Entrance fees to New York’s big museums are normally at least $20 per person, but there are ways to save. Some museums have certain times when you can pay what you wish – like the Guggenheim (5.45pm–7.45pm on Saturdays) and the Frick Collection (11am–1pm on Sundays). There’s also free entry to the 9/11 Memorial after 5pm on Tuesdays, the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of the Moving Image from 4pm–8pm on Fridays, and the New York Botanical Gardens every Wednesday and from 9am–10am on Saturdays. Many smaller museums are free all or part of the time too – find a full list here.
A couple of other museums have a ‘suggested donation‘ rather than a fixed entry price. So if you’re happy to brazen it out and offer less, you can save on the usual $25 entry cost to get into the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the $22 they suggest for the American Museum of Natural History. You can also see art for free by browsing the galleries that fill converted lofts and warehouses in Chelsea.
For Broadway on a budget, you can pick up discounted theatre tickets at TKTS booths which sell same-day seats for up to 50% off. Their Times Square booth usually has big queues, but there are quieter branches at South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn. Or check out the next generation of actors, dancers and musicians at a free performance by students from the Juilliard performing arts school.