That one can easily spend money in New York City is common knowledge. Thankfully, the city that never sleeps has free and low-cost attractions and entertainment as well. If you’re traveling on a budget or just relish in the opportunity to enjoy free experiences, here are some Central Brooklyn spaces where you can experience Brooklyn culture without spending a dime.
BRIC Arts Media hosts events, performances, and free art exhibitions. BRIC seeks to display art from a diverse range of views and cultural backgrounds in its Rotunda Gallery, house hallway, and cafe. BRIC’s gallery, a 15-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn, is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6pm.
647 Fulton Street; (718) 855-7882
Esteemed as a leader in cutting edge performing arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s seven-performance spaces host hundreds of concerts, theatre performances, and other events each year. Included among these is a series of free concerts called BAMCafe Live. Between September and May, 75 shows are held on Friday and Saturday nights. BAMCafe Live is held in the Peter Jay Sharp Building’s Lepercq Space, a 15-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
30 Lafayette Avenue; (718) 636-4100
This 51-acre botanical garden, consistently ranked one of the world’s finest, counts 12,000 plant species among its inhabitants. The Native Flora Garden is one of the best places to get a feel for Brooklyn’s ecology. Admission is free for guests of all ages all day on Tuesday (8am to 6pm) and from 10am to 12pm on Saturday. Senior citizens also get in for free on Fridays.
900 Washington Avenue; (718) 623-7200
This marvel of engineering history is one of the most recognizable structures in New York. Within walking distance of NU Hotel, crossing the bridge is an experience marked by stunning views of downtown Brooklyn, downtown Manhattan, Governors Island, and the Statue of Liberty. The pedestrian access point for the Brooklyn side of the bridge is a 15-minute walk from NU Hotel at Cadman Plaza.
Cadman Plaza E and Prospect Street
A popular place for New Yorkers to grill out, play sports, and take wedding photographs, Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the city’s most beloved green spaces. It’s also played an important role in the city’s history. In 1642, New York’s first ferry landing opened up on what is now a world-class public park. As a visitor, you can soak up stunning views, enjoy ice cream or pizza, play bocce ball, stroll through gardens, and people watch. Whatever you’re doing, you’ll have a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty as your backdrop.
334 Furman Street; (718) 222-9939
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, a museum and the yard’s biggest attraction, showcases the history of one of the country’s most active navy shipyards. Brooklyn Navy Yard is home to numerous other historic structures, landmarks, cultural, and ecological attractions, as well as the popular Kings County Distillery. The museum is open with free entry Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6pm.
63 Flushing Avenue; (718) 907-4932
In the heart of Central Brooklyn’s bustling office campus is a pleasant green space called MetroTech Commons. The Commons plays host to outdoor fairs and a music festival (sponsored by BAM), as well as temporary and permanent art installations. Spencer Finch’s “Lost Man Creek,” a scaled-down replica of a Redwood National Forest glen, is on display from now through March 2018. Finch’s art exhibit is a ten-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
1 MetroTech Center