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10 Things To Do in New York for Free

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Although Cairn is a small campus, there are many places in a reasonable distance that you, as a student, could be taking advantage of.

One of those places is the famous Big Apple, otherwise known as New York, New York.

If you drive about an hour north of Philadelphia, you will end up in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. From there you can take the Staten Island Ferry for FREE into the borough of Manhattan, and for $5.50 round trip, you can catch the Subway to various different places and sights in N.Y.C.!

Being one of the most popular cities in the world, New York has it all, including 1,776 ft tall skyscrapers, impeccable Broadway shows, amazing views from places such as, the Top of the Rock, shopping at hundreds of different clothing/department stores, extravagant selections of restaurants, the Empire State building, and so much more! However, a trip to New York can get quite expensive.

For college students on a budget, here is a list of 10 things to do in New York City for absolutely FREE:

1. Sightseeing

Spend hours exploring Times Square, Rockefeller Center, One World Trade Center… don’t give in to those sightseeing tours. With a map, a good attitude, and some of your best of friends, you will have everything you need to see all that the Big Apple has to offer! The Brooklyn Bridge, an iconic suspension bridge that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, is a cool spot to get some amazing shots of the New York skyline. Nothing beats a great view.

2. Central Park

Did you ever think you would be able to relax in a city as congested and busy as NYC, well because of this 843 acre park, you can! Located in the center of Manhattan, Central Park is a great escape from the hectic hustle and bustle of the city. You will probably recognize it from the many films that were filmed here.

3. High Line

This is a park like you’ve never seen before. Unlike Central Park, which is located on the ground, the High Line is a 1.45 mile long greenway located on an old railroad track. It’s definitely something you’ll wanna check out if you have not already!

4. Scavenger hunt

If you want to do something unique and fun, a scavenger hunt is a way you and your friends/family could make your trip into the city a memorable one! The first group to get a picture at all the sights on the list, wins! This will add some excitement to your sightseeing, for sure.

5. Take photos

Another simple, yet super fun activity you could do is have a photo contest, and experiment with your photography skills. New York is one of my favorite places to photograph! There is so much to capture in a city this big… Not only that, but there are countless hidden treasures to capture, whether you are using a phone or a higher end camera.

6. Get a different perspective on life

Something people do not usually think of when they are planning a trip to New York, is the fact that they are going to probably one of the most diverse cities in the world. There are people from every background, ethnicity, and religion. Find someone who looks different than you and talk to them. Ask them about their culture, their life experiences… This is something you have to be intentional about doing, but will absolutely learn a lot from.

7. Marvel at all the shops

In Times Square alone, there are countless number of shops and department stores to explore. Some of my favorites include: M&M’s World, the Disney Store, Macy’s, Warner Brother’s store, Hershey’s Chocolate World, FAO Schwarz, Lego store, and Forever 21 to name a few.

8. Go to a museum

The Cloisters, known as the Met’s sister museum dedicated to Medieval art and architecture, is open everyday, from 10 am-5:15 pm from March-October, and 10 am-4:45 pm from November through February. It is one of the many free museums in the city.

9. View a live taping of a daytime or late night talk show

Did you know that you have the chance at being in the same room as Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, or Whoopi Goldberg? You can put in a request to sit in on the live tapings for shows such as, Good Morning America, Live with Kelly, The Chew, The View, and Late Night With Seth Meyers… to name a few. Enjoy the show!

10. Ice skating in Bryant Park

This park includes gardens, three different terraces, and the opportunity for you to go ice skating for FREE at The Rink (skates not included). Be on the look out for their college nights when skate rentals are buy one get one free with a valid college ID.

This photo features Cairn students on the Staten Island Ferry from the #CairnULife N.Y.C. Trip.


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