We live in a world where free information is available at our fingertips. Literally, if you have internet access, you can learn almost anything you wish. Free education is even more magnified if you live in New York City, and you’ll find hands-on classes held year-round. And even though it’s expensive to live in the Big Apple, you can still broaden your mind and learn a new skill without making a dent in your piggy bank. Whether you want to hone your writing skills or improve your fitness levels, here are six free classes in NYC that are fun, useful, and an ideal way to shake up your social calendar.
Free Juggling in Bryant Park
Tap into your inner NYC street performer, and spend an hour with the Bryant Park Jugglers. This friendly group can be found in Bryant Park year-round, performing and offering free juggling classes to anyone who drops by.
Free Sketching at the Frick Collection
What better place is there to learn how to sketch than surrounded by one of New York City’s most beautiful art collections? On the third Sunday of every month, the Frick Collection hosts a “Sunday Sketch” program, which is free with museum admission. And since Sundays have “pay as you wish” hours between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., it’s a fantastic deal. Complimentary materials like paper, graphite pencils, and drawing boards are provided as well.
Free Improv Wednesdays
Whether you’re pursuing a theater career or not, learning the art of improvisation can be incredibly entertaining (not to mention, hilarious). The And Theater Company hosts free improv workshops every Wednesday, open to New Yorkers of all experience levels. Improv classes offer a way to learn a new skill in a relaxed environment.
Free Fitness Meet-Ups at Lole
Gym memberships in NYC can be pricey, but fitness fashion brand Lole is promoting fit lifestyles with scheduled meet-ups at its flagship store on Mercer Street. Check their calendar of free classes for the latest dates and information about boot camp-style workouts, yoga meets, and the Lole Run Club.
Free Self-Defense for Women
The Big Apple may be substantially tamer than it was during the 1980s, but self-defense is always a valuable skill for women to have. For more than 20 years, the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy has been offering free self-defense classes for women. Drop in on one of their classes, scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday, to learn self-defense techniques like punching, kicking, and how to take down an attacker.
Free English Classes
As the poem New Colossus – displayed on the Statue of Liberty – suggests, New York City is proud to welcome immigrants and non-native English speakers. For ESL (English as a Second Language) adults, along with those who want to improve their reading and writing skills, the New York Public Library system offers free English classes. Sessions are held year-round and scheduled in 10-week cycles. There’s no documentation required, but space is limited, so a preliminary test will be given for placement. The next round of free English classes begins in April.