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rockefeller center christmas angels starsEvery Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog or signing up for our newsletter.

No other city does the holidays like New York. The Rockettes kick up their heels in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, angels blow their golden trumpets at Rockefeller Center, department stores vie for the title of the most impressive window display — and a flood of visitors arrives to soak up every second of the spectacle.

With bigger crowds come higher prices, but there’s no need to blow your holiday shopping budget on entertainment while you’re in the Big Apple. As we write in Top 25 Ways to Save on New York City Travel, “There are free or inexpensive concerts, readings, art exhibits and other events happening all over the city on any given day; the only challenge is finding them. Check out nymag.com/agenda, New York Magazine’s online event search feature that lets you filter results by cost (try ‘$10 & Under’ or ‘Free’).”

I did a quick search for events the weekend of December 9 – 11 and turned up several comedy shows, a Brooklyn brewery tour and a Native American art exhibition in a SoHo gallery — all free.

If you’re visiting the Big Apple in the next six weeks, it’s also worth checking out New York’s official tourism Web site at nycgo.com. There you’ll find a list of popular seasonal events, including the lighting of the world’s largest menorah on December 20 and nightly performances of “The Nutcracker” by the New York City Ballet (running through December 31). Note that some of these events do carry a price tag; check nycgo.com/free for the most budget-friendly options.

Get more help planning your trip with our New York travel deals and complete New York travel guide.

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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One Response to “Travel Tip of the Week: Find Freebies in the Big Apple”

  1. Up4travel says:

    My favorite things to do — almost free — in NYC during the holidays:

    Christmas Markets: Bryant Park, Lincoln Center, Union Square (really good) and Grand Central Terminal. Free unless you buy stuff!

    Also in Grand Central Terminal: hourly laser holiday shows. Free

    Also in Grand Central Terminal: Holiday Minature Train Display — nominal fee.

    Of course, the famous holiday decorated windows at Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, and Bloomingdales

    Holiday tree at Rockefeller Center

    South Street Seaport Sparkle at the Seaport” Light Show Schedule: Monday-Friday: 5pm-10pm, every hour on the hour. Check their website for a caroling schedule

    This year, we’re adding a visit to Eataly, a 50,000 square foot Italian food emporium located on Fifth & 23rd. Free unless you choose to ingest

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