School’s out, the kids are on vacation and you’re planning yours. So here are five free things to do – with or without the kids – at four of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. As for the fifth adventure, that’s for the dreamer in all of us.
1. New York City – For anyone planning a trip to the Big Apple this summer, check out the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. This free four story entertainment and technology museum is located in Midtown and features exhibits like the “sensi-tile” wall, the Internet Map and the Anytime/Anywhere timeline. The lab is open Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5:00 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. Call (212) 833-8100 for more information.
2. Washington DC – Every evening at 6 p.m. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage features a free show by a variety of artists performing everything from jazz to gospel to poetry. The center’s Performing Arts for Everyone’s program (P.A.F.E.) is designed to introduce the Kennedy Center and its programs to a wide audience by providing a performance open to the public and free of charge 365 days a year.
In addition to free Millennium Stage performances, the Kennedy Center sells Pay-What-You-Can tickets throughout the year for a variety of selected future Kennedy Center and National Symphony Orchestra performances. Click here for the complete Millennium Stage schedule.
3. Los Angeles – On the 2nd Thursday of every month The Downtown Art Walk is in full effect. It’s a self-guided tour that showcases more than 40 art exhibition venues in Downtown Los Angeles including commercial art galleries, museums, and non-profit arts venues. Most venues are open from 12-9 p.m. Click here to download a map and for additional information.
4. Las Vegas – What summer vacation guide would be complete without a trip to Vegas. Despite movies like “The Hangover” there are fun, family-friendly activities in Vegas. Take the Hawaiian Marketplace Island performers for example. The marketplace offers a mix of Hawaiian culture, entertainment and free performances at the top of each hour with island musicians, lei makers, Samoan fire-knife dancers and of course, hula dancers. The marketplace is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
5. Rome, Italy – A girl can dream can’t she? And so can you! Ok, so technically it’s not a destination in the U.S., but Rome is definitely on my bucket list. But after paying for airfare and room & board, I’ll need all the freeness I can get my happy little hands on. For starters, I think I’ll visit The Pantheon. Built in 27 B.C., it’s the oldest standing domed structure in Rome. Then I’ll take a stroll through the ruins of what was once the commercial, governmental, and religious center of ancient Rome – the Foro Romano, or the Roman Forum. A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Trevi Fountain. Inspired by Roman triumphal arches, The Trevi fountain is the largest and most famous Baroque fountain in Rome. And since tradition has it that throwing a coin into the water guarantees your return to Rome, I’m planning on throwing at least 10 in there! (Image: The Trevi Fountain, Bob Krist)
If you’re not planning to travel this summer or want to find out what’s free in your city, visit http://www.free-attractions.com/ for a list of things to do in your city.