Photo by Ezgi Uzun



Think you need to pay a fortune to learn something new or gain a little knowledge in New York? Think again. The Big Apple is actually full of free opportunities to take classes and hone your skills in dance, art, computers, comedy, acting, meditation, and more. Check out this list of fun, interesting, and free options.

1. Check out the New York Public Library class schedule
Locations vary

The New York Public Library is not your average library. In fact, the collections in this library are on par with those of the British Library, the Library of Congress, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Music, film, art, and history exhibits are also part of the library’s regular programming, as are myriad of free classes. Everyday, the library hosts free classes that anyone can attend on an array of usual and unusual topics. Create beaded bookmarks, build your own periscope, bend and stretch during a Yoga session, become a better parent, or write a personal essay under the direction of a successful freelancer. Check their full schedule for a complete list of classes.

2.Learn improv comedy at the Magnet Theater
254 W. 29th between 7th and 8th Ave.

If you’ve never taken an improv class, the Magnet Theater gives people a chance to try it out for free. No experience is required and the class is open to all. The instructors are professionals in the business and include Rick Andrews, who has taught at improv festivals across the country, Mark Grenier, who has studied both film and acting and has taught improv at various institutions and schools, and Megan Gray, who is the Artistic Director of the Magnet Theater and has a performed on cruise ships and written for major networks like MTV2 and Comedy Central.

3.Learn to Salsa with the NYC Salsa Fiesta Meetup
Locations vary

Whether you’ve never danced before or you hit the club every weekend, the NYC Salsa Fiesta Meetup & Dance Group is a great way to improve your technique and moves…for free. Free salsa lessons can be found every Wednesday at 8:15PM at Honey Lounge and every 4th Sunday at 8:45PM at Abigail’s Cafe.

4.Learn photography with PhotoManhattan
51 W. 14th St., between 5th & Avenue of the Americas

A few times each month, PhotoManhattan offers a free introductory photography seminar. Participants will learn about aperture, shutter-speed, film speeds, focal length, and light-meter for both digital and film cameras. Click here to check class times and sign up for yourself.

5.Learn to Meditate at NYC Meditation
Locations vary

In Manhattan and Queens, NYC Meditation offers free meditation classes multiple times each month. The class will go over posture, breathing and concentration techniques, and how create your own mediation space at home. Contact the center to find out when their upcoming free meditation classes are.


Text: Jessica Festa



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