriller, Single White Female, was released. If you can get over the whole weird pre-Craiglist psycho roomie vibe, head to The Bell House in Gowanus at 10 p.m. for the best throwback party honoring the greatest hits from the best solo-singing ladies of the decade.

5. Coney Island Flicks on the Beach: Get Out (August 7th)

This is probably the most terrifying getaway you’ll have in NYC.

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk is continuing its great Monday night film series with one of the best movies of the year. For a late-night flick under the stars, head to Coney Island at West 10th Street to catch Get Out at 8 p.m. If you can trek over there after a work for a free movie, sandy beach and starry skies, more power to you!

6. The Miss Manhattan Non-Fiction Reading Series (August 7th)


Relaxing with a great novel is always sweeter with a glass of wine. At the Niagara Bar (112 Avenue A), you can do exactly that while bumping elbows with NYC’s best non-fiction writers.

Booklovers, come celebrate the work of top non-fiction writers repping the Big Apple. For this upcoming edition, meet with blogger, writer and Manhattan local Miss Manhattan (A.K.A. Elyssa Max) at 7:45 p.m. to hear excerpts from the latest works of The Paris Review correspondent Alison Kinney, author Sarah Perry, Slate contributor and drag queen Miz Cracker and poet-cum-artist Kit Zauhar.

7. NVR Sleep (August 9th)

Your summer won’t be complete without hitting up one of the coolest parties in NYC, especially when no annoying bouncer is asking for a cover fee!

NVRSleep is back at Kinfolk 90 to get you partying again. Bring your pro dance moves and arrive in whatever you friggin feel like wearing for an evening of the best reggae, soca, dancehall, afrobeats and hip-hop jams. 

With the most infectious beats spun by SilkyBlack,Fab Roc, DJ HVNLEE and Rodney Hazard, you can’t miss this epic night. Just R.S.V.P. here!

8. Supertopia (August 10th-13th and 18th-20th)

Venture off Broadway for at least one night to catch a preview performance of a sure-to-be hit from Everyday Inferno Theatre Company.

The company’s fifth annual free show in Central Park is open to the public to watch this edge-of-your-seat adventure. I mean, it’s free theatre in NYC, so why not? And if you’re cool with climbing up to Summit Rock–Central Park’s highest point–right after a long day of work, you also get beautiful night-time views of Central Park and NYC. 

Don’t forget to show some love to the theatre crew by offering a donation for its great work.

9. Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (August 12th-13th)


Cheer on your favorite dragon and stuff your face with as much authentic Chinese, Mexican and Peruvian food as possible at this huge annual multicultural fest in Queen’s Flushing Meadows Park.


Grab the perfect spot on the banks of Meadow Lake from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to watch what is basically the Olympics of authentic Chinese dragon races. 

Delve even more into the three cultures by joining the annual parade, admiring the work of multicultural and folk artists, catching dance and music performances, listening to traditional stories, participating in craft demos and tasting as much diverse food your tummies can muster.

10. Massive Vegan Potluck Picnic (August 19th)


There’s no way you can pass up a potluck dinner when you find one. And since you’ll be doing a lot of good, this one is worth your 10,000 trip to Prospect Park.

Serve up your best vegan dishes at this year’s massive vegan event at the Grand Army Plaza Fountain. From 1 to 4 p.m., invite as many friends as possible. I know it will be difficult, but at least try to share all of this delicious food while you JAM to the BEETS of P.U.D.G.E. 

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]

get spoiled in your inbox