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Free (or cheap!) in NYC this weekend

Holiday shopping got you feeling a little broke? That's OK; stick with me and you'll be able to go out on the town instead of settling in for a visit with your Uncle Funzalo.

Here are the best free and nearly free things to do in NYC this weekend and beyond.

Family entertainment

The kids would be thrilled to get a sneak peek of the new ABC Family television show, "Jane By Design" -- and to be part of a Q&A session with cast members Erica Dasher and Nick Roux. To get tickets to the 6:45 p.m. Saturday screening at the Crosby Street Hotel (79 Crosby Street; 212-226-6400), email your name, age and phone number to Hurry, because tickets are first-come, first-served.


We all could use a laugh right now. And you know what's better than a laugh? A free laugh. And better than a free laugh? Two free laughs. Comedy Central is taping 2 specials from 4 performances this weekend at Grammercy Theater (27 East 23rd street). First up, Matt Braunger, a former MadTV regular, will perform Friday at 7:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Apply to be part of his studio audience here. Then on Saturday (also at 7:15 and 9:15), funnyman Hannibal Buress -- a former SNL writer -- is taping his specials. Fill out the this form for a chance to be part of one of Buress' studio audiences. 

Opera discounts

The Metropolitan Opera again is selling $250 orchesta seats for just $20, thanks to a donation from the Agnes Varis Trust. You can snag a pair of the 200 weekday rush tickets that are available for each performance at the box office two hours before curtain. Senior citizens don't have to wait in line; they can call 212-362-6000 beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of each show. Details and available performances are at

Not free, but what a bargain!

Shop for the holidays or get something for yourself at the J. Crew Sample Sale at 260 5th Ave., between 28th and 29th streets Friday from 10 a.m to 8  p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You'll find deals at up to 60 percent off retail prices on everything -- including jewelry, shoes and coats.  

And the deals extend into next week...

Catch a Monday Night Football game at the Samsung Experience (10 Columbus Circle #3) this and every week from 7-11 p.m. Put on your jersey, shout at the big screen TVs and -- the best part -- eat free food and drink free booze! You might even run into an NFL player. RSVP by sending an email to or filling out the form on this page.

Want more? You can find more freebies and deals at and

AP Photo: The Metropolitan Opera is selling orchestra tickets for $20 apiece. 

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