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One of the many great things about being a healthcare traveler: You get to experience new communities like a local—enjoying everything from regional cuisine to unique landmarks—for the duration of your assignment. And in the summertime, you can also enjoy a number of outdoor concerts and other events, free of charge, at cities throughout the country.

If you’re fulfilling a contract in or near the Big Apple, for instance, check out the “Today” show’s Summer Concert Series, which take place at 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza. While you’ll need to arrive by 7:00 a.m. for any of the gigs (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3041478/ for dates and artists), you get to enjoy performances by popular musicians without spending a single cent. Coldplay is slated to take to the stage this Friday, June 27, and upcoming shows include performances by Rascal Flatts, Natasha Bedingfield, and Celine Dion.

On assignment at a facility in or close to the Windy City? You can see a free “theatrical spectacle” (think “Cirque du Soleil”) at Navy Pier’s Gateway Park on Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12. The American premiere of Compagnie Transe Express’ production of “Maudits Sonnants” is presented as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s World Stage Series. The hour-long aerial performance is set to start at roughly 9:00 p.m. on both nights and will feature a musical chandelier brought to life by performers who ring bells, beat drums, and swing on trapezes. A fireworks display over Lake Michigan concludes the event.

If you’re honoring a 13-week commitment in Flagstaff, Arizona, you should know that the city’s Downtown Business Alliance is presenting a free flick every Friday night through September 12 at Heritage Square. “Movies on the Square” starts at 6:00 p.m., and each film is preceded by live entertainment. This Friday, you can see a Middle Eastern-style dance performance by the Gypsy Chicks before watching “The Bee Movie” under the stars atop your own blanket or lawn chair. Additional upcoming movies include “The Last Mimzy,” “October Sky,” “Evan Almighty,” “Nacho Libre,” and “Lady and the Tramp.”

To find out about no-cost events in and around your assignment location, check bulletin boards at supermarkets and the local library, ask permanent staff for recommendations, and contact the area Chamber of Commerce or Convention and Visitors Bureau. And if you’d like to share information about freebies in your contract locale with fellow travelers, please leave a comment with the particulars.

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