I get it. New York City is expensive. Living here my whole life (I am originally from Williamsburg) I know. But going out with your friends does not have to break the bank. There is no reason why you cannot find plenty of free and cheap things to do in Brooklyn.
Last weekend I had the chance to hang out with a few girlfriends. Our only goal in life was to do something that wouldn’t break the bank. With $10 in my pocket we set out on an adventure to see if we could pull off a fun girl’s day that did not put our accounts in overdraft.
You want free and cheap in Brooklyn. I got you. We managed to make five stops including lunch. And I only spent $2. You cannot get better than that.
Top 5 Free and Cheap Things in Brooklyn
First Stop: Brooklyn Bridge
With coffee in hand (that I brought from home of course) we started our day at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. It was a beautiful day so the bridge was already buzzing.
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge can be exciting (dodging those crazy cyclists. I can say that. I am one of them), breathtaking (the views are to die for) and cliche (I mean how many pics have you seen on Instagram).
Side Note: Looking for that instaworthy shot. Make sure to get there early. I am talking sunrise early. Hey you might run into one of your favorite bloggers.
Tip: This only of of many of the Best Instagram Spots in NYC. Spend a little time here. Get the shot. And plan on coming back later for magic hour.
The Brooklyn Bridge can be a very fund and crowded experience depending on the time of day however the most amazing thing about it is it is FREE. Definitely fits in with my free and cheap in Brooklyn criteria. After walking the bridge, doing a little photoshoot and arriving in Brooklyn we still each had $10 in our pocket.
Second Stop: Jane’s Carousel
Ok. So we may have been the only adults with no kids there but we couldn’t resist. I mean a carousel in Brooklyn with an amazing view of the city skyline. Count me in. The best part is the ride is only $2. I can afford that.
In the summer the carousel if open everyday except for Tuesday. During the winter the carousel is only open from Thursday-Sunday. Make sure to check the schedule before you go. Because we went on a Saturday it was a bit busy but it is was the best $2 I have spent in a long time.
Being our silly selves we took a million selfies (none of which will make an appearance because they were terrible), giggled until we couldn’t breathe and transported ourselves to our childhood. I cannot recommend doing this enough. It was a lot of fun. At this point we are down to $8. We are doing ok. Still staying on budget.
Third Stop: Lunch
So there are a ton of cute cafe’s and amazing restaurants in the area but the problem is that they can be expensive. You can grab a table at Juliana’s (if you are willing to wait) or Riverside Cafe is another great option but being that we only had $8 each we had to be smart about our lunch options. I personally packed my own lunch but if you are looking for a budget-friendly option in the area here are my top five picks that will not break the bank.
Skip the lines at Juliana’s and Grimaldi’s and head over the Front Street Pizza where you can grab a slice starting at $3. Or treat yourself to a Sausage and Pepper roll for $6. Hmmm yum. They have a ton of other options as well but if you are looking for a quick bite this is your spot.
Depending on a budget you can go for a burger, fries or go all out and get the burger, shake and fries. I personally order a burger, split a side of fries and skip the shake because I don’t do dairy. If the weather is nice make sure to take it to go because. There is nothing better than a burger and fries with an amazing view.
If you are craving a little Middle Eastern cuisine in your life then this your place. There are a ton of options for under $10. And a lot of variety so I am sure you will find something you love. Try the Chicken Shawarma or the Hummus Plate. This place definitely has a little bit of something for everyone.
I love me a good Cuban Sandwich and for $9 this place packs their Cuban with all the yummy goodness. Platters including rice, beans are roughly around $10 but are filling so you can you easily split them depending on how hungry you are.
If you are exploring during the week this is a great spot to checks. The food trucks are there on weekdays between 11am-3pm so perfect stop for lunch. However prices are relatively reasonable and the variety is amazing. So if your group is completely undecided I would highly recommend checking out the food trucks.
Fourth Stop: Brooklyn Bridge Park
With lunch goodies in hand the next stop is Brooklyn Bridge Park. I love this place. I mean the views are amazing. It is impossible to find a bad view here. We found a spot. Got comfortable and went in on lunch. I may or may not have taken a nap.
Just a side note. In the summer time Brooklyn Bridge Park has a lot of great activities for free including free movies and concerts. I will make sure to put together a list of fun and free things to do so be sure to keep an eye out. After lunch we continued to explore the park and finally made our way to our last stop.
Fifth Stop: Brooklyn Heights
After lunch we decided to continue our explorations and take a walk through Brooklyn Heights. Walking through Brooklyn Heights brings so many emotions for me.
This is soooo pretty. I need to take all the pictures.
I want to live here. Why don’t I live here.
Wow that house costs a gazillion dollars. Errrr, I cannot afford that.
Just wow. I only have a few dollars left in my pocket.
It costs nothing to get lost on the streets of Brooklyn Heights. Not only are there a wealth of photo ops but the history is amazing.
As we were walking we stumbled upon Grace Court Alley. It is a dead end alley with no street sign and it was a pretty awesome discovery. Grace Court Alley was originally a horse stable alley used by the Remsen family, who lived in a nearby mansion. Its name came from Grace Church, built across the street from the alley in 1847. Now the stables are residential.
If you’re in the market and have about $8.5 million lying around there is currently a listing for 6 Grace Court Alley. If anyone is interested in contributing to my house fund I am all for it. I promise you can come over anytime you want.
I didn’t know how confident I was about setting out on a girls days with only $10 but we were successful. Who am I kidding? I had this plan all along. Hehe. You know I love free and cheap.
Looking for a little bit more adventure without going far. Check out our ideas for best day trips from NYC.
I had an amazing time and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything because of my budget. My goal was to come up with some things to do that were free and cheap in Brooklyn and it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. We had so much fun and I still have $8 in my pocket. I guess I will save it for my next adventure or a glass of wine at my favorite rooftop happy hour spot.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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