Skip to main content
Hotel Beacon NYC


Join Beacon Insider & Save 30%
Summer 2023: Free Things to Enjoy in New York City This Summer blog image

Summer 2023: Free Things to Enjoy in New York City This Summer

June 12 2023

New York is an amazing city to both live in and visit, but as the most expensive city in the USA, costs can quickly begin to spiral – especially if you’re here on vacation. The good news is, during the summer months, when the weather is warm, and the sun is shining, finding free things to see and enjoy is a lot easier than during the winter months.

Whether you’re here with your family, your partner, or a group of friends, here are our recommendations for the best free things in New York City.

Central Park

No list of things to do in New York would be complete without giving Central Park a mention. Central Park is the most visited and well-known park in the world. Covering almost 850 acres, there are endless things to enjoy in the summer months. If you’re traveling with family, there are 21 playgrounds for kids of all ages to let off steam – all of which are free to use. The park also offers free-to-use picnic areas and barbeque spaces (another great way to keep costs down on vacation, even if you don’t have access to a kitchen). There are 58 miles of trails to explore, a small zoo, and for a small fee, you can rent a paddleboat on Central Park Lake.

DUMBO neighbourhood, photo taken at sunset with Brooklyn Bridge in the background

Manhattan’s Bridges

Manhattan is connected to the rest of the city via 21 bridges and 15 tunnels, and the bridges offer some of the best views of the famous NYC skyline. Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge are perhaps the most famous bridges in the city – and both are completely free to cross or visit. As such popular bridges, both can get busy, especially in the summer months. If you want to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of other options, for example, NYC’s oldest standing bridge, High Bridge – which is also known as one of the city’s most picturesque bridges.

See the Statue of Liberty

While it costs to visit and go inside the Statue of Liberty, you can still get close to it for free! The Staten Island Ferry is a completely free ferry service between Manhattan and Staten Island. The ferry travels past the Statue of Liberty, offering much better views than anywhere else in the city – a perfect photo opportunity. As well as seeing Lady Liberty, the ferry offers great views across the skyline, Ellis Island, and the rest of the city. Once you’re on Staten Island, there are plenty of free things to enjoy there too – from nature reserves to a boat graveyard!  

People enjoying Central Park in the summer with NYC skyline in the background 

Live Music

Every summer, New York City hosts multiple free outdoor concerts that anyone can attend. From opera to jazz and pop to electronic, there is something for everyone every weekend (and some weekdays too) from now until September. The concerts are entirely free to attend, and you can bring your own food and drinks to keep costs down or visit one of the local bars and cafes located within the parks. Find out who is playing and where here.

Your New York vacation doesn’t have to break the bank! There are endless things to enjoy for free within the city and surrounding area if you know where to look. The Hotel Beacon is in the heart of the city and offers apartment-style suites – perfect for a family-friendly summer getaway.