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All the Free Outdoor Fitness Classes You Can Take in NYC This Summer

Happy first day of summer! It's the season of sweaty rehearsals, outdoor performances, and for some of us, summer layoff.

How to stay in shape sans daily company class without breaking the bank? If you're in New York City, you're in luck: You can cross-train for free this summer with a variety of options throughout the boroughs. Bonus: They're all outside!

Not in NYC? Most major cities have similar offerings—check out the programming for your local parks and cultural centers to find out.


Bryant Park Yoga 

You probably already know about NYC's best-known summertime outdoor yoga option, in Bryant Park at 10 am on Tuesdays and 6 pm on Thursdays. (Register in advance, and get there early to score one of the first-come first-served mats.) But did you know that the park also offers the occasional free dance class, as well as Monday morning Pilates classes? Check the event listing to see what's coming up.

The Sweat Sessions

Almost every Tuesday, The Meatpacking District and The Wellth Collective hosts three free fitness classes at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm. Classes take place at the 14th Street Park and include a variety of activities featuring teachers from New York City's best boutique fitness studios; from yoga with Laughing Lotus to Pilates with Flex Studio to boxing with Box + Flow. Sign up in advance to ensure your spot.

Farm Yoga at North Brooklyn Farms

North Brooklyn Farms' weekly Farm Yoga class at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays is donation-based, and yogis must bring their own mats.

Waterfront Workouts at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sweat with a view of the Manhattan skyline at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where classes like yoga, zumba, Pilates and salsa are offered almost every day at varying times. In-person registration generally begins half an hour before start time.

Prospect Park Yoga

For a park yoga experience that's not as crowded as Manhattan's Bryant Park, venture to Brooklyn's more laid-back Prospect Park for yoga on Thursdays at 7 pm. Classes are taught by a rotating schedule of instructors from local studios. Bring your own mat, and RSVP here before your first class.

Myrtle Avenue Summer Series

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership hosts free high-energy workouts (think boot camp and kickboxing) at Myrtle Avenue Plaza in Clinton Hill every Saturday in the summer at 9 am. And just for the month of June, check out Tuesday yoga classes at the same location at 7 pm. No registration required.

Socrates Sculpture Park Yoga

Flow amongst the art at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, on Saturdays at 9:30 am and 11 am and Sundays at 10 am. No RSVP required, and bring your own mat.

Cardio in Downtown Brooklyn

There's a variety of free fitness options in Downtown Brooklyn—from H.I.I.T. to zumba to Pilates. Dates, times and locations vary, so check out the current schedule here.

Pilates in Hunters Point South Park

For the next two Sundays at 10 am, join Long Island City Pilates in Hunters Point South Park for morning mat Pilates. No sign up necessary, BYO mat.

Summer Fitness at Brookfield Place

Manhattan's fanciest mall is offering free fitness classes on Wednesdays and Sundays in their waterfront plaza, taught by instructors from usually-expensive studios like CorePower Yoga and Tone House. Register in advance here.

There's a bevy of other free outdoor fitness options in NYC: kayaking on the Hudson and East Rivers, swimming at public pools, biking on Governor's Island and running clubs like North Brooklyn Runners and Mile High Run Club.


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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

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