• Free Things to Do in Hoboken + Jersey City This Summer {and Year-Round}

    Written by:

    Life in Hudson County is chock-full of great restaurants, shopping, nightlife, street fairs, and festivals. But when your wallet is feeling a bit of a tight squeeze, you can still be social and have fun this summer — and all year long—without spending a dime. From museums and art exhibits to concerts, fitness, and more, we’ve rounded up some not-to-miss budget-friendly activities that not only save money but also offer unique experiences in your own backyard. Read on to find out exciting things to do and see for free in Hoboken + Jersey City.

    Arts + Culture

    Mix and Sip with Ricardo Roig {W Hoboken, 225 River Street, Hoboken}

    roig mural

    {Photo credit: @roigcollection}

    Join Hoboken’s artist-in-residence Ricardo Roig every Thursday night from 6:00PM-8:00PM as he shares his original fine works of art from the Roig Collection. Enjoy a complimentary cocktail and listen to local musicians rotating weekly.

    The Hoboken Public Library {500 Park Avenue, Hoboken}

    Not just for checking out the latest bestseller, your library card will get you free passes to a ton of museums. From the American Museum of Natural History to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, this library benefit is checked out like books. Both The Hoboken Public Library and The Jersey City Free Public Library {472 Jersey Avenue   Jersey City} also host a slew of classes and creative workshops packed with cooking, wellness, and crafts to writing labs and animal encounters.

    Hudson County Historical Walking Tours

    Text the word “Hudson” to 56512 for a link to the self-guided historical walking tours of both Hoboken {walk in Sinatra’s shoes} + Jersey City or follow this link here. Listen and read the history of important sites around the County.

    JC Fridays

    jc fridays groove on grove 1024x1022

    Art House Productions presents JC Fridays, a quarterly arts festival held the first Friday of every season. Local businesses, galleries, bars, and performance venues host live music, art exhibits, dance shows, and theater, all for free.

    Jersey City Mural Tour

    See Hudson County’s outdoor art gallery, where both local and world-renowned artists take their canvases to the streets, including the David Bowie at 300 Coles Street. Click here to download the full map.

    Jersey City Art and Studio Tour

    Come out for JCAST weekend October 3rd to October 6th, 2019, and enjoy over 100 art events citywide. Take a curated tour, explore artist’s studios, and discover new galleries. Complimentary shuttle buses are provided.  All events are free and open to the public.

    Hoboken Artists’ Studios + Gallery Walking Tour 2019

    A citywide, self-guided walking tour of artists’ studios, galleries, and group exhibitions. Featuring the work of over 100 local artists. Art Tour Maps with a listing of galleries and artists’ studios will be available on the day of the tour. Saturday, November 2nd and  Sunday, November 3 from, 12:00PM-6:00PM.

    The Paris Exhibit {Cho-o-Pain, Hudson Tea Building,1500 Hudson Street, Hoboken}

    Having opened this weekend, the Choc-o-Pain French bakery and cafe will be hosting the first photography exhibit by Helen McGuire.

    The Van Wagenen House, also known as The Apple Tree House {298 Academy Street, Jersey City}

    Visit the historic house where legend claims General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette ate under the shade of an apple tree. Free lectures and special events are held at the house, and tours are open to the public every Wednesday.

    Music, Film, + Comedy

    Movies Under the Stars {Pier A Park, 1st Street + Sinatra Drive, Hoboken}

    movies under the stars

    Free movies each Wednesday unless noted, from June 12th-August 21st. Movies start at 9:00PM for June and July and 8:00PM in August. This year’s list includes Crazy Rich Asians and a sing-a-long of both The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody. Save room for free popcorn provided by Hoboken Grace. Click here for full movie list and schedule.

    See More: Movies Under the Stars in Hoboken: 2019 Schedule

    Movies in the Park {Parks across Jersey City}

    Hoboken isn’t the only place to watch free outdoor movies. Jersey City welcomes back their free sunset summer film series Movies in the Park, a city-wide cinema experience for all ages in outdoor spaces across Jersey City. Click here for dates, times, locations, and lineup.

    Groove on Grove {Grove Street PATH Plaza, 344 Grove Street, Jersey City}

     Family-friendly free weekly music concert series from May-September, Wednesdays from 6:00PM-9:00PM, features a wide variety of musicians, performers, local businesses and sponsors.

    Concerts in Sinatra Park {Sinatra Park, 401 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken}

    From June 6th-August 15th, come celebrate the music of Sting, Queen, Sinatra, and Pete Seeger’s 100th Birthday. Click here for full times and schedule.

    NJ Symphony Orchestra {Maxwell Place Park, Hoboken}

    Monday, June 24th at 7:30PM. Bring a blanket and hear hits from West Side Story and Porgy and Bess, travel to Mexico with Arturo Márquez’s Conga del Fuego Nuevo and experience patriotic favorites with Copland’s classic Hoe Down.

    Stand-Up Comedy Night at Bobby Dee’s JC {49 Beacon Avenue, Jersey City}

    Take friends to Bobby Dee’s for a night of laughs with comics from Comedy Central, New York Comedy Festival and more. Showtime 8:00PM, the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.  No cover, no drink minimum.

    Hudson Coffee Espresso-Self {1100 Maxwell Lane, Hoboken}

    Open mic for anyone who wants to share. Join for an artistic night of good coffee and company, the third Thursday of every month from 8:00PM-10:00PM.

    8th Street Tavern Trivia Nights {800 Washington Street, Hoboken}

    Channel James Holzhauer and test your knowledge with general trivia weekly and other free monthly events. Giveaways, prizes, drink specials and more. Tickets are free, but please reserve a space in advanced.

