16 Free, Cheap & Exciting Ideas For Your End Of Summer Bucket List

16 Free, Cheap & Exciting Ideas For Your End Of Summer Bucket List
Coney Island

The end of summer is nigh, as public school students report for roll call on September 9. The question now is: How do we make the most of the remaining summer days?

We’ve created a bucket list of exciting free or cheap activities for you and the kids. Which is your favorite must-do summer activity?

Cheap and Free
1. NYC public swimming pools are open and free through Labor Day, and some locations even serve free healthy lunches for kids. Make sure to check out pool rules before you go.

IKEA Ferry

2. Enjoy the water without getting wet on the IKEA Ferry between Red Hook and Pier 11. The $5 transportation fee can be applied to products at the store.

3. More of a landlubber? Check out the Tree House Installation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Admission is free on Tuesdays.

4. Enjoy an outdoor movie. The Friends of Greenwood Playground are hosting a screening of Finding Nemo at the handball courts on Fort Hamilton/E 5th Street on Sunday, August 25 at 8pm. The last Flicks on the Beach event at Coney Island is “Little Fugitive” on August 27. Free summer movies sponsored by NYC Parks continue through September 6.

5. Sample a variety of Caribbean food at the West Indian Day Parade. Events begin Thursday, August 29 culminating with the parade down Eastern Parkway at 11am on Labor Day.

Prospect Park Carousel

6. Frolic in our neighborhood greenspace, Prospect Park. The carousel offers free rides on Thursdays in August for kids under 12. Otherwise a ride is $2, or $9 for a book of five rides. Other free Prospect Park activities include volunteering for park maintenance with the Wednesday or Thursday Corps, rowing (on Saturdays, August 24 and September 7), or creating a nature journal (Thursdays and Fridays through the end of August).

Coney Island Cyclone

Take the Q, B, F, or D to Coney Island
7. Splash in the water at New York City’s playground, Coney Island, or visit one of its main attractions.

8. The New York Aquarium is open while moving forward with its 3-year, post-Sandy improvement plan. The state-of-the-art Aquatheater hosts daily sea lion performances, weather permitting.

9. Deno’s Wonder Wheel’s Kiddie Park opens at 11am, an hour earlier than the rest of the amusement park. Luna Park is open every day through Labor Day.


10. The Brooklyn Cyclones’ last home game will be Sunday “Funday” September 1. Fans are welcome on the field for a pre-game catch; kids can run the bases after the game. Can’t make it on Sunday? The Cyclones host fireworks after every Friday and Saturday home game.

Manhattan View

Day Trips By Borough
11. Enjoy the view, but not the hustle and bustle, of Manhattan by taking a free ferry to Governors Island. Our very own Brooklyn ARTery is there each weekend hosting drop-in classes and, last weekend, handing out s’mores.

12. The free Staten Island Ferry docks just steps from the Staten Island Yankees stadium.

13. Looking for an alternative to baseball? Historic Richmond’s traditional county fair, complete with farm animals, is open all Labor Day weekend.

14. For a taste more rural than a county fair, visit New York City’s “largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland.” The Queens County Farm Museum reaps 10 dozen eggs daily from its rare, heritage laying hens.

15. For neighbors interested in horticulture rather than animal husbandry, the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx has tips for urban gardeners. Learn how to put your garden to bed at their Home Gardening Center.

Sycamore Flower Shop

Start Learning Before School Begins
16. Before summer ends, hang with neighbors willing to share their handy skills. Bring home a custom bouquet after attending Stems Flower Shop’s flower arranging workshop, the only class whose fee includes 2 drinks. Throughout Brooklyn you’ll find classes like blowing glass, silk painting, or knitting mittens.

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