10 Ways to Stay Active for Free in NYC

by Haley Davidson

In New York City, it might seem like you’re staying active just by living here. However, if you want to start a more intentional fitness regimen, or just meet cool people and try a free, fun class, New York City is the place to be. 

Below are 10 awesome ways to work out for free this summer.

Shape Up NYC

Where: NYC Parks, Recreation Centers, in every borough

When: Daily

Join in on a free fitness session anywhere in the city through NYC Parks’ Shape Up NYC program. No registration or membership needed. You can try out classes like Yoga in Battery Park, Tai Chi on the Highline, or Zumba in Lenox Hill. Check out the website for locations and schedules, or you can search your favorite parks to see what classes are coming up.

Healthy on the Hudson

Where: Pier 46 in Greenwich Village and Pier 25 in Tribeca

When: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, all summer

You can fit for free all summer at Hudson River Park in partnership with lululemon. Grab a yoga mat and join your fellow New Yorkers for a professional, fun fitness class right on the water.

Summer in the Square

Where: Union Square

When: Every Thursday until August 10; morning and evening

Sponsored by the NY Health & Racquet Club, Union Square is offering dozens of completely free fitness classes all summer. Top instructors teach yoga at 7:00AM and at sunset, while others teach Dance and HIIT cardio classes.  Grab a yoga mat and join in for an energetic and exciting workout!

Wellness Wednesdays

Where: Flatiron Public Plaza (23rd Street)

 When: Wednesdays until August 9th at 6:30PM

Head to the Flatiron for an exciting series of workouts in partnership with Athleta Flatiron. You can sweat it out with cardio and Zumba workouts from the New York Health and Racquet Club and NY Personal Training. Make sure you register and sign your waiver!

The Sweat Sessions

Where: Hudson River Park, 14th St. Park

When: Tuesday nights at 6, 7, and 8PM

Join in on this free summer workout series for a wide variety of classes AND some complimentary snacks right after. You can try out professional Pilates, boxing, or barre classes (and many more!). Check it out to meet fellow New Yorkers and get your workout in!

Waterfront Workouts

Where: Brooklyn Bridge Park

When: Multiple dates

Waterfront Workouts are held at Brooklyn Bridge Park, just minutes away from Clark St. and Lower Manhattan. You can choose from a huge variety of workouts, from Hip Hop Dance to Double Dutch jump rope workouts and Piyo.

Yoga to the People

Where: Manhattan and Brooklyn 

When: Multiple times and days

Yoga to the People is an organization that believes yoga should be available to everyone, no matter what they can afford the pay. Classes are donation based and held on weekdays and weekends.


Where: Hudson River Park & Brooklyn Bridge Park

When: Daily!

Stay fit in a fun and unique way by kayaking this summer. You can get an incredible view of Lower Manhattan while soaking up the sunshine and experiencing New York City in a way few are able to.

Dance Lessons

Where: NYC Parks, all boroughs

When: Multiple times 

Check out the dance category on the NYC Parks event page to take your pick of free salsa and tango classes. You can meet new people and have a fun night on the town without paying a penny.


Where: All over the city

When: Multiple times

Download the Meetup or check it out online to find people with similiar fitness interests in the city. You can find a cool group of people to run or walk with or even find a free Kung Fu class.

Let us know what your favorite fitness classes are by tweeting us @NYCIntern or shooting us an email at NYCIntern@tkc.edu!