Free things to do in NYC


The application deadline for Global Link 2017 is Tuesday, February 14th, 2017. 

Global Link is a 4-week summer program in New York City for undergraduate students at the International Christian University (ICU). Sponsored by the Japan ICU Foundation (JICUF), the program is designed to spark students' intellectual, social and professional development. Taking full advantage of New York City, we introduce students to diverse people, places, institutions, and professional fields, prompting them to reflect on social, economic, political and environmental issues in the city and beyond. 

This week, JICUF staff Shiori shares her favorite free things to do in NYC in the summer! 

New York is known as an expensive city, but there are also many activities you can enjoy for free or at a very low cost!

1. Museums& galleries

Many of the city’s attractions, museums, galleries and performances offer free entry of pay-as-you-wish options. Here are many museums in New York that are always free, free on certain days or pay as you wish. For instance, MoMA hosts UNIQLO Free Fridays and Museum of the Moving Image every week from 4-8pm. Also, if you’re into galleries, check out the Chelsea Gallery Map and see which galleries are available. Most galleries are located between18- 28th street and 10-11 avenue.


2. Go for a stroll

The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long (about 2.3km) the only elevated train track turned urban park in the Meatpacking District in 2009. It runs from Hudson Yards to the northern edge of Chelsea, and their architecture, plant design, and the view makes it one of the popular destinations in the Summer.
I recommend starting at the Hudson Yards and walk south to Chelsea so you can stop by at the Chelsea Market when you want to take a break from walking. Chelsea Market has a food hall  (there are many food vendors to choose from!) and a shopping mall.

You also might come across some street arts or "outdoor gallery" when you take a stroll around New York City, though controversial by nature. Within Manhattan, esspecially the Lower East Side has a high concentration of street arts.


3. Music and theater

Each summer, the Metropolitan Opera offers free outdoor recitals taking place in locations such as Central Park Summer Stage and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Also, if you’re into classical music, check out the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival which usually takes place at the end if July-Aug! There are also places like The Manhattan School of Music or the Juilliard School, where most performances don’t require tickets. 


4. Learn about New York's history

Manhattan is entrenched in the nation’s history-it remained the hub of American life throughout the Revolutionary War, the Great Depression, and World War II. There are many places to stop by including the Federal Hall on Wall Street, where George Washington had sworn in as president, Grand Central Terminal, which was founded in 1903. The New York Pubic Library also hosts free exhibitions and events to learn more about New York. It is also the second largest library in the US (after the Library of Congress) and the fourth largest in the world.

These are just a few option available to you over the summer. If you have further interests, don't hesitate to let me know!

About Shiori: She loves nature, art, classical music (both playing and listening), traveling and cats. This is her third winter in New York City. She is also a graduate of Columbia University and ICU.  Feel free to reach her at for any questions about the Global Link program or things to do/see in NYC.