As I'm fending off a sinus infection on my vacation down at the Jersey Shore (yep, likely cutting it short to get to a doctor this afternoon) and the dog days of summer are finally here, an August Friday means that one of the last summer weekends lies ahead in just a few short hours. If you can't get to a beach or pool (I like to refer to my parents house and in-ground pool as my 'summer home') or escape the city at all for that matter, we've got your sightseeing tips for around the city. Oh, and did I mention they are all free? Keep your money for your new Fall wardrobe and makeup (I know I am!) and have some fun without ever opening your wallet.
Bike Rentals at South Street Seaport
Never saw Battery Park? Or any of downtown for that matter? Hop on a two wheeler and see the sights you want to see! Check out Downtown Alliance, an organization providing free bike rentals (with helmets) to New Yorkers. Available 7 days a week through September 30, Downtown Alliance offers three 2.5 hour sessions per day. Since there are only 30 bikes per session, it's first come, first serve. Be sure to make your reservations at least one day in advance. Though biking in New York has always been a point of fear for me, this seems like a fairly tame way to see as much of New York as possible, for free. I think as long as I stay on side streets, I'll be ok.
Central Park Film Festival
Head on over to Rumsey Playfield to catch the end of this week-long film festival, where public screenings of popular films are shown. Screenings are free and start at 8pm, though gates open at 6pm. Tonight you can catch Twilight while tomorrow is viewer's choice, where viewers vote between Men in Black (seriously?), Goldfinger (my vote), and Desperately Seeking Susan. While the films may not all be cinematic masterpieces (earlier this week they screened Sex & the City, Shaft, and Ocean's Eleven), there's just something fabulous about curling up on a blanket and watching a movie in Central Park.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Available until mid-October, this free kayaking experience is provided by the New York City Downtown Boathouse. Located at various locations, just walk up to the pier, rent your kayak and go. The provide the kayak, paddles & paddling tips, and life jacket - you provide the ability to swim. Best part? Not a big commitment, as the kayak sessions last a mere 20 minutes. There is a three-hour tour option, but then you probably wouldn't have time for biking and movie viewing!
Has anyone else found free entertainment around the city? If so, please share in comments or as a guest entry! Enjoy!