NEW YORK (WETM) – Life gets stressful sometimes, so it can help to unwind by going camping, visiting a museum, or reading peacefully in a library. As part of its series on helping New Yorkers save money in their day-to-day lives, the NYS Department of Consumer Protection is tackling entertainment and recreation costs this week.

New York is a state that offers a lot. From the big city atmosphere, to mountain vistas, and plenty of lakefront or forest camping, there’s a lot to do in the Empire State. The DCP is encouraging New Yorkers to take advantage of free recreational opportunities by visiting the I LOVE NY website.

“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. “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.”

Here are a few ways NYS says you can enjoy free or low-cost recreation and entertainment:

  • 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.
  • Go to the fair! Every year, New Yorkers come together to experience a 13-day celebration of delicious food, agriculture exhibits, performers, concerts and family fun at the Great NYS Fair in Syracuse. The 2023 Great New York State Fair kicks off Wednesday, August 23 and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.
  • 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 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.