Ballin’ on a budget:
October 27, 2009 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Taking care of some things so money’s tight. What are some kickass, cool, mellow things I can do for free or dirt cheap! Preferably in Brooklyn, NY?

I find that I spend more than I would like when I’m out being social and hanging with friends. I’m not talking $100’s but $30 a night for drinks. Not that bad but that can get pricey at 2 to 3 nights per week. Right now, money needs to stretch but I like my little flow of being out and about. What are some cool, fun, mellow things I can do or experience on a strict budget which includes anything from $0-$30 a week. Tight! Insight on any places and things would be very much appreciated.
posted by Hydrofiend to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It may help to know more of your interests, but here is one event that I enjoyed in the BKN area: first Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. At this event, almost everything is free (admission to the museum is free, activities [sometimes a movie, lecture, or art activity] and in the evening, a band plays music with optional dancing). The events usually change each month, so that can potentially take care of one night a month.

If you like lectures, you may enjoy the secret science club. A researcher gives a talk that is entertaining and intended for a lay audience (although if you've had a bit of is too basic, but you can check out the topics in advance and decide). I don't remember paying for entrance (although you may need to confirm this in advance) and didn't get any drinks, I just watched the lecture. The only caveat is that you need to get there early to get in line and hopefully get in. If you spend half the night at the lecture, lower cost for later food and/or drinks.

Are you looking for cheap events during the day, too? If you have a bike, you can travel all the way from the east end along the water to Coney Island and beyond on a bike trail. Afterwards, you can get food either at Coney Island or perhaps food stands in Red Hook - it is all novel to me, so the whole trip is an adventure. The cost for food is cheap and the cost of riding equals nothing unless you have mechanical or tire probs.
posted by Wolfster at 8:56 PM on October 27, 2009

Barbes on 6th and 9th (avenue and street) has free music most days of the week.
posted by puckish at 9:57 PM on October 27, 2009

Since you live in such a high-population area, Google is your friend. A search for "free things to do in Brooklyn" will find lots of options for you, including Brokelyn, a blog you may find timely.
posted by BlooPen at 10:00 PM on October 27, 2009

This website has been helpful.
posted by greta simone at 10:24 PM on October 27, 2009

Do you have a bike? Tour the city. (No bike? Check Craigslist.)
posted by Doohickie at 10:25 PM on October 27, 2009
posted by limon at 11:59 PM on October 27, 2009

Jalopy in Red Hook has a fun no-cover-or-minimum mostly blues show every Wednesday night. And they sell Tecate and PBR for cheap if that's your thing. The Bell House also has many cheap and free concerts (and other events---it's where Secret Science Club is held, for instance).

Also get on the Nonsense NYC mailing list, which contains many free-and-cheap events, almost entirely in Brooklyn.
posted by goingonit at 5:24 AM on October 28, 2009

Seconding the Nonsense list and the Brooklyn Museum first saturdays.

Also: a couple Brooklyn places have pub quizzes that don't charge you to join in. My personal favorite is in Red Hook at Rocky Sullivan's -- it's free every Thursday, and they give out copious prizes. (The winning team gets a free round of drinks, but there are also plenty of individual chances for free drinks and other prizes -- the quizmaster has teamed up with a small T-shirt maker, and he also regularly brings in "crap from my closet" to give away. I once won a pair of shoes, and another time I won a cassette tape version of Pink Floyd's THE WALL.)

Also: there's the Chili Takedown and their related events. They've started charging admission (right now it's $15), but that gets you a decent amount of food -- and fun. The guy who founded it is basically just running these amateur cookoffs for the sheer hell of it. (Incidentally -- this is the same guy who also did the Bacon Takedown that both Greg Nog and I took part in, which was featured on MetaTalk earlier this year.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 AM on October 28, 2009

Whoops: forgot the Rocky Sullivan's link.

And also forgot to mention: Prospect Park. Just go and walk around. Not quite always an organized event, but self-directed fun also works.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 AM on October 28, 2009

Oh! And I forgot the Adult Education lectures at Union Hall in Park Slope -- they're once a month, and only five bucks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on October 28, 2009

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