Summer in New York is not only welcoming of warm weather but for various, fun indoor/outdoor activities. While the dollar doesn't push itself like it used to, there are free events every weekend if you know where to look. These events have corporate underwritings and tend to be plentiful in promotional items.
For the movie buff, consider hitting up the NYC Parks & Recreation website. In calendrical order, it offers very detailed information of what movie is playing and where. Like foreign films? There's a French Film Series in Tompkins Square Park. Need something to see with the kids? Despicable Me, Hoodwinked Too, Toy Story, Wall E and scores others are playing throughout the boroughs.
Need a concert fix? Check out the Oh My Rockness website. This is a regularly updated list of concerts (mostly Manhattan and Brooklyn) with a wide variety of music. Enjoy classicism? Philip Glass is performing live on June 20 as part of the River to River Festival. Listen to hip-hop? Ghostface Killah, Das Racist and Brand Nubian are all doing shows on different days. Like something more indie? You'll see me at the Dawes/Kurt Vile, Deer Tick and the Guided By Voices/The Pains of Being Pure at Heart shows this summer. Don't recognize any of the above names? OK Go, Gym Class Heroes and Lyle Lovett are all on the list. Be sure to show up early!
Had a bad day and need to laugh it off? There are a few websites confirming that seats reserved for Comedy Cellar's Monday-Thursday shows are free. (Two Drink Minimum) Imagine a chance to see bright, young talent in an intimate setting for close to nothing! If you're having preemptive Monday blues, I would recommend seeing the very funny Hannibal Buress at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY every Sunday night.
And although it isn't until October and November, no post would be complete without an event with FREE FOOD! Meet the NYC Food Film Festival. Taking Place in various venues and outdoor fields in NYC, the premise of this film festival is to create a multi-sensory experience for the viewer. Like what you see on the screen? The foods served on screen are served to the audience, creating an audience bond unlike any other. One article mentioned an event from 2009 which featured a documentary on mushrooms and a 10-course mushroom tasting. Some events are ticketed and require some green but you can catch most events without a wallet.
Don't live close to New York City? Those in Los Angeles can try out Oh My Rockness LA for themselves and those lucky enough to live in Chicago can see a listing of free concerts in their area and keep an eye (or nose) out for the Chicago Food Film Festival in November.
Be on the lookout for promotional items throughout these (and other) events.