It's almost the weekend, but who wants to wait until then when you can do free stuff right now:
Lincoln Center? Free? - Target Free Thursdays - Because Target makes a ridiculous amount of money, they hook up the little people (us) by providing free stuff like free concerts at Lincoln Center or Free Fridays at MoMA. The shows take place in the new David Rubenstein Atrium and include performances from their jazz, chamber music, and Juilliard schools, but also mix in some latin, pop, spoken word, and dancing. Check the calendar to see what's going on tonight. Btw, the atrium is pretty cool in and of itself (you know, on other days): free wi-fi, a TKTS of sort for same-day discounted Lincoln Center performances, and its very own 'wichcraft. And who doesn't love 'wichcraft? Broadway at 65th. 212-875-5000
Afternoon Delight - Trinity Church - If you can't make it to McDonald's on Broadway at Cortlandt St (you know they have a baby grand upstairs and a professional pianist plays every weekday lunch, right?) then walk down another few blocks to Wall Street and hang out at Trinity Church. Every Thursday at 1pm, they hold an hour long classical recital. Great music and a great venue. Broadway at Wall Street. 212-602-0870
Designers and cool people - IDNY Meetup - This is a unique social networking group that gathers designers, architects, and other fans of scale models and autocad and stuff. Once a month (on the second Thursday), about 300 people gather together at a different location somewhere in Manhattan. They discuss innovative designs, talk about new technologies and ideas, and drink and mingle. It's fun. You should go. Various locations.
Act Your Shoe Size, Not Your Age - Brooklyn Children's Museum - This was the first children's museum in the world. And it's still the best. It's interactive and engages your kids, from toddlers to teenagers. Even adults like it. Be sure to bring an extra set of clothes for the kids because they'll definitely be playing in the water section. The museum is free from 5 to 7:30pm on the third Thursday of the month (and 2 to 5pm on the 2nd and 4th full weekends too). 145 Brooklyn Ave at St. Marks Ave. 718-735-4400
You won't bring this girl home to meet your parents - Nurse Bettie - This Lower East Side Burlesque show brings in a huge crowd every Wednesday and Thursday night because not only is there no cover* but you also get your first beer for free* too. The * there is because it's only free if you know the password. You can get the password on twitter a few hours before the show, which starts around 10pm. 106 Norfolk Street, b/t Delancey and Houston. 212-477-7515
Ok. These next two things are Pay What You Wish. So although they're technically not free, they're close enough. Don't feel bad about paying in silver change. Just keep your eyes on the sidewalk on the way there, you'll find your entry fee.
It's not just Finger Paintings - Children's Museum of the Arts - This place is basically for kids between 2 and 10, so don't bring your college kids here for their art projects. The main purpose of this place is to provide kids with every art supply you can think of and see what they come up with. From painting to sculpting to making costumes. They also have exhibitions to look at too. The place is pay-what-you-wish from 4-6pm on Thursdays. 182 Lafayette Street, b/t Broome and Grand. 212-274-0986
MoMA + Cooper Hewitt = Museum of Arts and Design - This is seven floors of modern art made of everything from bugs to glass to wood. Sometimes trippy, sometimes weird, but always worth it on a pay-what-you-wish day, which is Thursday from 6 to 9pm. Located right on Columbus Circle, with a decent restaurant on the 7th floor which gives you a sweet view up Broadway. 2 Columbus Circle. 212-299-7777
Do you know of something else that should be on this list? Leave it in the comments and I'll check it out and add it.
And if you think those are all pretty lame, check out these other NYC free events available every day!