The Studio Museum In Harlem
Reopening in 2023
Harlems Studio Museum has come a long way. Opened in a space above a liquor store by a group of dedicated artists, local business owners, and Harlem residents in 1968, the Studio Museum is one of the best museums in the United States dedicated to Black culture and artists of African descent.
Having found its place at the table with NYCs best art museums over the years, it needed a for-purpose home worthy of its status, and work continues on the Studio Museums multi-million dollar site on 125th Street.
The museum celebrates the work of established artists as well as up-and-comers. The permanent collection boasts thousands of pieces, including everything from drawings and prints to photographs and installations, all by Black American artists and members of the African diaspora.
The museums renowned artist-in-residence program offers three 11-month residencies each year, and many of these artists have gone on to forge hugely successful careers.
Eclectic Museums At Columbus Circle
Travel to the neighborhood of Columbus Circle on the west side of Manhattan for some eclectic museums. Start at 59th Street and Columbus Circle. At the southwest corner is the Museum of Arts and Design or MAD, where you will see a confluence of art, craft and design.
The exhibitions highlight the numerous ways by which artists display their creativity using materials and techniques ranging from simple craftsmanship to modern technology.
I loved the goblet collection displayed in the stairwell. Its glass artistry at its finest with pieces by well-known artists including Dale Chihuly.
Walk up Broadway to 66th Street to reach the small, jewel-like and free to visit American Folk Art Museum. Unusual in that it presents art only by self-taught artists, the collection is powerful and dazzling.
The store is particularly charming with its offerings of handmade items from around the world. You are bound to come away with a haul of unusual gift items.
At 77th Street and Central Park West, a stones throw from the behemoth American Museum of Natural History is the New-York Historical Society. It is the oldest museum in New York and is now slated for an expansion with an addition of another five stories.
The Rubin Museum Of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art is a neat art museum in NYC with a focus on works that celebrate the cultures from the Himalayas, India, and Tibet. The on-site museum cafe, Cafe Serai, offers top notch dining, making it easy to decide where to eat after visiting the collection. On K2 Friday nights, the Rubin offers free admission.
Here are some of the “must see” items at The Rubin Museum of Art.
- The Wish Fulfilling Tree
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The New York Hall Of Science
Corona, QueensOne thing Manhattan lacks is a bona fide science museum, but if youre on the hunt for tech, engineering and math activities, make the trip to the 111th Street 7 Train stop for the NYSCI. It has been educating and entertaining visitors since the Worlds Fair in 1964, and now houses more than 450 exhibits.Adults $20, children $15
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Located in the Upper West Side, the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, also known as The Met, is the largest museum in the U.S. with three locations across the country. Its so massive that you can easily spend several days here.
Apart from its vast collection of classic and contemporary arts, our favorite activity here is to wander through the Temple of Dendur, which contains an ancient Egyptian temple built at around 15 BC. It is also a great place to snap some epic photographs.
Admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students, and free for Members, Patrons, and children under 12. Tickets include all exhibitions and are valid for three consecutive days.
The beautiful water reflection at the Temple of Dendur, The Met. Yasemin Gulerman/Flickr
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Best Museums In New York City
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The sheer number of museums and cultural institutions in New York can boggle the mindit doesn’t have just world-class museums spanning neighborhoods from the Upper East Side all the way to the Lower East Side it has entire neighborhoods, like Chelsea, dedicated to smaller galleries. With specialties ranging from Chinese, Hispanic, and Jewish art to photography, natural history, and cutting-edge contemporary, theres truly something for any interestall you have to do is decide what that is. We’ve got you covered no matter what you’re interested in with our list of the best museums in New York City.
The American Museum Of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and with its desire for understanding human cultures, the natural world, and the universe, it has since become one of the worlds prominent scientific and cultural institutions. One of the current exhibitions is Spiders Alive!, where visitors can explore spiders anatomy, diversity, venom, silk, and behaviour, as well as see larger than life models, videos and fossils. The museum also shows Jean Michel Cousteaus Secret Ocean, where viewers can see rare aquatic life such as Christmas tree worms, basket stars and banded cleaner shrimp. You can visit the American Museum of Natural History at Central Park West & 79th Street.
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National Museum Of Mathematics
For parents who want to build a strong mathematical foundation for your kids, spend a day or two at the National Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath by Madison Square Garden. Here, you will learn concepts like pi, kinetics, shapes, hyperboloids, fractals, and parabolas through hand-on interactive exhibits.
Highlights in the museum include a square-wheeled trike, the Twisted Thruway and Hoop Curves!, which is one of our favorites. It asks you to use statistics to help a robotic basketball shooter put a ball into the hoop.
Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, students, and children over two.
American Folk Art Museum
First opened in ye olde 1962 , this is one of those quiet little Manhattan museums in NYC that gives you a sneak peek into some of the USAs earliest known pieces of art.
Because believe it or not, this not-so-large museum is home to a whopping seven thousand works of art. And while theyre not all on display at any given time, each item displayed here is totally unique and can date all the way back to the 18th century.
Therefore, youll find an eclectic collection of pieces here that include wood carvings, stone statues, quilts, ceramics, carousel animals, and much more many of which were created by novice self-taught artists with no formal training.
Whatever you do though, do not leave without visiting the enormous collection of illustrations from Henry Darger and the super cool gift shop with a ton of unique items for sale.
FYI, various temporary exhibits also constantly rotate in and out of this place on the reg so theres always something new to see as you check out one of the coolest museums in NYC and experience the best things to do in the Upper West Side.
