New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the world; hence, New Yorker’s love a good deal. Yet Valentine’s Day is all about spending money, right? Well, stats from 2015 show that nearly $19 billion is spent on jewelry, candy and the like, during the holiday of love, but that’s not a requirement. Those who celebrate the holiday do so because they want to honor and acknowledge the ones they love, and as the Beatles famously said in their hit song, it’s not something that can be bought. However, you can still get creative and have fun without spending a dime. In NYC, there’s something for every couple.


  1. For Bookworms
    If you love reading as much as you love your partner, this event is for you. Literary couples Alice Sola Kim and Isaac Fitzgerald, along with Jessie and Brendan Kelly, will conduct a reading and discussion on V Day, at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Hosted by the Franklin Park Reading Series, this event brings together award-winning writers who are also in love, to talk about their love of books and how they balance writing with romance. And it’s free. The event begins at 7pm, doors open at 6:30. Register on Eventbrite.

  2. For The Life of the Party
    If you idea of romance is dancing the night away, you’re in luck. To celebrate culimination of the renowned New York Fashion Week, Art Hearts Fashion is throwing a party at the Attic Rooftop & Lounge. All registrants are free to bring a +1, and even though Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday this year, the soiree is going all night, with an official end time of 3:30am. Be sure to dress to impress; it is a fashion party after all.

    For a more relaxed environment, head downtown to Haus Nightclub’s MiCrush Valentine’s Day Bash, where they promise to celebrate love “latino style.” Sounds fun!

  3. For Music Lovers

    What’s more romantic than music? How about live music from 4 young ladies who makeup the band Genghis Barbie. Each member of the quartet plays french horn, and specialize in classical music. Because the event, which takes place at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, is free, admission will be is on a first-come, first-served basis. Check out one of their performances here.
  4. For Foodies

    Yes, there’s free food in NYC, but there’s a caveat. Kenka! the Japanese restaurant located in the East Village has a Jumbo Curry food challenge which involves: 4 pounds of food (2 pounds of curry, 2 pounds of white rice), which must be consumed in less than 20 minutes. If you and your date can handle that, the meal is free. Plus, you get a t-shirt (who doesn’t love free t-shirts?), and inducted into the wall of fame. While each of you will have to complete the challenge separately to win, if you can’t make it through, it’s just $25, and that’s much cheaper than most meals during the day of love.

  5. For Homebodies

    In a place like NYC, sometimes simply being at home is the best option. So, if you don’t want to go out into the cold and fight with 8 million others over tables, shows, or even the sidewalk, consider a little Netflix and chill. Movie nights are never a bad idea. Even better, right now Hulu is offering a 45-day free trial, so you can binge on the weekend too!


There you have it: V Day for free! What’s more, you don’t have be in love to enjoy any of this. Show yourself some love for the day, and you may even meet someone while out and about. Anything’s possible!


Follow Avraham Glattman on Twitter at @RayGlattman.