Think you can’t have fun in The City unless you’re 21 years old? Please, that’s what people tried to tell me. That’s why I started PROJECT 21:21:21.
So here are 21 things everyone can do for less than $21 without needing to be 21 years old. Thank me later.
1. When in doubt…EAT. There’s so many amazing places to eat and especially in areas like Chinatown where you can get a lot of food for very little. We got both of our meals with an appetizer for under $20. POW.
2. Get in touch with your cultured side and go to a museum! They’re everywhere and several are open late. The Natural History and Rubin Museum stay open until 10pm and are free to Google employees. The Brooklyn Museum is free for students (maybe only for those with an NYU ID). Well under $21.
4. Of course, entering the park is free and the Summer Series shows are…wait for it…FREE! Save your money and grab some snacks at the street vendors that are everywhere. Other concerts that are free include the Today Show morning series and the Good Morning America Concert Series.
5. Walk the Highline in Chelsea. I know it’s hot, but the Highline is such a beautiful place and is one of the few areas in the city that has greenery. The Highline is an above ground park that is free :)
6. Comedy Clubs—they’re usually geared for the 18+ crowd and if you go on the right night they’re free!
7. Coney Island—okay this one could easily go over $21 but depends on what you want to do. We weren’t really in the mood to go on any rides, so we spent more time at the beach. The beach was free, snacks range between $3 and $10, and the New York Aquarium next door is $10 [or $5 if you’ve got the military hookup], so it still makes the list!
8. World Trade Center Memorial is a stop you just have to make. I went on Memorial Day and it was a great remembrance of 9/11. The memorial is free.
9. Parades are FREE and fun! The Puerto Rican Day Parade lasted all day last month. The Mermaid Parade was last weekend, which is just so hipster-like <3; and the NYC Pride Parade is this weekend! I can’t wait, we’re going shopping this weekend!
10. I was so thrilled to see Alvin Ailey Dance company perform for a mere $15! We received a student discount and our seats weren’t even nosebleeds! In fact they were great! There are several dance performances and off-Broadway tickets that you can purchase cheaply.
11. A few of us went to a restaurant called, Groove NYC, that also has live music. The woman who performed was Alicia Keys’ backup singer so she was amazing! We couldn’t leave our seats! You pay for your food and tip extra as much as you want for the great music.
12. Williamsburg is Austin times 10. SO MANY HIPSTERS AND AMAZING RESTAURANTS I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE. That’s where Smorgasburg takes place every Saturday (refer to previous post to learn about Smorgasburg).
13. Being in NYC means there are many free film screenings! See the film before anyone else and without a charge.
14. Find a rooftop and enjoy! There’s no bad view in the city and believe it or not, above the ground there is actually a breeze. Whether you’re throwing a party or reading a book, have fun!
15. Serendipity—seriously went here for the first time today and nearly fell out my seat enjoying this salted caramel frozen hot chocolate. The place has every dessert you could ask for and it’s divine! Split your dessert or take some home, you’ll still fall under $21.
16. Intern parties are very popular, especially in the summer. If it costs more than $21, it’s probably not worth going.
17. So if you’re a real trooper, enjoy walking the Brooklyn Bridge! Go you! If you’re like myself and all my friends, just go ahead and take the subway over to Brooklyn and then enjoy the views. There are several nice restaurants and outdoor activities, like biking, in the area so it’s the perfect place for a nice day. And I didn’t pay more than $21!
18. After your great day in Brooklyn, if you still don’t want to walk the entire bridge (I just wasn’t feeling it) I recommend taking the ferry! The ferry costs $4 and stops at several places on the Brooklyn and Manhattan coast. We ventured during sunset so the views and weather were ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! What’s better than the Manhattan skyline at dusk?
19. Play with cute kids! Okay, only if you know them. I interact with adults all of the time, including back at school, so I love playing with my little cousins. They’re the cutest!
20. Sit down and enjoy Bryant Park. In the heart of the Times Square area, Bryant Park has a stage for performances, small delis, a carousel, and I hear in the winter there is a skating rink. I sometimes forget to sit because the city’s so exciting, but it’s also too gorgeous not to calmly enjoy.
21. Bars…I’ll explain. This is on the list because you can get into several bars and just not drink. How else was I going to watch the NBA Finals?
If you have any other suggestions please comment below, hope this helps!