Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding FREE Things to Do in NYC With a Two Year Old

I live in New York City. As you may know, it's one of the most expensive places to live in the world. My boyfriend and I do not make much money at all. In fact, at this very moment, I have about oh...$10 to my name. Not that you needed to know that, but it's true.

Unlike many mothers in this town, I don't have money to spend on fancy classes for my kid, i.e. tumbling, sing-a-longs, martial arts and other similar fun sounding yet expensive activities.

So what do we do everyday, you might ask? We do whatever is free! But, I'm getting bored of all the free stuff. I need more ideas for things to do with a 2 1/2 year old that do not cost any money. Can you help me out? Here are a list of the things we already do:
  • Toddler Time at the library
  • Go to the playground
  • Playdates
  • The Botanic Gardens on days when it's free
  • The park
And...that's about it. Any ideas for more things to do in NYC with a 2 year old that are free? Let me know!


  1. I would say check out free events that are NOT daily like the park. There was the free concert series in NYC and some are kid friendly. The subway costs, and I learned that sometimes transportation is even more than expect, which makes it tough, but we are planning on going into the city from Far Rockaway, so maybe you can swing it? I'm sure there has to be a site for stuff like that! People keep telling me about the meetup site but I only found things in NYC. :(

  2. Things can be expensive. I do the zoo or museums here in DC. Good luck!

  3. Instead of asking for clothes or toys for birthdays or christmas presents (both for him and for us), we asked sam's grandparents and others for family memberships to the museums/zoos around the city (AMNH, children's museum of manhattan or brooklyn, bronx zoo/prospect park zoo/central park zoo, etc.). This has been awesome as it gives people something nice to get us all as presents other than a check or some clothes or books for sam that he will grow out of, and it then gets us in to all these places for free!

  4. I feel for ya! We are in the same boat here. Fortunately, one of our local news stations posts free or very inexpensive family events on the weekends. There should be some sort of website you can check out. Just google free activities in NYC.

  5. Cordy - Yeah. I need to take him to free events, that's true. I tried looking up stuff for today, but instead, I just drove up and visited LEIGH!

    Saul- That's an awesome idea! I'm definitely going to start doing that. My parents got me an individual membership to the botanic garden for Mother's Day one year, but it lapsed and I never renewed it :(. But that's an excellent idea, very resourceful of you!

    Mental Mom- Yeah, I tried haphazardly doing that today, but I didn't try all THAT hard. LOL! I will try harder.

  6. My kids did (and still do ) love The New York Hall of Science.It is free on Fridays 2pm-5pm and on Sundays 10am-11am June to September (excluding July & August).On a cold,rainy Sunday we can get in at 10:30am and spend several hours there for free.There is stuff to do for toddlers as well.
    Also, Children's Museum of Manhattan has Target Free First Fridays:
    On the first Friday of every month admission is free from 5 – 8pm, sponsored by Target.(My kids,unfortunately , are too big for this one,but Ari will enjoy)If I'll think of something else,I will add later on.Hope it helps.

  7. Meetup.com is great, I found a mommy group through them...but there are countless groups! I used to be in a group for Italian Greyhound owners, and we'd meet up so our dogs could run at the park.

    Ask your library also. Our libraries have passes to all the museums, the Chinese Gardens, and the Japanese Gardes.

  8. Amanda- Yeah! I never really tried Meetup. I have a friend who loves it. I should try.

    Evelyn- I didn't know that about the NY Hall of Science. That's not the Queens one is it? I have to check it out!

  9. Yes,it is the Queens one.It is large,I do not remember if it is 3 or 4 floors.The have a small planetarium inside with the movie showing ,for the smaller kids they do have a puppet shows and arts and crafts projects .You will be pleasantly surprised.

  10. Oh! Great! I'm definitely going to check it out!


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