At last! You’ve finally saved up enough money to make the exciting move to the Big Apple, but now what? No matter how much you love your job, you can’t let it consume your every waking moment. The move to New York City can be overwhelming, and finding things to do to keep that balance between work and play can be exhausting. Socializing and keeping a healthy lifestyle in NYC goes beyond the occasional chat with your barista or a quick stroll through central park.

In fact, you have to make a conscious effort to go beyond that. The hardest part? Finding a reasonable way to do this! Anyone who moves to NYC know all too well the want to go out with new friends, but the fear of, “can I afford this?” when saying yes to going out. We also know the feeling of saying yes when we can’t afford it, then trying our hardest to not stress out about it. Why not be the friend (or date) that’s always looking out for the best of everyone, both energetically and budget-wise?

Whether you’re into fashion, sports or just getting out of your apartment, there are plenty of things to do in NYC for free each week. Times Square is exhausting, shopping can be expensive, and eating out isn’t always cheap or healthy. We know how discouraging it can be to look through the millions of sites to find what to do, so we decided to put a short list together of free things that everyone will love!

So, here’s to budget living in the big city- it’s easier and more fun than you think!

  • Friday nights at MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art is open and free to the public Friday’s from 4:00pm-8:00pm. With new exhibits opening all the time, MoMA is a unique and humbling experience. Great for a night to think and be inspired, or a great way to spend a date.
  • Free Fitness Classes with Shape Up NYC: Yoga, spinning, crossfit- OH MY! There are a million options for workout routines, but not all are meant for everyone. What’s worse than spending an hour being miserable? Paying for it! With Shape Up NYC’s free fitness classes you can get fit and not break the bank! Find a class you like and stick to it, or grab a group of friends and switch it up each week.
  • Take the Roosevelt Tram: How fun can taking a tram be? A heap of fun if it’s the Roosevelt Tram. For the same price as the MTA, grab your MetroCard and all aboard for this awesome experience- the tram offers unique views at 250 feet above ground and covers the area between the Roosevelt Island station and Manhattan.
  • Walk the Highline: If you’re ready to shake things up and get some fresh air, head to the Highline at Gansevoort. With different exhibits and things to see, the Highline is a 1.45-mile-long park built above Manhattan on an old railroad track. The views are not to be missed!
  • Visit the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology: New York City is known for its museums and fashion, so it’s only right that you visit the free exhibits at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Even if you’re not into fashion, seeing the evolution of things in this museum is worth the trip!
  • People Watching at Grand Central: Grand Central boasts a lot of New York history, but if you’re looking to make your own stories, head there and people watch. You’ll see musicians, locals and visitors alike- all in their own world. This is fun to do alone or with a friend!
  • Sip Wine and Walk the Chelsea Galleries: The Chelsea Galleries hold quite a few different galleries, making it easy for everyone to enjoy. Most Thursday nights you can catch a release party with free bites and wine! It’s a win-win for everyone.
  • Volunteer: NYC houses some of the best volunteer opportunities and organizations. No matter what your interest is, you can find somewhere to give back. It’s not only good for you and the community, but it’s also a great way to meet and connect with others.