    Fitness + Outdoors

    Fitness and Yoga in the Park {Pier A Park, Pier C Park, 14th Street Viaduct, Southwest Park, Maxwell Place Park, Hoboken}

    fitness in park 2019 1024x1024

    {Photo credit: @wiowithus}

    Sample yoga, meditation, Zumba, kickboxing and more all for free through September. Wear sneakers and loose-fitting clothing, bring water, a towel, and a mat. In case of rain, classes may be canceled. Call the fitness studio to confirm.

    Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse {Frank Sinatra Drive and Maxwell Place, Hoboken}

    Get out on the Hudson River in the protected Hoboken Cove for kayaking, stand up paddling, outrigger canoe and more.  Click here to view their summer schedule.

    Read More: All About The Hoboken Cove Boathouse {+ The Vandalism Happening}

    JackRabbit {127 Washington Street, Hoboken}

     From group runs every Thursday at 7:00PM and Saturday at 8:30PM for all paces to weekly in-store meditation classes and in-store pop-up classes, run don’t walk to check out their Facebook page for a list of free events.

    Hudson Pickleball

    Swing Hudson Pickleball for drop-in pickleball game. Guests can expect free use of paddles during drop-in sessions on Saturdays from 9:00AM-12:00PM and Sundays {times vary}.  For more information on the weekly schedule, follow them  Facebook and Instagram.

    Planet Fitness {605 Washington Street, Hoboken}

    Teens ages 15-18 workout free at Planet Fitness this summer through September 1st. Come with parent and bring proof of age. Participants will be entered to win a $5,000 scholarship.

    Athleta {316 Washington Street, Hoboken}

    Workout and go shopping at the same time. There are loads of free classes and in-store events monthly to choose from yoga and Pilates to essential oils. Check out the store calendar for dates and times.

    Liberty State Park {200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City}

    liberty state park 1024x1024

    There is more to the green oasis of Liberty State Park than hiking and picnicking. Click here to find out all the free events from nature programs to historical tours of the CRRNJ Terminal that follows the immigrant experience.

    United Synagogue of Hoboken {Parks around Hoboken + Jersey City}

    Shabbat in the Park, Fridays through September at 6:00PM, check USH for dates and locations around Hoboken + Jersey City. Song, prayer, and friends to welcome Shabbat. Bring own picnic dinner, challah and grape juice provided.  Free and open to the community, special activities for families with children under five. RSVP appreciated.

    Events + Festivals

    Historical Hoboken Museum {1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken}

    The Hoboken Museum’s free Spring Family Fun Day is Sunday, June 23rd, from 12:00PM–4:00PM. Filled with hands-on activities that stretch the imagination and encourage creativity, the afternoon offers DIY crafts and games designed to engage the whole family.

    Bastille Day in Jersey City {209 3rd Street, Jersey City}

    Join The French American Academy, Saturday, July 13th from 11:00AM-6:00PM for a real taste of Joie de Vivre to celebrate Bastille Day with food, drinks, music band, and dance, and games for kids and families. General Admission is free.

    Surati Holi Hai Festival {Pier A Park, Hoboken}

    Celebrate the Spring Festival of Colors that originated in India, Saturday, June 15th, 12:00PM-8:00PM. Surati Holi Hai’s motto is “When everyone is colorful, no one is different.” Expect dance, music, fun, and food. Click here for more information

    St. Ann’s Italian Festival {704 Jefferson Street, Hoboken}

    st anns church hoboken

    The 109th Annual Saint Ann’s Italian Festival and Feast 2019 runs Wednesday, July 24th through Sunday, July 28th. Expect a variety of food, crafts, kiddie rides, entertainment, a beer garden, and a café under the stars. Don’t miss Saint Ann’s famous zeppoles, either.

    The Hoboken Italian Festival {Sinatra Drive and River Road, Hoboken}

    The 93rd Annual Hoboken Italian Festival emulates the “Feast of the Madonna Dei Martiri” which began in 1399 in Molfetta, Italy.  The Festival has become an annual Hoboken waterfront extravaganza with international foods, music, fantastic fireworks display, and blessing of the fleet.  Come enjoy the beer and wine garden.  September 5th through September 8th, Thursday + Friday, 6:00PM-11:00PM. Saturday + Sunday, 11:00AM-11:00PM.

    Family Fun Nights {Shipyard Park and Southwest Park, Hoboken}

    Monday, June 17th and Tuesday, June 25th, from 7:00PM-8:00PM. Whether they’re singing about getting in trouble, jumping in puddles or smelling stinky feet, they will have kids and parents alike bouncing to the beat. The Fuzzy Lemons share a love for music and fun, and each member brings their own style and musical background to the group. Parents will rock out to classic rock inspired songs, or sway to danceable grooves. The Lemons are known to include some covers in their set too.

    What are your favorite free things to do in Hoboken + Jersey City? Have you enjoyed any of these or know of others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.

    Remember to tag us on Instagram @HobokenGirlBlog or #HobokenGirl for a potential repost, too! 


    Written by:

    Lara is a public relations and marketing communications consultant who moved to Hoboken over seven years ago after living on the Upper West Side in Manhattan {she says the skyline views are much better from this side of the Hudson}. A Lehigh University graduate with a degree in journalism, she can be found volunteering in the community, practicing yoga at Urban Souls, meeting friends for coffee at Hudson Coffee or Choc O Pain, and enjoying wine at her favorite spots in town including Court Street, The Brass Rail, and Bin 14.


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