billy_elliotBroadway shows are expensive, especially for a large family, but in the summer, you can see free selections from shows on Thursdays in Bryant Park. The lunchtime series begins July 7, and repeats each week through August 11, 2011.

The schedule:

Thursday, July 7th

·         STOMP

·         Baby It’s You

·         Sister Act

·         Zarkana

Thursday, July 14th

·         Chicago

·         Million Dollar Quartet

·         Catch Me If You Can

·         Newsical

Thursday, July 21st

·         The Addams Family

·         Billy Elliot

·         Memphis

·         Rock of Ages

·        Voca People

Thursday, July 28th

·         Anything Goes

·         The Phantom Of The Opera

·         The Fantasticks

·         Hair

·         Traces

statueThursday, August 4th

·         Jersey Boys

·         The Lion King

·         Rent

·         Wicked

·         Death Takes a Holiday

Thursday, August 11th

·         Mamma Mia!

·         Mary Poppins

·         Avenue Q

·         Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

Before or after, take a spin on the Bryant Park Carousel. Broadway in Bryant Park is presented by 106.7 Lite FM. 

Freedom on Thursdays

Also this summer, take an evening tour of the Statue of Liberty on Thursdays. These tours are free with your ferry ride to the statue. Evenings are a bit cooler, and much less crowded, so you don’t have to see the statue with the huddled masses.

Tickets for this include dinner from the Crown Café, with hamburgers, veggie burgers and wraps. The vegetarian wrap was loaded with peppers, zucchini and roasted eggplant.

Night tours are 6pm to 8:15pm; you can also take an earlier boat back at 7:15.

Note that you go through pretty intense security to get to Liberty Island; scanners where you remove your shoes, bracelets and belts, though you can bring a full water bottle.

Better than Brown Bagging
If you are going to Bryant Park, or want to keep that water bottle cold, bring your lunch in the PackIt cooler. This freeze & go lunch tote doesn’t need ice cubes of ice packs; store, the bag in the freezer & the bag stays cool for up to 10 hours. If you are packing a picnic in the evening, the wine cooler bag keeps your white wine or rose at the perfect drinking temperature. You could also stick your kids’ drinks in there, but what fun would that be?