Ray Glattman NYCAs most New Yorkers will tell you, living here can really put in a dent in your bank account. With all the wonderful things to do and try, the ability and potential to spend is so much greater here than many other places in the country. That is, overall, a testament to the number of amazing things to explore and indicative of how exciting and engaging it can be to live here. However, sometimes it is nice to know you can close your wallet and still enjoy some uniquely NYC activities. Here are five things you should make time to enjoy that will not cost you a penny.

Splish, Splash, and Kayak

In the warm summer months, many of New York City’s piers (in Manhattan and in Brooklyn) offer the ability to kayak for free. All you need to do is make a trip to the participating pier of your choice, sign a waver, slip on a lifejacket, and have fun! If it is not too busy, you can often even stay on the water for longer than the typical 20 minute time limit. Paddling the Hudson is sure to give you a whole new perspective on your great city. Piers can even include changing rooms, lockers, and sunscreen – all free of charge! If you can afford it, be sure to show your gratitude by donating.

Slip on Your Skates

As the borough that is arguably transforming the fastest into a hotspot in nearly every sense of the word, Brooklyn has a ton of excellent things to offer. For people interesting in ditching sneakers for something a little more colorful, Brooklyn Bridge Park provides several free skating sessions. All you need is our own pair of skates! For those who might not own a pair, you can also just rent some for $6. The park gorgeous, well-manicured, and an ideal place for some fun. The Pier 2 Roller Rink website has all the information you need.

Take in the Opera

One of the greatest international draws for visitors to New York City is the expansive collection of cultural institutions here that are among the best in the world. It is unfortunate that many times, the average New Yorker might not have the time or the money to really take full advantage of them all. However, the Metropolitan Opera  puts on a Summer HD Festival at the end of each summer, screening 10 performances for free over the course of two weeks. This occurs outside of the Met. The seating policy is first-come, first-serve and the opera selection is pretty varied.