Published 21st July 2021
The time has finally come, New York City is open again! As of June 15th, Governor Cuomo has removed most coronavirus restrictions in New York State. This means that the government no longer requires businesses to maintain social distancing or masking protocols. Although the city is open, businesses are free to choose whether they want to continue implementing these measures on an individual basis. Some businesses are still requiring vaccination card proof, so it is important for those visiting NYC to be aware of what attractions they can visit.
From late-night comedy shows to museum visits in Brooklyn, or free brewery tours to trips to Governor’s Island here’s our list of a few fun attractions and activities readers can do in the newly opened city that won’t break the bank.
1. The Vessel
As one of NYC’s newest attractions, The Vessel is one of the best free attractions in the city. It is located in the Hudson Yards, which also features The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Although individuals have to purchase tickets now to climb the vessel, it is worth exploring the grounds and walking around the countless stores they have to offer!
2. The Oculus
As part of the new World Trade Center transportation hub, The Oculus features both a mall and subway station, beautifully designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Be sure to explore both the inside and outside to capture the best pictures.
Not to mention, what’s great about The Oculus is that visitors can view the 9/11 memorial free of charge.
3. Bryant Park Movie Nights and Picnic Performances
If you are a lover of film and live performances, be sure to check out Bryant Park’s free movie nights and picnic performances. The summer months are perfect for gathering on the lawn to enjoy an outdoor film and weekly concerts by the New York Philharmonics.
The concerts usually begin at 7 p.m., and the films start around 8 p.m. at sunset, but guests can snag a seat beginning at 5 p.m. A short walk from Times Square, this is the perfect summer activity to enjoy with friends. Don’t forget to bring popcorn and candy!
Read More: Picnic Performances
4. Governors Island
Only open during the summer months, Governors Island is definitely one of our favourite attractions for a quick city getaway. Simply Hop on the ferry at the southern tip of Manhattan. Tickets are only $3 for adults, and free for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and older.
Read More: Ongoing Programs at Governors Island
5. Friday Night Special at The Tiny Cupboard
In the mood for endless laughs? Beginning this summer, The Tiny Cupboard and comedian Brittany Brave are collaborating to host various rooftop comedy shows during the weekend. Although most of the events are free, shows that do cost money aren’t more than $10 per ticket.
What could be better than enjoying a laugh with friends on a cool summer night? These shows feature comedians from Comedy Central, Netflix, the Comedy Cellar, and more!
Read More: The Tiny Cupboard Events Summer 2021
6. Seaport Fit
Yes, you may be on vacation and maybe the last thing you want to think about is exercising. But for those who enjoy moving their body, we recommend checking out one of the many fitness class attractions at Seaport Fit. Located at Pier 17, anyone can enjoy free fitness classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as Saturday mornings.
Squeeze in a quick workout sesh before spending the day exploring NYC’s best cheap eat. Classes range from HIIT The Deck, Lyons Den Power Yoga, and Pure Barre.
Read More: Seaport Fit Class Schedule
7. Bronx Night Market
If you are a die-hard foodie at heart, make your way up to the Bronx to check out the Bronx Night Market. Available every Saturday at Fordham Plaza, this attraction celebrates the Bronx’s cultural food scene. Tickets are free and can be reserved on their website or in person. All you have to do is pay for which vendors you’d like to try.
There are so many up-and-coming food vendors and small businesses that truly showcase the diversity of NYC cuisine. Some vendors include C Bao, Sweet & Salty Empanadas, Downeast Lobstah, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream, and Mysttik Masala.
Read More: Bronx Night Market 2021
8. Little Island
Known as NYC’s new “floating park,”, Little Island is a must-visit with activities for everyone. Little Island was built after the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy to Pier 54. This new public attraction creates an immersive experience with nature and art, with events like Creative Break, where artists of all ages can enjoy working with organizations like the Children’s Museum of the Arts and The New Victory Theater.
The park is open to the public every day from 6 a.m. through 1 a.m. You’ll be glad to hear that most of the events on the Island are free. Be sure to book your timed entry reservation before you go.
Read More: Little Island, NYC
9. Kayaking at Pier 26
What better way to cool down from the NYC heat than go kayaking on the Hudson River? Pier 26 Boathouse offers a combination of free and expert lessons perfect for any skill level.
This activity is great for the adventurer and those who love trying something new. Also, be sure to take your waterproof camera to capture amazing views of the city from the glistening water.
Read More: Downtown Boathouse Kayaking
10. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Last on the list is the Guggenheim Museum, one of New York City’s most well-known museums. On select Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., visitors have access to Pay-What-You-Wish Admission. One Saturday per month visitors can enjoy free admission all day.
Walk around the exquisite rotunda and explore various exhibitions such as Off the Record, The Hugo Boss Prize 2020: Deana Lawson, and Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural. After you’re finished at museums, enjoy the Upper East Side streets and visit other institutions like El Museo del Barrio or the MET.
Read More: Guggenheim Musem Visit