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Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

It’s Christmas time in the City. New York City, that is.

It’s no surprise Christmas comes with a big price tag. The holidays aren’t cheap. But NYC, America’s famous pre-holiday, tinsel-covered destination infamous for it’s expensive reputation, does offer free holiday fun. Plan a budget holiday trip before December 24 and 25.  Then simply mix expensive holiday activities — Broadway’s annual production of White Christmas or a whirlwind shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue — with these five low-cost activities that’ll stretch your weekend budget further.

1. Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center

NYC’s famous, huge Christmas tree stands in Rockefeller plaza, which is also home to an ice skating rink that first opened on Christmas Day in 1936. You can rent skates for $8-9, and admission to the rink typically costs $10 for adults and $7.50 for children (although it varies slightly depending on the time of day). The ice rink is located in between 47th and 50th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues. Read More »

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New York Harbor

New York Harbor

If you’re visiting the Big Apple, take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry for gorgeous skyline views of the New York Harbor. Unlike most things in New York, it’s free. And Staten Island is much quieter than Manhattan, so if you feel the need to get away for an afternoon, grab a cup of coffee and head on board. You’ll pass right by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on the five mile journey from lower Manhattan to Staten Island.

About the Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry annually provides 20 million people with transportation between Manhattan and Staten Island. There are nine boats in the fleet, and they arrive frequently in both ports, so you shouldn’t have to wait in line long, if at all. During the week, five of the nine boats transport about 60,000 passengers a day. The ferries make about 35,000 trips every year and the boats are regularly maintained and serviced so they are perfectly safe.

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Nachos de Tomas at Professor Thom's Bar and Restaurant

Season three of True Blood is… well, about as bloody, gory, sexy and fang-tastic as it gets. For die-hard fans, missing a new episode on Sunday night bites (no pun intended). So if you’re just dying to catch the latest episode during your visit to New York City, swing by Professor Thom’s Bar & Restaurant on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street to watch for free. Read More »

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Believe it or not, there's free yoga to be had in NYC

For you yoga lovers, flowing through poses is an important weekly (if not more) ritual. But, when you’re caught in the whirlwind that is “vacation,” visiting your yoga mat can be tricky. Fortunately, if you’re visiting New York City we’ve got good news for you. In the heart of the East Village on St. Marks Place, Yoga to the People makes keeping up your yoga, while traveling, easy. The studio offers several free, hour-long classes daily where you can stop in, stretch out, and take off to continue your NYC trip. Stay at the Bowery Hotel near Yoga to the People in the East Village.

About the Classes:

Classes cater to all levels of yoga (beginning, intermediate and difficult). Whether this is your first yoga class, or you’ve been practicing for years, you’ll be challenged, encouraged and reminded to attend to your body and your breath because it’s your practice. With a free-spirited, non-competitive atmosphere, this studio epitomizes the relationship between flow and breath, between body and earth. Yoga to the People’s experienced teachers will offer you a series of flows that explore your limitations.

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You can watch free movies in Bryant Park every Monday evening.

You can watch free movies on Monday evenings in Bryant Park.

Everyone knows entertainment in NYC does not come cheap. If you’re traveling as a couple, you have to budget money for nice dinners, drinks, clubs, and shows, and costs add up just as quickly for families, who have to pay for mom, dad, and the kids. But, thanks to the city’s fantastic FREE summer movie screenings in several locations, you can have an entertaining night under the stars that won’t break the bank. Grab a sandwich to go, a blanket, an ice cream cone, and spread out, kick back and relax in these New York City parks or under these New York City skylines.

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World cup fans at Zum Schneider Restaurant & Biergarten

If you’re a sports fan and want to watch the World Cup games, but you’re on vacation in NYC, why not combine the two? There’s no better way to do that then get out on the town, and get into Zum Schneider. This little German beer bar buried south of Tompkins Square Park on Avenue C has a unique European flavor that almost makes you forget you’re in New York. With a big-screen TV, inside and outside seating, upbeat sports atmosphere and great drink specials, this place is a lower Manhattan World Cup score for soccer fans.

The Best Beer on the Menu:

Choose from a wide selection of over 20 German beers. If you’re having trouble selecting one, ask the tall blond German bartender for suggestions–he knows his stuff. My favorite is the light colored wheat beer called Weihenstephaner Weissbier. It’s most like a Blue Moon, but it has a citrus-kick and a smoother taste.

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