Free Things to Do During NYC Spring Break 2023
Spring is upon us: the sidewalks are dotted with sights of green and the last school bell of the day has rung, officially cuing the start of April break.
You and your kids have been working a little too hard for the past few months, and it’s finally time to take a break without breaking the bank.
Here are 12 budget-friendly options to make the most out of this coming spring break in the Big Apple!
1000 5th Ave., New York, NY
For some, it is still a little early for T-shirt and shorts weather. Slap on your fake mustaches and caps and spend a day indoors with your kids at the Met.
It is a great way to channel your little artists’ excitement and debunk the world’s greatest talents through the centuries — and a budget friendly option at that, too. New York residents pay any amount they wish for a regular ticket.
Get outside and get your steps in at Sunset Park in Brooklyn! Complete with a swing set, playground, sand pit and sports courts, there’s plenty to do for everyone in the family.
Lie down on the grass and soak in the Sun, fly a kite and see everything the park has to offer. Arrive early in the mornings, and you might even catch a sea of lovely grandmothers practicing tai chi!
36-01 35th Ave., Queens, NY
This media museum is a must-visit for movie lovers young and old. Learn about how films and TV shows are created and presented. The museum offers free general admission every Thursday from 2 to 6 pm, making it a great choice for a spring break evening activity.
Pier55 in Hudson River Park at W 13th St., New York, NY
Take the blue subway lines up to Little Island in Manhattan, where the water, sunset and nature scenery form the perfect blend of calm. The island is exactly as its name suggests — very minimalist, with straightforward paths that take you to various spots that afford excellent views of the Hudson.
During warmer days, there are food trucks with refreshments and light snacks. Take a seat on the island’s wobbly seats that are sure to be fun for all ages. But be careful: you’ll get dizzy if you sit on them for too long!
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Wednesdays are free at the Bronx Zoo! You and your family can take a visit to the Bronx Zoo this spring break– just make sure to reserve your tickets online ahead of time. See animals from all over the world by visiting exhibits like the sea lion pool, the world of birds and reptiles and the Carter Giraffe Building.
151 West 34th St., New York, NY
This one is for fans of window shopping– without the “windows” part. Who doesn’t love trying on outfits at a high-end department store even if you aren’t going to end up buying them?
The shiny lights all around the building are nothing short of eye-catching and a newly renovated Toys’ Floor on the top floor is perfect for the young and the young at heart.
School may be out, but it’s never a bad time to work out your reading muscles! New York Public libraries are some of the most historic landmarks in the city, and to be honest, some look too fancy to be libraries.
30th Street at Hudson Yards, New York, NY
Walking on the High Line is like walking through history. Admire the surrounding scenery, port and cityscape from high up in the air and explore the abstract murals and exhibitions that dot these ex-train rails.
Need a break? Lie on one of the stone reclining chairs. Got lost? There are maps stationed conveniently throughout the tracks. Keep an eye on the High Line’s website for upcoming events as the spring season continues to roll in.
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Get a slice of oasis in the city at the New York Botanical Gardens. See the plants of spring in full bloom, catch this year’s iteration of the Orchid Show and learn about what goes into making plants grow. Admission for NYC residents is free every Wednesday.
334 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY
Crossing this bridge is a bucket list must-do for all New Yorkers — and the distance is shorter than you think. Enjoy the refreshments and little vendors that span the bridge and take some pictures of the sailboats or the skyscrapers on the horizon.
Don’t miss the free, family-friendly offerings in Brooklyn Bridge Park, like public art, events, playgrounds and more.
10 South St., New York, NY
Ride the ferry for free to this exciting getaway spot on Saturdays and Sundays before noon — and bring some picnic items.
You can rent a bike for relatively cheap there or even bring your own on the boat. If you have little ones, a peaceful family walk is a great option, too. Don’t underestimate the views — or the occasional tap dances — that happen on the ferry ride.
32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, NY
This sculpture park in Queens prides itself on always being free. There’s endless fun spread out across the park’s five-acre waterfront landscape. The sculptures there are always changing so you can see something new every time you visit. Get outside and see some sculptures this spring break!