For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is providing tips to help consumers reduce spending on entertainment and recreation costs. These tips are part three of DCP’s five-part consumer alert series to help New Yorkers save money amidst inflation and rising costs. Follow the New York Department of State on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check in every Tuesday for more practical tips that educate and empower New York consumers on a variety of topics. Sign up to receive consumer alerts directly to your email or phone here.
“When saving money and sticking to a budget, entertainment expenses are typically one of the first places consumers look to cut back,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. “There are countless free and affordable entertainment opportunities in our State, and these creative tips show New Yorkers that you can cut down on spending while still having a good time.”
New York State has many opportunities for free entertainment. Explore things to do throughout New York State with the I LOVE NY website, or download the mobile app for great activity ideas, including special sections dedicated to Winter in New York and celebrating Black History Month!
Check with your community for free events. Many counties, cities, towns and villages offer community movie nights, music in the park, recreation programs or other seasonal free community events.
Check out the New York State Fair – the first fair in the nation. Every year, New Yorkers come together to experience an affordable, 13-day celebration of delicious food, eye-opening agriculture exhibits, strolling performers, concerts and great family fun. The event also showcases thousands of animals and dozens of big-name entertainers. The 2023 Great New York State Fair kicks off Wednesday, August 23 and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. Admission tickets are $6 for adults, and children (13 years old and younger) and senior citizens (adults 65 years and older) are admitted for free every day. Plus, there are also free days for special groups on select days.
Find a local county fair or food festival near you. All over New York State, you will find numerous local events that offer a variety of fun filled activities - packed with amazing food, rides, parades, live entertainment, crafts and more! Enjoy a day filled with amazing attractions that won’t break the bank.
Connect to nature. Visit any of the 250 New York State Parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, or the millions of acres of public lands managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation that offer a variety of entertainment opportunities for all ages and interests. There are plenty of outdoor activities all year round (hiking, camping, boating, birding, etc.), nature centers, programs for the kids and more!
Visit museums. New York State has some of the world’s most iconic museums. Some museums offer free admission every day or on specific days. Some also offer events, festivals and concert series that are free in the summer or throughout the year.
Check out the library. Libraries offer a wealth of items that New Yorkers can borrow, ranging from movies, music and videogames to free or discounted entrance passes to local museums and attractions. Additionally, there are often free events held at libraries, including workshops, computer classes and more. New Yorkers can also get free access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) with a NY Public Library account, which offers thousands of online educational courses and tutorials taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills.
Enjoy your next vacation camping. New York’s 118 state campgrounds offer the perfect spot for a family getaway or reconnecting with friends. Located among some of the most breathtaking settings in North America, NYS campgrounds are an affordable vacation option for campers seeking variety, value and a place to create special memories that last a lifetime.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC invites New Yorkers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to experience nature and the outdoors on our shared state lands. With five million acres across the state that include campgrounds and education centers, wildlife management areas, state forests, boat launches and fishing sites, DEC lands, waters, and facilities offer everyone the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and recreate.”
New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said,“With more than 250 state parks, historic sites, trails, and boat launches, New York State has something for everyone, and most are near where you live. We encourage you to visit all there is to offer during any season – whether taking a simple stroll, hiking, camping, boating, visiting a playground or learning how New York has shaped our historic landscape. You’ll find these excursions to be rewarding and cost-effective for you and your family and we know you’ll keep coming back.”
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "There are so many great ways to explore and experience fun and family-friendly attractions across the Empire State. For New Yorkers, many opportunities exist in their own backyards, and iloveny.com can help to choose a great day trip, or plan a getaway down the road. No matter your budget, there's so much to love in New York State."
Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “Food, farming, family and fun – the Great New York State has got it all,” said. “We can’t wait to celebrate the best in New York State food, beverage, agriculture and entertainment this summer, and we hope New Yorkers will reserve some time between August 23 and September 4 to join us!”
About the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and education materials to consumers on product safety, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The Consumer Assistance Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
For more consumer protection tips, follow the Division on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.