Sitting In New York ... Activities advice & help please?

Hi! I am going to be pet-sitting the cuttest doggo in the world in the Upper West Side for a whole month in April. Yey! It will be my second time visiting New York and I would love to do some exercise and I’ve seen that Shape Up NY offers some free classes but you need a goverment-issued ID and I am not sure that this applies to non-US citizens llike me. Does anyone know about this or maybe other options for free exercise classes? I can offer Spanish lessons in exchange, is there a place I can safely advertise this?
Now that I’m here (hehehe) I’d also love to know how to get cheap theatre tickets :wink:
I would also love to meet other pet sitters and pet owners and take our doggies, but I will post that as the date approaches. Thank you so much! This is a wonderful community.

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Hello @Rosa - What a fantastic opportunity to housesit for a month in NY!

I have recently moved from the UK to north NJ, close to NYC and have visited a few times. I can not answer all of your questions, but I did see lots of yoga studios do a free first intro class when walking around. It might be worth using Google to have a look at studios and fitness centres near the housesit. Give them a call or drop them an email.

I have also used meetup to find events and things happening:

I think you will find endless things to do once you are there, as just walking around you see so many things advertised and going on.

I hope you have an amazing trip and keep us posted with updates and any photos!! :slight_smile:

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Hi @Rosa
Friends of mine saw great shows in NYC for cheap $ by going to the box office windows the day of and also great seats!

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and there’s a new flag ship store to vist in NY.


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As for shows, download the app, TodayTix. Some shows have lotteries or rush tickets available last minute. There is a also an organization called Theater Development Fund (TDF). If you qualify, you can join for an annual fee of $40 and have access to low price tickets for select shows. You take whatever seat they assign you but they’re often pretty good.

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Hi Rosa,

I grew up and went to college in the NYC area and was a sitter all over the city for about a year, so I know it pretty well.

I would reach out to Shape Up directly and ask about the ID. It might not matter where your ID is from. April is early spring in NY, so if you like to run, you can run outdoors in Central Park or Riverside Park–just don’t run alone in the parks after dark. You can also get plenty of exercise walking all over the city or the museums. Most museums have a free day or free evening hours. A day spent walking at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will wear you out!

Time Out NY is a good resource for things to do. Here’s an article with some ideas for free fun things to do: Best Free Things to Do In NYC From Museums to Attractions

The UWS tends to be expensive, but this is a good and cheap falafel place I like: Sido Falafel & More | Menu You can also take the subway downtown and explore.

The UWS has some really nice, high-end grocery stores like Zabars, West Side Market, and Fairway, but they are a little pricier. Zabars is famous for its deli and bakery. There is a Trader Joe’s at Columbus Circle, a good way to save on groceries.

Someone mentioned yoga, but be aware that yoga classes in NYC are expensive when you pay for them individually. If you can find a “Community Yoga” class, those are normally “pay what you can afford.” Also, some yoga studios have a first week or 30-day introductory special that can be very economical. So, if you are interested in yoga, look nearby studios up on Google Maps and then go to their websites and see what introductory specials they offer.

Looks like the theater tickets issue was addressed by Hello Out There and Mars.

I hope you have a fun time in the city!


Thanks! I’ll definitely try meetup :smile:

Thanks, Gillian! Yes, I will definitely shop in Trader Joe’s and cook quite a lot to save some money, though I love some restaurants in Manhattan and I’ll try to visit at least a couple :smiley:

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There are a lot of opportunities to sit in the studio audience for TV shows. It’s free, interesting and often gifts are given. I went to The View, The Daily Show and The Late Show when I was there. Just search online and register. Good luck


When I lived in NYC I found that groceries were so expensive it hardly saved me any money over eating out. Most of the time I bought ready-made things at the deli counters at the smaller grocery stores. But Trader Joe’s will certainly be a money-saver. Some things at TJ’s at Columbus Circle that blew me away: the special escalator for shopping carts! The check-out line that winds through the entire store!

Also, if you shop at Whole Foods in NYC there is a special way of getting in line. You line up in one of many lines, and each line has a number. They take one person from each line in order as checkstands open, and you watch a board above your head to learn which line number is being called. It confused me at first, and once, another customer yelled at me for doing it wrong. I guess he just assumed I was deliberately cutting in line, though if he’d paid closer attention he surely would have noticed the bewildered expression on my face!

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Hahaha, I can imagine your experience at Whole Foods. Honestly I think I went once (I wanted to buy boxes of vegan mac&cheese to bring home and I found at least 3 different brands) but I do not remember queuing… maybe there were not too many people that day. At the airport, the security agent opened my bag because of powder mix in the mac&cheese boxes… that was a bit embarrassing… :smile:

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Yes! I went to the Jimmy Fallon show the first (and only) time I was in NYC. I was very lucky because Norman Reedus was a guest that night but also Drew Barrimore was “hidden” with the audience and sat quite next to me and my sister. I enjoyed it a lot!


My first night in NYC I went to a Paul McCartney concert. Jimmy Fallon was in the audience with Lorne Michaels and their wives. It was Jimmy’s birthday and the entire arena audience sang Happy Birthday to him. It was so special when Jimmy spoke about it in his opening monologue the next day!!