6 Unexpected Ways a Broke Student Can Have Fun in New York

Living as a student in New York City is a dream come true for many but it can also be a challenging experience when you are broke. As a student, you are often struggling to make ends meet because this city is expensive to live in.  At the same time, even a broke student will find enough opportunities to enjoy his stay here without feeling frustrated and depressed. The “City that Never Sleeps” has loads to offer its residents. Whether its entertainment, culture, parks, museums or recreation centers, it is possible to experience them all without spending a penny.

Visit Museums on Free Nights: When you looking for things to do in New York on a budget, you can consider museum trips. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Goethe House German Cultural Center, the Cloisters and American Museum of Natural History are always free for students. You will find there are other city-museums like the Fashion Institute of Technology for interested students. Besides, there is The New Museum of Contemporary Art or Brooklyn Botanic Garden which are free for all at some specific times.

Parks: For the nature-lovers, New York parks are a great place to hang out when you are tight on budget. The Central Park in Manhattan, that houses the Central Park Zoo, is of course the biggest attraction. The Bryant Park boasts of free movie shows for visitors while the Flushing Meadows in Queens with the New York Hall of Science is home to the US Open. The Queens Museum of Art houses the World Fairs and the Prospect Park and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Reserve are other popular attractions. You can check out their websites and subscribe to weekly newsletters to get an idea of the events happening in these fantastic locations. Many parks offer free entertainment for students like free concerts or free walking tours. The Bryant Park, in particular, offers students a host of activities to choose from such as complimentary juggling lessons, literary lectures, open air films etc.Tour of the Federal Bank of New York’s Gold Vault: You can book a tour of this facility a month ahead. After making reservations you will be allotted a specific tour time and you must arrive half an hour prior to it. The guided tour is in English and you need to carry your e-ticket and identification documents as specified on their website.

Star Gazing on the High Line: Students can have a field day gazing at the stars on a romantic walk at the High Line every Tuesday. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York members head these exciting star-spotting expeditions using high-end telescopes. The locations and viewing times may be changed because of weather conditions and you should follow them on Twitter to stay updated.

Go Kayaking:

Kayaking is a fun sport and students can experience this adventure free of cost in many boating facilities in the city. For most of these rides, you do not need to register yourself or make reservations in advance. Kayaking on the Hudson at the Downtown Boathouse is a huge draw and you can get a quick glimpse here:  The city’s waterways are a sight to behold from the kayak and you can a taste of this free of cost at the Long Island City Community Boathouse, the Manhattan Community Boathouse, North Brooklyn Boat Club, Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, Kayak Staten Island. Also the New York City Downtown Boathouse holds kayaking classes and shares safety tips and kayaking techniques.

The Staten Island Ferry: For students, who are feeling the pinch, a free ferry ride from Staten Island to Manhattan can be the perfect way to enjoy the grand view of the New York Harbor. The ferry treats you to an incredible sighting of the Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty. You can avail of the ferry services 24×7 for this 25-minute ride that will present you with enough photo-op moments.

Free Wine and Spirits Tasting:One of the good things about being a New Yorker is that there are a host of places where you can actually taste different kinds of wines without spending a dime. The Astor Wines and Spirits for instance, are known for hosting free spirit tastings on evenings; you can even enjoy attractive discounts for a bottle you wish to buy. Alternately, you can take a free tour of the Brooklyn Brewery on any weekend; for a guide on places to score free wine, you can check out

Catch an Improv Show: A great way to liven up your days in NYC is to catch an improv show which is like a live theatrical experience. To get a good idea about the improv shows running currently, whether you are want to perform onstage yourself or relieve yourself from stresses of college assignments, you can always attend these improv shows to see the funniest New Yorkers in action. You can even enroll for comedy classes at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade or catch a free Sunday night show at the UCB Chelsea-hosted “Asssscat 3000.”

Attend the Knitting Factory’s free comedy show: What can be more endearing than a free comedy show at the Williamsburg Knitting Factory on a Sunday night when you cannot afford entertainment anywhere else? You must get there on time to get seats because it is quite popular and you will find throngs of spectators arriving well before six when the doors open.

Watch Outdoor Movies: New York parks are known for screening free outdoor movies for hundreds of spectators keen to enjoy a cinematic experience under the stars. So, whether it is Brooklyn Bridge Park or Rockaway Beach or Bryant Park, you can catch your favorite rom-coms, action flicks and classic movies any time in summer. For students this is an unforgettable experience among the many other exciting attractions this city has to offer.

Walk the Boardwalk at the Coney Island: Coney Island can be a perfect hangout for students when they want to escape from the hectic schedules in college. There are fantastic recreation opportunities here for those keen to play volleyball or basketball or even amusement rides. You could also take the Brighton Beach Boardwalk which is scenic and you can even run on this trail or do nature trips to soak in the beauty of the surroundings.