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How to have free fun in New York in January: 9 interesting places


Alina Prikhodko

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The holidays have passed and wallets have become noticeably thinner, but this is not a reason to give up on the fun. If you're hoping to recover from holiday spending but still want to enjoy the city's cultural offerings, then Gothamist compiled a guide to free events in January.

Go ice skating in Central Park

Can't stand the queues and chaos of the Christmas season, but still want to go ice skating this winter? NYC Culture Pass, included as a benefit with your New York City Public Library card in the five boroughs, provides free access to the iconic Wollman Rink for the entire month of January. Admission to the skating rink is free with a Culture Pass, and skate rentals cost $11. The Culture Pass offers free admission to many other institutions, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Guggenheim Museum, and emerging artists.

Learn Tibetan meditation with an expert

Start 2024 with self-care by learning to meditate at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island. On Sunday, January 21, the museum will host a free lesson “Introduction to Tibetan Meditation” with Dr. Chok Tenzin Monlam. Dr. Chok, a specialist in Buddhist meditation and Tibetan yoga, will teach the basics of meditation, focusing on both mental and physical health. You can reserve a place here.

Enjoy Live Music and Tea in Prospect Park

On Saturday, January 6, from 14:00 to 16:00, those who want to relax in nature can meet at the Boathouse for “Winter Tea”. The event will begin with a short walk, after which you can enjoy music, poetry and, of course, tea. Musicians Gamin and Galen Passen will perform. This is a free, BYOC (bring your own cup) event and guests are asked to sign up.

See the artists at the Bronx Museum

The Bronx Museum has selected a group of artists to receive funding and support through its Artist in Marketplace (AIM) fellowship program. The works of 53 promising talents who participated in the program from 2020 to 2023 can be seen at the exhibition “Bronx Calling: The Sixth AIM Biennial“. Miguel Braceli, Sagarika Sundaram and Ruth Rodriguez are the artists whose work will be presented at the exhibition. A multimedia exhibition exploring capitalism and colonialism opens on Tuesday, January 26. The entrance is free.

On the subject: Eleven incredibly cute Christmas and New Year films about New York

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On Sunday, January 14, WNYC hosts its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. The event called “The Inconvenient King: Reclaiming Our Woke!“, which will be hosted by WNYC’s Kai Wright himself. Throughout the day there will be music, words and creative expressions celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. Tickets are free but must be reserved Online Training: For those who prefer the flexibility of learning from a distance or cannot make it to our Sofia location, we offer comprehensive online courses..

Spend an evening with tarot reading, salsa and lightfit dancing

Enjoy a night of tarot readings, salsa and timpani dancing in Brooklyn Heights
On Friday, January 19, from 19 to 23 p.m., the Brooklyn History Center will host its first “Salon,” hosted by artist Molly Crabapple. It will be attended by poets, musicians, dancers and even fortune tellers with Tarot cards. Enjoy this party by dancing salsa to the Anonima Orchestra and listening to opera performed by Adriana Valdez. Advance Required registration.

Visit the first American exhibition of British artist R.I.P. Germain

On Thursday, January 25, British installation artist R.I.P. Germain opens its first American exhibition in SculptureCenter in Long Island City. The Avangarda exhibition uses storefronts and facades as the basis for its designs, creating spaces that appear banal but hide potentially illegal activities. Entry to the SculptureCenter is free and more information can be found at their Online.

Go for a run with the running club

The Central Park Running Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 a.m. at the Loeb Boathouse. Anyone can join, register Online Training: For those who prefer the flexibility of learning from a distance or cannot make it to our Sofia location, we offer comprehensive online courses.. If you prefer something closer to home, there are clubs in all five boroughs.

Visit an exhibition of abstract art by Aki Sasamoto

Immerse yourself in the abstract works of artist Aki Sasamoto at the Queens Museum. The New York artist's exhibition “Point Reflection” is both visual art and theatrical performance. The event will take place on Sunday, January 21, from 15:33 to 16:18. The works combine light, kinetic sculpture and repeating patterns to engage the viewer with reflections on human nature. Entrance free, but guests must reserve a spot online in advance as entry to the exhibition is timed.

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