Shake Shack is one of many restaurants offering free food to the vaccinated. Photo courtesy of Shake Shack
Shake Shack is one of many restaurants offering free food to the vaccinated. Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Vaccine Freebies in New York City For Kids and Families

Updated June 3, 2021
The road back to normalcy is paved with shots in arms, and New York City is pulling out all the stops to get folks vaccinated as quickly as possible, offering a slew of vaccine freebies for individuals willing to roll up their sleeves and get their shot. These freebies range from eats and treats to museum tickets and more.

With teens newly eligible for the shot, and an ambitious goal of vaccinating 5 million New Yorkers by June, city officials, local businesses, and culture spots are getting creative and offering cool perks for the vaccinated. Read on for our favorite deals and even details on how to get your shot at two of our favorite kid-friendly museums, plus the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium.

New Yorkers ages 12+ are all eligible for the Pfizer vaccine; adults can receive the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna shots. If you haven't gotten your vaccine, or need one for your child, find a city- or state-run location online. Many spots are now accepting walk-ins.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a slew of FREE tickets, gift cards, and memberships available for the fully vaxxed earlier this week. More details on how to nab these vaccine freebies will be available in the coming days, but these deals are available now.

1.Shake Shack

In conjunction with the NYC Mayor's Office, the beloved local burger chain is handing out free crinkle-cut fries with the purchase of any burger or chicken sandwich. If you are vaccinated at a mobile vaccine bus (Johnson & Johnson shots only), you receive a voucher for a FREE Shackburger. The fry offer is valid through Saturday, June 12, and the voucher is good through the end of the year. There are 23 city locations participating. Proof of vaccination by showing either a vaccine card or an Excelsior Pass is required.

RELATED: Free Times to Visit NYC Museums, Gardens, and Zoos

a drink and a hot dog
Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs are free only on the day you're vaccinated. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

2. Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

Grab a FREE hot dog at the Coney Island location, but only on the same day you received your vaccine, with proof in the form of a vaccination card.

RELATED: Krispy Kreme Debuts Times Square Mega Shop

a girl at krispy kreme donuts
A COVID vaccine grants you a glazed donut at Krispy Kreme. Photo by Jody Mercier

3. Krispy Kreme

A donut a day definitely won't keep the doctor away, but it is an option at NYC Krispy Kreme locations. Walk-in with your vaccine card, and walk out with a plain glazed donut for the remainder of 2021.

4. American Museum of Natural History

And finally, for one you can't eat—the American Museum of Natural History offers the Pfizer vaccine under the Big Blue Whale on Fridays-Tuesdays from 9am-6pm. Get your shot here, and receive a voucher for four general admission tickets to explore the museum another day.

5. Brooklyn Children's Museum

Another favorite kid haunt, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, offers a vaccine clinic in its cafe on Tuesdays-Sundays from 9am-5pm. On days when the museum is open to the public, visit for FREE once you've received your shot and explore all the fun inside.

6. WCS Parks

Both the New York Aquarium and Bronx Zoo have opened Pfized vaccination clinics in their parking lots. Visitors to each site can park for FREE while they are vaccinated, and receive a complimentary ticket for a future visit once they're received their vaccine. Due to capacity limits, ticket dates are predetermined. The Bronx Zoo vaccination clinic is in the Southern Boulevard parking lot.

7. A Full Ride

Children ages 12-17 who have received their first done are eligible for the Get A Shot To Make Your Future incentive. Parents can enter their children for a chance at winning one of 50 four-year, full-ride scholarships (room and board, plus book allowance included) to any public New York college or university. The first 10 winners have already been announced.

Two more notable perks worth sharing: Both Uber and Lyft announced plans to offer FREE rides to vaccination sites last week, and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a Vax & Scratch campaign that runs Monday, May 24-Friday, May 28 that provides individuals who get vaccinated at state-run sites with a $20 Mega Multiplier lottery ticket. The top prize is $5 million, though there is a 1-in-9 chance of winning at least $20. We're guessing you've got to be 18+ to capitalize on the cash prize, though. 

Kusama: Cosmic Nature
The New York Botanical Garden - 10:00 AM Pick
Paleo Playdates
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - 10:00 AM Pick
LIC Springs into Summer
Various locations - various times Pick
The Art of Words Art-Based Summer Camp
The Art of Words Community School - 8:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides