The Best NYC Activities Under $6

Everyone has those days: when your brain wants to go out but your bank account is begging you to stay in. Living in New York City means never ending temptation to spend money on every corner when you leave your apartment. Luckily, there are hidden gems for college students to get out for the day, while spending little to no money -  aside from your $5 round-trip subway fare (because let's face it, walking is really hard.)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art ($1 Donation)

Personally, I could spend a week straight in the MET and I wouldn’t even cover half of what is has to offer. This museum offers students entry with “donation”, which means you can donate as low as a dollar. That dollar gains you entry to floors of art ranging from Greek sculpture, modern photography, ancient Egyptian tombs, costume exhibits, temples, and more. My absolute must-see are the Period Rooms which were taken from royal palaces and reconstructed into the museum. While there is a cafe inside, I recommend pulling a "Gossip Girl" and eating a pre-packed lunch on the steps. It is impossible to see everything, so you will not be leaving due to boredom, but rather your feet hurt from walking too much. (Also did I mention: sooo many insta photo opportunities).

MOMA (Free for Select Students)

MOMA offers discount prices to college students, and for some schools like FIT, it is even free admission (so make sure you ask about your school)! While MOMA is much smaller than the MET at only four floors, it is still a day worth of breathtaking art and lots of insta-worthy-photo opportunities. The museum showcases work from famous artists including Matisse, Picasso, and even Van Gogh’s Starry Night on display, which never fails to bring me to tears. There are also more modern, lesser known artists and constantly changing interactive presentations utilizing video, sound, and projections. MOMA will leave you feeling inspired and intrigued, and also editing all your photos on the train home.

The Highline (Free)

Walking the Highline is one way to remove yourself from the craziness of the city. This path was created on top of old railroad tracks above the city, letting you walk through gardens over the busy streets of Chelsea, overlooking the river. These two miles are filled with gardens, sprinklers for running through, beds for laying out, vendors, benches, sculptures, see-saws, and of course photo opportunities. Pack a lunch and sit down to people watch everyone from lost tourists to busy locals below you. With the breeze in your hair and the city below you, it is the best way to re-connect, relax, exercise, and get some fresh air in the city.

Natural History Museum ($1 Donation)

Dinosaurs - what more do I have to say? The Natural History Museum is basically the history version of the MET. Like the MET, they only require a donation to get in, meaning you can give as little as a dollar for floors upon floors of dinosaurs, planets, butterfly exhibits and more. Relive your “Night at the Museum” fantasies by tracking down DUM DUM (don’t give him gum gum though, you’ll get kicked out). Or you can spend the day in awe of the rooms full of dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian tombs, ancient art, and more. The Butterfly Conservatory, open during select seasons, is my absolute favorite, although it is an extra cost (but totally worth it). It allows you to enter a room filled with over 500 free-flying butterflies dancing around and landing on you. However, if you’re planning to stay with that $1 budget, you cannot go wrong with planets and dinosaurs, I mean, they’re dinosaurs.

Staten Island Ferry (Free)

The Staten Island Ferry is a 20 minute Ferry Ride leaving every 30 minutes from Whitehall Station. This commuter ferry has a secret purpose: it passes the Statue of Liberty. If you’ve been dying to get close to Lady Liberty, but don’t want to pay the high tourist price, hop on the short ferry ride. Standing outside on a nice summer day will also give amazing photos of not only the statue, but the NYC skyline.