10 Free Things To Do Around NYU

Being on a student budget is always difficult, no matter where you are. The difficulty grows in a city like New York however, because there are non-stop activities in every corner. Narrowing down how to spend your time might be hard, but don’t panic! Here is a list of ten free things to do around NYU if you’re a student around the vast campus.

1. Picnic in Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is the ultimate hang out spot for anyone at New York University, especially in the spring when you can pull out a picnic blanket and lie in the grass in the perfect weather. Make your own food or bring food from the dining hall in a take out box, play some chess, and admire the musical performances that take place near the fountain.

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Monday magic 💫

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2. Visit a Museum Exhibit

New York is known for its plethora of museums, filled with both contemporary and historical meaningful art. These museums always have pop-up exhibits that are free to the public, which is a great way to spend a day with your friends! Museums such as the New Museum on Bowery and the Whitney are extremely close by NYU and offer free visits and discounts for students.

3. Astor Place Poetry Jam

Adding to the vast array of artistic opportunities in New York is the Poetry Jam that will be taking place this April 22nd, 2017 on Astor Place, right next to the NYU area. From 1:00 pm -7:00 pm, experience live poetry slams and readings, admire the galleries, and gain inspiration from the free writing workshops that are available at your leisure.


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4. Yoga the People on Thursday’s

Yoga The People is a free, 60 minute yoga class open to the public, with many locations around the different boroughs. Located near NYU in St. Marks Place, yoga is a great way to take a break and relax in between the stress of classes and the hectic New York lifestyle. Grab your own mat or rent one for $2, and head down for an amazing experience! A suggested donation of $10 is suggested but not required.

5. High Line Stargazing

The High Line is one of the most iconic spots in New York City, and is not too far from the NYU dorms! It’s beautiful to walk along during the day and night, and people can see an amazing view of the entire city. Tuesday’s are an especially remarkable day because they offer free stargazing. Grab a bunch of friends and head there for a wonderful night.

6. Brooklyn Bridge

Located near NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, the Brooklyn Bridge is also another popular spot for people to walk along or ride their bikes. With amazing views of the waterfront and Manhattan, groups of friends often go there in the early mornings to take photos during sunrise, all for no cost!

7. UCB Free Improv Shows

Comedy and Improv Shows are always a good laugh, especially the ones in the UCB in Chelsea, near NYU’s Gramercy Green dorm. Once in a while they will have a free showing open to the public, so keep an eye out on the day of so that you and your friends can grab tickets!


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8. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Tasting

Located near NYU’s Washington Square campus on West 8th Street, Stumptown Coffee Roasters offers fresh steaming cups of rich coffee each day. Head there on Tuesday’s for a free tasting to get a caffeine fix before class!

9. Play with pets in Union Square (Courtesy of PetCo)

PetCo, located in the heart of Union Square unleashes their cute, adoptable animals for the public to play with each day. They have a small truck located outside their store for people to go and interact with and hopefully fall in love with.

10. The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library, one of the most famous libraries in the city and the home to wondrous amounts of books is a great place to go and study, and it’s only one stop away on the train from NYU! The public library acts as a great place to get away from campus and still do work, and also contains a lot of history to peruse through.

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A beautiful look at our Rose Main Reading Room via @nytimes! ❤ ・・・ New York got one of its beloved public spaces back in 2016. Last month, the photographer Philip Greenberg captured the majestic Rose Reading Room at the @nypl’s main building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, which reopened after a 2-year renovation. You can credit Eric Hammarberg, an engineer at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, for ensuring all that delicate, ornamental plaster on the decorated ceiling, which had begun collapsing, won’t fall down. In ways big and small, architects have changed New York City this year. Projects from the #RoseReadingRoom to a revamped local library branch in Washington Heights made the city a little more livable and humane. Visit the link in our profile to see the best architecture in New York of 2016. (This is not a list of 2016’s architectural highs and lows in town. “It’s more a kind of belated thank you note for a few projects that kept faith with architecture’s ideals and the city’s better self,” writes @nytimes architecture critic Michael Kimmelman.)

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What are your favorite free things to do around NYU? Share in the comments below!
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Pooja Sadhwani

Hi! My name is Pooja, I'm a Sophomore at New York University studying Media, Culture and Communication with a dual major in Journalism.