For travelers to New York city with kids, the trip can quickly become an expensive adventure if every activity you do has a price tag. The good news is that there are many free New York events, activities, and amusements that kids like, so NYC.com offers a list of some you might want to fit into your fun-filled, kid-friendly schedule.
American Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square,
New York, NY, 10019
The American Folk Art Museum is one of the leading institutions dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of folk art. From 18th and 19th century paintings, quilts, and sculptures to the dynamic work of contemporary self-taught artists, the museum’s extraordinary collection reveals the spectrum of American expression. Free Admission on Fridays from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
1000 Washington Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY, 11225
Growing from its humble beginnings as an ash dump in the late 1800s, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has come to represent today the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display. Free admission on Tuesdays.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave,
New York, NY, 10025
The world's largest Gothic cathedral, St. John the Divine has been an extraordinary presence in New York since the first cornerstone was laid in 1892. Stop in to admire the Cathedral's immense arches, Gustavino dome, the stained glass, seven chapels, and tremendous interior length, exceeding that of two football fields.
405 Lexington Avenue,
New York, NY, 10017
Unlike its nearby cousin, the Empire State Building, which glows at night when bathed in a variety of colored lights, the Chrysler Building seems most radiant during the day hours. In the bright sunlight, the upper floors gleam, reflect, and even seem to pulsate light, directing the eye upwards towards the spire. Its gorgeous Art Deco lobby, with murals celebrating transportation themes, is definitely one of New York’s finest.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
2 East 91st Street,
New York, NY, 10128
The only U.S. museum dedicated to contemporary and historic design is open free to the public on Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m.
Forbes Magazine Galleries
60 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY, 10011
Located at 5th Avenue and 12th Street, the Forbes Magazine Galleries feature Faberge Easter eggs, toys, presidential manuscripts and fine art. Entrance to the galleries is free. Hours are 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Goethe-Institut New York
72 Spring Street,
New York, NY, 10012
Learn about German life and culture at the library and gallery of the Goethe Institut. The museum is located on 5th Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Streets. Open Monday through Friday—admission to the exhibits and lectures is free.
Grand Central Terminal and Station
100 East 42nd Street,
New York, NY, 10017
Walk in to admire Grand Central's stunning brass clock, the exquisite staircases, and the unique celestial ceiling, its light bluish-green background filled with well-known constellations dotted with tiny lights.
International Center of Photography
1133 Avenue Of The Americas,
New York, NY, 10036
The Permanent Collection at the International Center of Photography houses over 100,000 photographs. The collection spans the history of the photographic medium, from Daguerreotypes and real photo postcards to iris prints. ICP’s galleries, located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, were designed for the display of a wide range of photography and new media with state-of-the-art lighting, climate control systems and digital presentation systems. Admission to the frequently changing exhibitions is available with your voluntary contribution on Fridays from 5-8 p.m.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)
1000 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY, 10028
Although they raised the "suggested" admission to $20, you can pay what you can afford to see one of the greatest art museums in New York City.
New Museum of Contemporary Art
New York, NY, 10002
The New Museum is New York's only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art and recently moved into a new building designed by Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA with Gensler, New York, serving as Executive Architect. Admission is free Thursdays evenings from 5—9pm.
New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets,
New York, NY
Free one hour walking tours Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. highlighting the history and architecture of the New York Public Library. Free tours of the Library's Current Exhibitions take place at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
460 Madison Ave,
New York, NY, 10022
St. Patrick's Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan. It is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States and has been recognized throughout its history as a center of Catholic life in this country.
Staten Island Ferry
Whitehall Terminal, Lower Manhattan,
New York, NY
New York’s waterways are once again thriving, and aside from the profusion of new ferry services, this old reliable standby still plies the water between Staten Island and Manhattan around the clock every day of the year. Best of all, it has been free of charge since 1997.
42nd Street at Broadway,
New York, NY, 10036
From the hustle of the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the bustle of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, much of New York’s dazzling vibrancy and energy emanates from this area stretching from Times Square to Central Park South.