Vaccine freebies: NY & NJ roll out incentives to get more vaccinated

NEW YORK — Haven’t been vaccinated yet? New York and New Jersey offered several incentives for residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

From free park admissions and beer to free scratch-and-win tickets that give you the chance to win up to $5 million, local officials are offering great deals to get vaccinated — which is also free.

New York freebies

NY Knicks tickets

  • Get vaccinated Tuesday (5/25) at Madison Square Garden and enter to win tickets to Wednesday’s game
  • Get vaccinated Thursday and enter to win tickets to a game next season/subsequent playoffs game
  • Get Knocks merch with your shot and maybe meet Walt “Clyde” Frazier, John Starks and the Knicks City dancers

Shot in the Park

NYC weekly contests

  • New prizes weekly
  • Anyone 18+ automatically invited to enter contest after first dose at NYC-run sites
  • Offered through early July
  • Prizes: Staycation packages, concert tickets, Broadway shows and more
    • This week: 10 free, one-year memberships to Crunch Fitness
    • 50 three-day passes to Governors Ball

Free scratch lottery tickets

  • Get vaccinated from May 24 to May 28 at any of the 10 mass vaccination sites in New York and get a free scratch ticket for the NY Lottery Mega Multiplier game. Those who receive a free ticket have a chance to win up to $5 million.

Free tickets to NYC museums, parks, etc

New York City is opening more vaccination sites at several popular locations, which will offer free tickets and passes.

  • The Brooklyn Children’s Museum: Get vaccinated, get a free same-day ticket and family pass for a future visit
  • Bronx Zoo: Get vaccinated, get free tickets for a future visit
  • Coney Island Aquarium – get vaccinated, get free tickets for a future visit
  • NYC is also offering free tickets to New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Public Theater memberships, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Cyclones games, NYC football club, NYC ferry, Governors Ball
  • Mobile vaccine site outside Barclay’s Center: Get free merchandise. A select number of Nets playoff tickets will be given to fully vaccinated fans.

Gift Cards

  • $15 to Chelsea Market gift card provided by Google
  • $25 to NYC Public Markets

Free MetroCards

Free Shake Shack

New Jersey freebies

Free wine

  • Anyone who gets their first vaccine dose in May can get a free glass of wine at participating wineries as part of the “Uncork the Vaccination” initiative.

Free beer

Dinner with Gov. Murphy

  • Anyone 18 and older who was vaccinated in New Jersey since December can enter an online contest to win a dinner with Gov. Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy at either Drumthwacket, which is the official residence of the governor in Princeton, or at Island Beach State Park. The deadline to enter is May 31.

Free state park pass

  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free “State Parks Vax Pass” to all residents who get at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by July 4. The pass, which is of the same value as the annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to any state park that charges entrance or parking fees from May 27 through Dec. 31. The DEP will also issue refunds to residents who have already purchased a State Parks Pass for 2021 if they show their vaccination card.

Nationwide freebies


The beer maker Budweiser is giving away a free beer to anyone 21 and up who provides proof of vaccination on To score the deal, you must first register at The deal lasts through May 16 or while supplies last.

Krispy Kreme

You can get a free doughnut every day by showing your vaccination card at any Krispy Kreme store in the United States. No purchase required. Having either one or both shots will get you the free donut.


Target is giving away a $5 coupon if you get vaccinated at one of the CVS pharmacies in its stores.

Staples and Office Depot

Office supply stores Staples and Office Depot are offering free lamination services for vaccination cards. But beware, some have warned not to laminate your vaccine card as the process may cause the ink to run and become illegible.

Sam Adams

Beer maker Sam Adams will CashApp you $7 if you’re one of the first 10,000 people who post evidence of vaccination (a selfie or photo of a vaccine card) on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ShotForSam.

Super Bowl tickets

Fifty vaccinated people will win free tickets to Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 in Los Angeles. All you have to do is earn points on the Global Citizen website by sharing your vaccination status, then entering those points for the Super Bowl giveaway. There’s other chances to win tickets to major events as well, including Live Nation concerts, the NASCAR Daytona 500 and MLB, NBA and NHL games.

White Castle

Through May 31, anyone with proof of vaccination can get one of four versions of the dessert on a stick: Gooey Buttercake-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Brownie-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Cheesecake-on-a-Stick and Birthday Cake-on-a-Stick to mark the burger chain’s 100th birthday. No purchase is necessary.

Updated: May 25, 2021 — 9:27 pm

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