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The Perfect (and budget friendly) Day in the City

If you get the winter blues like I do, I’m sure you’re more than eager to finally put away the snow boots, break out the Keds and Sperrys and veg out in Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Are you worried that new pair of Hunter boots you have saved in your cart for all the rain and melting snow this Spring means you won’t be able to afford those fun day trips into the city? Don’t stress. There’s plenty of awesome, cheap and sometimes free things that you can find to do on your perfect day out.

It might be early, but it’s always worth a shot. You should try your luck at getting tickets to shows like “The Chew”, “Good Morning America”, “The View” and “Live with Kelly and Michael”. I’ve been lucky enough to see “The View” when Sam Smith performed and gave copies of his album to the audience and “Live with Kelly and Michael”, when Tina Fey was a guest! Sometimes if you’re lucky enough the audience can get some sweet freebies, like last year when we got $200 Target gift cards as audience members of “The View”. Tickets are free and can be requested on 1iota.com, they’ll contact you when they have available tickets for you and up to 3 other guests.

If waking up early and waiting online for a show taping isn’t for you (or you need a pickup after rocking out to Sam Smith at “The View”) “Jack’s Wife Freda” is an incredible spot for a breakfast or brunch with your favorite people. They were rated in “Time Out New York” as one of the best (and cheapest) brunch spots in Manhattan, they were also rated great for groups, so bring the whole squad. Make sure you try the Eggs Benny or the Madame Freda, they also serve “Stumptown Roasters” coffee which will have you wide awake for the rest of the day. Prices run from $7 to $19, but the most expensive item on the menu is “Jack’s Breakfast” which comes with 2 eggs (any style), grilled skirt steak, grilled tomato, pickled red onions and sourdough toast, you probably wont need to eat for the rest of the day!

            After a show and brunch, you have two free choices! Walk down to SoHo and do some window-shopping, or if you can afford to splurge, do some real shopping! If you don’t trust yourself with keeping your wallet shut, then walk up town to Washington Square Park. As it get’s warmer out performers start to come out of café’s and bars and music schools. A free concert in the park is always a fun way to spend an afternoon, after a concert in Washington Square park, you can keep walking uptown to Union Square where, in the Spring, farmers markets start to pop up. The markets in Union Square have fresh flowers, foods, and homemade goodies that are always fun to try (or at least make a good Instagram).

            If it’s too rainy out to spend your afternoon outside, then museums are always a budget friendly option! Bring a sketchbook and attempt to sketch sculptures in the Met or the Museum of Natural History. Always make sure to take 5 minutes before you head downtown, or during breakfast even to see if there are any free events going on that day, just Google “free events in NYC”, usually you’ll be able to find a parade, a poetry reading or a movie screening all for free!

            When you’ve lost interest in whatever activity you’ve chosen, more food is always a good idea! Coffee can brighten you up, but ice cream can make you a whole new person. You’re going to want to take the subway or a bus here if you’re really far downtown, but if you enjoy a nice walk its on 9th avenue between 53rd and 52nd. The place that you need to be is “Holey Cream” it is everything you’ve ever wanted in an ice-cream sandwich. They have crazy kinds of flavored donuts, with almost anything you could imagine on it, but in half with a big scoop (or three) of ice cream in the middle. You can get one of these delicious sandwiches for only $7.45 and they are definitely big enough to share. 

            Now you’re all ready for the snow to thaw. So start those spring/summer diets so you can pig out on all the goodness at “Jack’s Wife Freda” and “Holey Cream!”, enjoy the sun and experience that thing called “grass” I’ve heard so much about. 

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Abby Welte


Manhattan College student majoring in Communication and an Intern for the New Jersey Devils. I'm not legally allowed to play board games in at least 9 states, enjoy long walks on a short pier, trying anything with frosting on it and yelling at my TV when hockey is on.
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