15 FREE THINGS TO DO IN NYC

 
Photography by:  Lauren Lucile Creative

Photography by: Lauren Lucile Creative

If you’ve ever visited New York City or lived here, chances are you’ve experienced just how expensive the city can be. Although New York City gets a bad rap for being costly, I think it’s important to note that here are in fact a ton of FREE things to do! I often remind friends/family that a trip to the Big Apple, doesn’t have to break the bank. So I decided to do a round up of my favorite things to do in the city that don’t cost a thing. And wether you live here or plan to visit one day, this list will help you save some money while enjoying all that the city has to offer.

  1. Staten Island Ferry - Hop on for a quick roundtrip across the Hudson River to see Lady Liberty. Make sure to grab a beer at the concession stand to take with you for the ride.

  2. Yoga class in Bryant Park (May-Aug)- No better way to de stress than Yoga with a view.

  3. Washington Square Park - Located in Greenwich Village, the perfect place to sit and people watch. Don’t forget to capture a photo in front of the infamous Square Arch and Fountain.

  4. Brooklyn Botanic Garden - FREE admission every Friday before Noon (March-November) and Winter Weekdays (December-February)

  5. Brooklyn Bridge - Some of the best views of the city can be seen walking across the bridge. Best times to go are early in the morning or at sunset.

  6. Dumbo, Brooklyn - You can easily spend a day exploring Dumbo, seeing the sights and capturing photos with amazing waterfront skyline views.

  7. The Plaza Hotel- This ICONIC hotel is a must to see in person. You can typically walk through the ground level and take in the beauty that is, The Plaza. The flower arrangements located right inside the entrance are worth the trip alone (they change per season).

  8. Central Park - Stroll through the park on your own or book a FREE guided tour of the park. Make sure to stop by these famed spots. (Bethesda Fountain, The Mall, Gapstow Bridge, Wollman Rink, The Pond, The Bow Bridge and Strawberry Fields just to name a few).

  9. New York Public Library - Located in the heart of Midtown, this historic landmark is a must see. Make sure to stop by the newly renovated Rose Reading Room.

  10. Grand Central Station - Explore the hustle and bustle of this NYC transportation hub. You’ll likely recognize many spots inside from scenes of movies. And don’t forget to find the Whisper Gallery.

  11. Movie Nights Under the Stars - During Summer months, you can pack a picnic and see a movie from several parks and rooftops in the city.

  12. Museums - Lots of museums in the city are FREE all year long. And several have specific days/times that offer FREE admission.

  13. The Highline - An old railroad track turned elevated park which runs from Hudson Yards to Chelsea. Wake along the park, take in the city views and enjoy the landscape and outdoor art installations.

  14. Explore a New Neighborhood - The best way to see the city is simply to walk the streets and take in the sites. You never know what hidden gems you might discover or the people you may meet along the way.

  15. 9/11 Memorial - Open to the public daily from 7:30am-9pm. Visit ground zero, view the memorial fountains and see the Survivor Tree.

What are your favorite cost friendly things to do in NYC?! Any other places or attractions I should add to the list?

XO, Rae

YEAR 2 OF LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY

 
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On October 10th, 2014 at 3 A.M., I crossed over the George Washington Bridge and into Manhattan. Moving to New York was never something I saw myself doing, but when life brings you opportunities, sometimes you have to take it and RUN! It's hard to even believe that it's been 2 years already. I still feel like I just moved here but also strangely feel like I've been here forever. That's the thing about New York, once you live here you instantly become attached. My first year living in New York was one to remember. It was full of amazing experiences and growth. And year two has been just as memorable. Here are some of my favorite memories over the past year. 

 

STANDING ATOP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

Seeing all of New York City from 86 floors up above, gives you all the feels. It also, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Empire State of Mind”. It reminded me how lucky I am to be able to call this concrete jungle, home. 

SUNDAY FUNDAY IN BROOKLYN

This Summer, my brother visited NYC for the very first time. I was excited to get to show him around the city. But I also wanted to show him life outside of Manhattan. And Brooklyn is the next best borough. We first walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, then grabbed pizza at Grimaldi's (best pizza in Brooklyn) and finished the day drinking beers at the Brooklyn Brewery. By far, one of my most favorite days.

TAKING MY MOM TO SEE 'THE COLOR PURPLE' ON BROADWAY

The moment I learned that Heather Headley would be taking on the role of Shug, I knew I had to see this show. And what better show to take your Mom to during a girls weekend?! It was one of the best shows I have seen thus far. After the show, I pulled my Mom quickly aside and stood to wait for the cast outside. We got to have our playbills signed by all of the main cast including Heather Headley and Cynthia Erivo. I was freaking out (on the inside of course). Sharing that moment with my Mom was amazing. 

SEEING ALICIA KEYS PERFORM IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER

I may have had to wake up at 4:30 A.M. to only stand in the back of the crowd behind a street light pole. But to hear Alicia Keys sing LIVE made all of it worth it. Not to mention, I got to share the moment with my best friend. We bonded over Alicia Keys music over a decade ago, when we first met and I'm pretty sure we will dance to 'No One' one day at my wedding. 

WITNESSING MY BEST FRIEND PROPOSE TO HIS BOYFRIEND

That dinner, those words and the tears shed will always be a night to remember. I can't wait to help plan their wedding and stand next to my best friend as he says 'I Do'.  Love is Love. 

FINDING NEW FRIENDSHIPS

Moving to a new city means meeting new friends. And although there are millions of people here, it almost makes it harder. Everyone is busy with work and the city hustle, so it's not often you find long lasting friendships. But I have been lucky to meet some amazing people and I am so glad I get to call them friends.

I never could have imagined all the things that would come with living in New York City. Every day still feels as exciting as the next. I can't wait to see what the next 365 days bring!

 

XO, Rae

MY FIRST TRIP ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

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A few weeks ago, I FINALLLY took a trip downtown to see the Brooklyn Bridge. I've been wanting to walk the Brooklyn Bridge ever since my first trip to New York, a few years ago. And now that I live in the city, it only seems fitting.  My roommates, along with some friends visiting from out of town all decided to make a day of it and walk across the bridge into DUMBO.

As you start entering the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side, you first walk along side the highway and soon start to see the infamous arches of the bridge. Then as you get toward the middle, you start to see views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. It's the most amazing skyline. For me, it was a bit emotional. It just so happened to be the day after my last day at my job. Standing there on the bridge was surreal for me. It reminded me that in life, you can often be in between two points and you have the choice as to which one you decide to embark upon. I definitely had some moments of tears as well as pure happiness as I walked the bridge. And to be there with my best friend, Will of over 10+ years, was amazing to experience it together. And a day that I will never forget.

For anyone visiting or living in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge is a MUST. 

 

XO, Rae 

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