Gallery: 6 Green (and Free) Summer Things to Do in NYC!


Why spend a hard-earned $20 on a picturesque boatride around the city when you can take one for a song? Most New Yorkers don't know this but the Staten Island Ferry is completely free and you can see the same famous sights - like the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan - as you would on a paid tour from its fabled decks. Not only will you be able to tweet to your friends that you're on the SI Ferry, you'll also be able to say that you visited Staten Island - a feat that even many of the best-traveled New Yorkers cannot lay claim to.

Lead image adapted from pchgorman’s photo.


Get on your overalls (we’re just kidding, please just stick to shorts and a tee shirt) and head on down to the oldest continually farmed stretch of land in NYC – the Queens County Farm Museum! Despite offering a bushel’s worth of fun from guided tours to a petting zoo with goats, pigs, chickens and cows, plus a chance to see all of your favorite veggies growing, admission to the farm is zero dollars and zero cents. And if you want, you can spend some of the money you saved on the farm’s sustainably grown herbs, tomatoes and other goodies sold on site.


We’re not trying to knock those $50 scavenger hunt tours that take you on a wild goose chase around the city (they’re actually pretty darn fun), but who says you can’t get a group of pals together on a summer afternoon and DIY your own hunt? The trick is to center your list of things to search for around a theme – the NYC Cow Parade (those brightly painted bovines you see all around town) is a great one. Split people into teams and have them take cell phone pics of each found target as proof. And there’s no reason the things on your list need to be established landmarks. Sending people of to track down as many green walls or bald men with mustaches as they can is just as gratifying (if not more).


If you still haven’t shed those extra 5 (okay, 7) lbs to reveal the beach body of your dreams, you’d be surprised at how many non-boring ways there are to get fit without having to pay for a gym admission. As part of the city’s initiative to get New Yorkers in tip top health, ShapeUpNYC is offering free yoga, zumba, pilates and aerobics classes across the boroughs. If you’re not ready for any fancy footwork yet, check out this slew of invigorating walking tours that traverse NYC’s best parks. Think you need to be a member of a fancy sports club to get in that morning swim? Here is a whole list of NYC pools with totally gratis access during early bird and night owl hours.


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  1. gloria bijou August 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Can I get HALF PRICE Tickets or discount tickets for the Met Museum on 5th Ave? I am a Senior Cit taking Teen Girls Thank you gloria

  2. brkln July 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Actually, Cooper Hewitt is closed for renovation until Fall of 2013 with only it’s garden open. It’s next exhibit (at the U.N.) is in October of 2011.

  3. Brkln July 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Your museum information is a bit out of date: The Forbes Gallery sold off their Faberge eggs years ago – back to Russian billionaires I understand, and the Cooper Hewitt museum is closed until October 2011.