It’s no secret that New York City is hands-down one of the priciest cities in the U.S. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t visit on a budget. Here’s six fun and FREE things you can do in New York, illustrated by pictures of me traipsing around the city in a cow onesie last week, because it was cold as hell and it’s the warmest thing I own. And it makes for some pretty amoosing photo ops.
(Amoosing = amusing. Get it? Yeah, if you don’t like puns, reading this might be hard for you.)
As always, unless otherwise stated, all pictures are my own.
1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
The icow-nic Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River, connects Brooklyn to Manhattan, and looks like this.
You can start at either the Brooklyn side or the Manhattan side. Walking the entire thing takes about an hour. Expect it to be full of other tourists, and be mindful of the bike lane. A lot of non-tourists bike across the bridge to get home or to work, and there are constantly people wandering into the bike line to take selfies, which could easily end dangerously for everyone involved.
2. Walk the High Line
The High Line is actually dope. It’s a public park built on a train track that’s no longer in use. It starts at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, and goes to West 34th Street. It takes about half an hour to walk, and is lined with art projects, dope views, and lots of photo ops. It opens at 7 a.m. each day, and closes between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., depending on the season. Check their website for schedule information.
3. Take the Staten Island Ferry
Tired of walking and want a different way to mooove? Okay, that was bad. Sorry, I’m just really trying to milk this for all its worth.
The Staten Island Ferry leaves from Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan every half an hour between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Trips to Staten Island take roughly 25 minutes each way (so that’s roughly 50 minutes total).
From the ferry, you can see a decent view of the Statue of Liberty herself. Going at sunset is highly re-cow-mended.
Once the ferry stops at Staten Island, you are expected to get off and wait in the terminal for the next ferry to take you back to Manhattan. Don’t do like me and use the bathroom on the ferry right when it stops and then leave and wonder where everyone went.
4. Get lost in Central Park
Central Park is HUGE. Go. Run around. Use this map.
Two icownic spots to find:
- Strawberry Fields – 2.5 acres of Central Park are dedicated to John Lennon! How cool is that! They’re referred to as “Strawberry Fields” and are marked by a giant “IMAGINE” mosaic. From the Mosaic, you can also see the apartment building he lived in. If you don’t know who John Lennon is, then I must kindly ask you to stop reading and spend the next 5-10 minutes of your life educating yourself via the wonderful world of the Internet.
- The Alice in Wonderland statue – This trippy bronze statue depicts Alice and pals kickin’ it on a mushroom, and can make for a cool picture, although I advise against trying to slide yourself up onto the aforementioned mushroom when you’re very sick with the flu because it might be a confusing ordeal to get back down. Tried and true.
5. Check out Times Square
Hold onto your stuff, be prepared to get run into, and brave the technicolor wonderland that is Times Square. It’s surrounded by shops, which aren’t free, and dudes hawking temptingly cheap tickets to Broadway shows, which is not free and also probably absolutely a scam. Trust. Been there.
But what is free is to stand in the midst of it, take in all the lights, and snap a few pictures.
6. Go look at the Flatiron Building
The Flatiron building looks like…well…a flat building. At 22 stories, it’s a New York landmark, and also currently houses several prominent publishing companies.
The Flatiron building is also a six-minute walk from the Museum of Sex, which is not on this list, since it costs $20 for entry, but it allowed for some hilarious Cow-dak moments, such as the following.
Did I forget your favorite free NYC activity? Lemme know in the comments! And remember, happy cows come from California. Cowlifornia? I’m really done now, I swear.