Can You Spend a Holiday in New York City on the Cheap?
The answer is yes. In Brooklyn.
Find out what you can do for free, or almost free, during the long holiday weekend of July Fourth in New York. Well, specifically Brooklyn.
Because let's face it, New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, both for residents and tourists. And whatever you can do in Manhattan, you can probably find a cheaper way to do more or less the same thing, in Brooklyn.
Aside from the usual fun, free things you can do in Brooklyn —like walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, of course—here are ten July 4th weekend ideas for free fun in the city. We've included arts festivals and dancing, self-guided tours around some cool neighborhoods, and more.
This four-day, rain-or-shine grassroots cultural festival is a fave of local African American and Caribbean American Brooklynites. Ask what people love about it and you'll get answers that tell the tale, for instance:
- the African Marketplace, with lots of vendors
- all kinds of food, including raw, vegetarian, Caribbean and soul
- musical performances
- dance performances
- a good, relaxed, friendly vibe
Find out when, where, and how to get to the International Arts Festival. Note that admission is free, but the food is not!
Nathan's July 4 Hot Dog Contest is simply a classic old Brooklyn event. What else can you say about thousands of people watching as contestants stuff their faces with Nathan's hot dogs for ten minutes, with each winner—one man, one woman— taking home a cash prize of $20,000?
If you are an out of town tourist, this is the stuff of which great Big Apple travel stories are made!
And, of course, watching is free. Unless you buy yourself a hotdog!
The annual July 4th Macy's fireworks are a great show, with as many as 40,000 shots fired into the air. Even George Washington himself couldn't have imagined the pyrotechnics! Some years, for instance, 2011, the July 4th fireworks are shot off on the Hudson River side of Manhattan, making it tough for Brooklynites to see the show without trekking over to "the city."
8. Sat, Sun July 7-8: Celebrate Brooklyn! Concert in Prospect Park (ALMOST FREE)
Celebrate Brooklyn! concerts, held at the Bandshell in Prospect Park in the neighborhood of Park Slope, are absolutely free if you sit on the grass. If you want a seat, you have to pay $3. So come early, bring a picnic basket or grab a slice of pizza on Seventh Avenue near the subway, and enjoy.
SATURDAY, JULY 7, 7:30 P.M. Souad Massi and Simon Shaheen.
SUNDAY, JULY 8, 4 P.M. Sweet Honey in the Rock
9. All July Fourth Weekend: Explore Brooklyn! DUMBO, Red Hook & More (FREE)
Get out on the water! You can go sailing in Brooklyn. Or, take a ferry to Governors Island.
- Get the IKEA Ferry from South Street Seaport in Manhattan to Red Hook Brooklyn
- Get the Ferry from Fulton Landing at Brooklyn Bridge Park near DUMBO