The Best Budget Activities for Every New Yorker
Every New Yorker is conscious of their budget—well, except the big wigs working on Wall Street. But for the rest of us who are living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, we’re always looking to strike that balance between fun and cost efficiency. But just because you splurged on that concert last month doesn’t mean you can’t do a fun activity on the cheap! Here are some picks for the best budget activities for every New Yorker.

Fence your friends.

A high-energy workout that doubles as a badass fencing class? Touché. In this trial and introductory course, you’ll study under a fencing master to learn the basic technical and tactical exercises designed to accelerate your fencing development, as well as activities that will test your strength, flexibility and speed. Fencing equipment is provided, so just put on some gym clothes and come to class prepared to work!

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Learn the art of Japanese ink wash painting.

japanese culture
japanese art

Practiced for over one-thousand years in Japan, Sumi-e—the art of ink wash painting—tries to capture the spirit or essence of an object rather than how it appears to the world. An artform admired by greats like Van Gogh, Sumi-e is a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing and affordable evening. The challenge of ink wash painting is to use as few brush strokes as possible, so conserve your artistic energy, choose wisely and learn the art of Sumi-e.

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Study Krav Maga for beginners.

martial arts

A free Israeli self-defense class? Sign us up! Designed for beginners and people with little to no prior experience, your instructors will take you through the basics of punches, heel strikes, kicks, releases and chokeholds. And to make this class applicable to the real world, you will also learn proper falling and rolling techniques to be used in a concrete environment.

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Practice your public speaking.

public speaking

Brush up on your elocution skills with this free (yes, FREE) public speaking class. Whether you need to overcome your stage fright or prep a best man’s speech, the class and program is tailored to your specific needs from the good people at Zenspeak. The class is intended for those who are looking to continue in the program, however, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to sign up.

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Tour Soho for a low-key date.

NYC landmarks

Mix up the same old dinner and a movie routine for a date night that won’t break the bank with this interactive walking tour of Soho. This scavenger hunt can be played at your convenience with your date or friends by downloading the Stray Boots app for your smartphone. From there, the app will take you to see an art gallery in SoHo, play with puppies at a little shop and enjoy tasty treats in the Village's cutest nooks and crannies. A very fun—and affordable!—tour for two or more.

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See future A-listers at the A-List comedy set.

stand up

Featuring some of the city’s hottest and most in-demand stand-up comedians and comediennes, Eastville Comedy Club’s “The A-List” is sure to make you bust a gut. Considered a must-see, never-miss show, cheapskates and comedy fans alike love making the trip to the Bowery to see this free and hilarious show. Relax, sit back and enjoy a drink—just don’t blame us if you end up spitting it out while laughing too hard!

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Try this impromptu intro to improv.


Can’t tell a story to save your life? Too nervous to riff with co-workers at the office? It’s not that you’re not funny—you just haven’t figured out how to unleash your funny side. With this improv class, you’ll learn how to loosen up and say “yes, please” to new ideas and experiences. At the Magnet Improv, you’ll develop skills to play with other amateur improvisers that you can also take with you for everyday life.

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You sure play a mean pinball!


Ready to throwback to the days when you spent your weekly allowance at your local arcade? Enjoy an hour of unlimited pinball with this cheap pass—no more fumbling with coins or tokens when you lose your pinball Your pass also comes with in-and-out privileges, so it’s easy to pop out for food or drink and then come back to take your title as pinball champion.

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Beginner tango for any adventurous twosome.

drinking and dancing

Wish you could wow your friends at parties with your stellar dance moves, but your go-to move is the Sprinkler? Don’t worry: you can always learn the art of the tango. Grab a partner and begin your dance journey with this beginner class where you’ll study the basic steps to gracefully glide across the dance floor. Even if you need more than just one class to pick up the moves, you’ll leave this one with the confidence to move like Jagger on the dance floor—albeit, with an Argentine twist.

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Ride a bike through Central Park.


No, not the café on Friends—NYC’s famous gigantic park right in the middle of Manhattan! With over 843 acres, 47 paths, hills and some of NYC’s best scenery, you can enjoy a relaxing ride or blaze a trail through the paths to discover historic and landmark sites. Unlike Citibikes, Central Park Sightseeing can hook you up with racers, mountain bikes, hybrids, children’s bicycles and more—whatever you need for a day out in the park.

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Live the foodie experience through Greenwich Village.


Greenwich Village has one of the richest, oldest and most diverse cuisine scenes in all of New York and these locals want to show you around: for free! On this walking tour, you only pay for anything you’d like to sample, from Mediterranean delicacies and desserts to classic New York-style pizza. For those with special dietary requirements, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan samplings at each stop. Wipe the drool from your mouth and book a tour already!

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Cosplay and prop-making for caped crusaders.

comic con

Even if you’re not working on your superhero costume at the moment, you may want to take this home economics–inspired class with Resobox. Under their guidance, you’ll learn how to spot and choose the perfect fabric and color combinations to bring your favorite character’s costume to life. A great class to take before Halloween season approaches, you won’t regret learning these sewing and construction skills in years to come.

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