Free NYC events, festivals and activities

NYC Broken Comedy at Bar Matchless (Mondays)

Enjoy laughs every Monday from NYC Broken Comedy, hosted by comedians Mike Denny, Michael Che and Nimesh Patel at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint. You may even catch a set by a familiar face, like Hannibal Buress from “Broad City.” Bar Matchless, 557 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, doors open at 8:30 p.m.,

Show off your rock ‘n’ roll singing chops at Arlene’s Grocery (Mondays)

Every Monday, this downtown music venue hosts a rock ‘n’ roll karaoke night, where attendees can choose from a selection of hits to perform with a live band. Bring your friends and have a moment in the spotlight while performing your favorite rock song. Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St., Manhattan, 10 p.m.,

View Yuki James’ latest photography collection (Feb. 24 to 26)

New York resident and photographer Yuki James’ latest collection, “Queer Today: Portraits of a Family Extended,” will be on display at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. The photo collection explores the diversity within the queer community through a series of profiles, including “Mohammed,” pictured above. Prince Project Space, 127-B Prince St., Manhattan, noon-6 p.m.,

Attend a free drag show

Drag shows are a great way to enjoy free (minus the tips, of course!) entertainment in the city. A wide range of drag clubs and lounges — from Boots and Saddles in the West Village to This n’ That in Williamsburg — forgo door charges for their shows, so stop by to get your drag fix. Who knows — maybe you’ll see some of your favorite queens from TV at these spots.

Watch local filmmakers’ flicks or screen your own (third Wednesday of the month)

If you’re looking for an “open mic” for filmmakers, head to “Bring Your Own Film,” a monthly screening event held at Shoestring Press in Brooklyn. View short films and videos — under 10 minutes long — and discuss the work of local creatives in a casual environment. Want to BYOF? Be sure to head over early to submit — the screening lineup goes fast. Shoestring Press, 663 Classon Ave., Brooklyn, third Wednesday of every month,

Join the ‘mob’ at this comedy show (March 2)

Head to Long Island City for quite the interactive comedy experience. “Mob Rule,” a standup show produced by comedian Teresa Sheffield, encourages the audience to throw — yes, throw — things at the performers, whether it’s flowers for support or water balloons if they weren’t feeling the jokes. Each show, comedians perform jokes based on a theme, and in March, the funny men and women who take the stage will be talking about all things St. Patrick’s Day. “Mob Rule” will feature prizes for the top comedian — and the best heckler — as well as free shots, a DJ and a performances from rapper Laa’Soul. The Creek and The Cave, 10-93 Jackson Ave., Queens,

Enjoy Brooklyn Museum for free on Thursdays

Brooklyn Museum entry usually costs $16 per person, but on Thursdays the museum has partnered with Squarespace to give art enthusiasts four hours of free access to exhibitions, classes and more. 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, 6 to 10 p.m.,

Animation Nights New York (monthly)

Head to the Seaport District for this monthly screening of curated animated shorts, featuring works from filmmakers from around the world. Animation Nights New York also hosts a variety of VR animation experiences at each session. Beer and wine is up for sale and be sure to bring a blanket as you lounge on the indoor grass of the screening room. 180 Maiden Lane, Manhattan, for upcoming events, visit

Celebrate local film at ‘B Scene: A Night at The Movies’ (May 3)

Brooklyn Free Speech is hosting a night of film and TV, celebrating all things Kings Counts. Listen to movie reviews and enjoy a screening of an indie film (yet to be announced), with featured producers Ken Stevenson and Kristina Leath-Malin in attendance. 647 Fulton St., 7 to 9 p.m.,

Visit FIT’s latest exhibition, ‘Black Fashion Designers’ (through May 16)

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s latest exhibition, “Black Fashion Designers,” explores just that — and is the first major exhibit in years to do so. Through a selection of garments, the exhibit shows the impact black designers have had on the industry through the years. See over 75 pieces from 60 designers that date back to the 1950s. 227 W. 27th St., Manhattan, Tuesday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,


Meet New York’s cutest residents at the Bronx Zoo (Wednesdays)

The 265-acre Bronx Zoo isn’t something you can cover in one day, but it’s worth a try. Zero in on the exhibits where your personal spirit animals live — maybe it’s Tiger Mountain that calls to you, or perhaps the Himalayan Highlands — and be sure to keep an eye out for the many baby animals who reside on site. And while a donation is appreciated, Wednesdays are free of charge all day. Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx,

Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Brooklyn Museum (March 4)

During the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday, celebrate the female identity with a variety of speakers and performers. Musicians Buscabulla (pictured), Charlotte Dos Santos and more will take the stage while guests can tour the museum’s exhibitions, including its latest, “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.” 200 Eastern Pkwy., 5-11 p.m.,718-638-5000,

Take a self-guided tour at Pelham Bay Park

Enjoy the weather with Pelham Bay Park’s Kazimiroff Nature Trail, which gives hikers long and short self-guided paths. Kazimiroff Trail, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx,

Get literary at the Franklin Park Reading Series (second Monday of each month)

This Crown Heights beer garden brings all the nerds to the yard the second Monday of every month. Both established and new writers will read at this acclaimed and completely free event. Enter a free lottery to win some literary swag or take advantage of $4 drafts during the event. 8 p.m., 618 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn,

Stroll through Chelsea’s art galleries

Take yourself on a totally free art tour of the city by visiting Chelsea’s gallery scene. Start at 25th Street and 10th Avenue and weave in and out of the streets on the West Side. Entry is free to all galleries and you don’t even have to be a prospective buyer. Pro-tip: Visit Thursday nights when many galleries have openings, i.e. free wine!

Learn about Central Park

Sure, you’ve been to Central Park more times than the cast of “Friends” hung out at Central Perk, but do you really know the history of Manhattan’s largest green space? Learn about the secret gems (including Glen Span Arch, pictured), lesser-known folklore and your new favorite picnic spot with free tours led by the Central Park Conservancy. Tour upper Central Park, iconic movie spots and more, all for free. Check out for meeting places and times for guided tours or just download the Central Park app and guide yourself.

Tour the Brooklyn Brewery

OK, so the beer isn’t free (unless you’re super nice to the ticket takers), but wait in line for a timed, 30-minute tour of the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg — it’s totally free. The scent of beer is complimentary, too. 79 N. 11th St.,

Take an art walk at Socrates Sculpture Park

This Long Island City park is home to seasonal exhibitions of impressive sculptures (including this functional bench piece) from a slew of internationally renowned artists. A complimentary LIC Art Bus takes passengers between local art destinations The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1. 32-01 Vernon Blvd. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens,

Sip some free cups at Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Tuesdays)

Stumptown hosts weekly cuppings (that’s coffee industry speak for tastings) every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in its Greenwich Village training lab. Reservations aren’t required but try and arrive 15 minutes early to secure a spot. Cuppings curate a tasting of aromas and flavors of the current Stumptown menu and you can ask any coffee questions to an expert. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 30 W. 8th St., Manhattan,

Make it big at QED’s open mic

Head to QED Astoria for free open mic nights featuring comedy, poetry, storytelling, music and more. Whether you want to sit in the audience and relax or practice your performing chops in front of a small audience, this is the space to do it. Check the calendar for free listings. QED Astoria, 27-16 23rd Ave., Queens,