Pro Tip: Although this is definitely one of the many cool museums in NYC, its also small. Therefore, you can definitely skip it if youre short on time. But, if its like your 10,000th trip to the city and youre looking for something new to do, then this is a great spot to check out. They also have free music on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm and Fridays at 5:30 pm.
Address: 2 Lincoln Square , New York, NY 10023
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Bus Fleet And Artifacts
Besides subway cars, the museum has a sizable vintage bus fleet of retired buses. Because there is no area available for their permanent exhibition in the underground museum, they are stored in various bus depots around the city. They are brought out for special events, such as the museum’s annual “Bus Festival,” which is held annually in conjunction with the Atlantic Antic street fair. The Bus Festival began as an annual tradition in 1994. During the Bus Festival, the museum opens its doors for free.
The bus fleet includes:
Some bus artifacts are present in the station. A revenue bag, one of many provided for use for bus drivers with the Third Avenue Transit Corporation, was used during the 1950s to transport money out of the buses. It is part of the interactive “Show Me the Money: From the Turnstile to the Bank” exhibit, where visitors could “see an image of the vacuum that attaches to the fare box and sucks the coins out.”:2
Kids Yoga Zoo Adventure
Met Anywhere: Virtual Events â Tap into art and culture from home with a variety of new virtual events. This week, join The Met for a performance that celebrates rockâs Black roots, an opportunity to recreate The Metâs Balcony Bar experience, a storytelling session for kids, and a sketching activity for teens.
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Coolest Museums In Nyc
235 Bowery, Manhattan
Founded in 1977, the New Museum opened its Bowery Lower East Side Manhattan location in 2007, boasting a seven-story building that looks like a stack of white building blocks. Specializing in modern and contemporary art, the New Museum is notorious for being the birthplace for showcasing rising talented artists and one of the coolest museums in NYC for contemporary art lovers.
This NYC museums founder, Marica Tucker, wanted the museum to have a fresh collection constantly vowing to buy and sell pieces of the collection every 10 years so there was always something new, hence the name.
$18 General Admission, Open Tuesday-Sunday most weeks, Reserve Tickets Online
103 Orchard Street, Manhattan
Located in the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum is one of the best museums in NYC for history lovers. This NYC museum transports you to your ancestors earliest days arriving in America.
Guided tours provide biographical retellings of what it was like to live in the working-class tenement buildings. Most interesting is their walking tour which offers an overview of the built landscape of the lower east side.
$30 Building and Walking Tour, Reserve Tickets Online
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
$16 General Admission , closed Mondays & Tuesdays, Reserve Tickets Online
The Morgan Library & Museum
New York Museum Of Modern Art
If you have a taste for modern art and artifacts, head to the Museum of Modern Art , it consists of a trail of modern and contemporary artworks comprising of drawings, paintings, works of design, prints, illustrations, books, and electronic media. Archives contain source material that helps the world understand the world and the origins of modern art. Since 1939 the museum has been involved at multiple stages for modern art events and conjunction. The first major drive to prominence came through Picasso retrospective. Between 1983 to 2014, the museum had already doubled up the gallery space and became 630,000 square feet of art space. Like all the other art museums, they indulge in temporary exhibits as well across their period, and you can add this in your list of 10 best museums in New York. An additional 47000 square feet of space will be added. More than 200,000 works will be on display. The motive is to add artworks from women artists, Asian artists, and minority communities. The total cost of expansion is estimated to be around $450 million. General admission is priced at $25.
Few of the highlighted artworks include-
- Paul Cezanne, The Bather
- Vincent van Gogh, The Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background.
- Giorgio De Chirico, Love Song.
Timings- 10 AM to 6:00 PM
Location- 11 West 53rd Street New York, N.Y. 10019
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The Morbid Anatomy Museum
This one is a little out there. With artifacts, writings, and discussions centered around death, funeral ceremonies, medicine, and more, this is the perfect NYC museum for anyone interested in the morbid details of humans and the vast array of cultural practices surrounding the end of life. There are plenty of skulls, taxidermied animals, weird biology, and books to make your spine tingle, too.
Insiders Tip: The museum hosts a film series and podcast online, so if you want to get a sense of what the museums is like before going, be sure to check it out.
Hours: Daily , 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: 424-A 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Admission: Adults: $8 Seniors and Students: $6 Children 12 & under: FREE
New Museum Of Contemporary Art
The New Museum of Contemporary Art is worth a visit for its architecture alone. Its contemporary art exhibitions are among the best in the world. Founded in 1977, the New Museum of Contemporary Art building was designed by the Japanese architectural firm SANAA and is one of the most striking buildings in NYC.
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Museum Of American Finance
Finance impacts everyone. As a socially relevant organization, the Museum of American Finance seeks to educate the public through exhibits, financial literacy programs, and events, so we can all strive toward financial independence.
You dont need to know anything about finance to find interesting facts and objects at this little gem on Wall Street. The museum isnt big but filled with fascinating items, from the 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set, the $100,000 bill to the room of Alexander Hamilton, who is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
You are welcome to join in the Lunch and Learn series to learn about modern finance from business leaders of all industries. Also, be sure to rub the horn of the iconic Bull & Bear bronze statue that has been thought to bring luck since it was sculpted over 100 years ago.
Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for kids 6 years old and younger. Also, please note that the museum no longer offers free admission on Saturdays.
The inside of Museum of American Finance.
Bernard Museum Of Judaica
There are several cool museums in NYC about Jewish life and culture, but the Bernard Museum of Judaica is easily one of the best due to its amazing collection. Plus, the synagogue that houses this top museum in NYC is also gorgeous.
Located within Temple Emanu-El, one of the largest synagogues in the world, the Bernard Museum houses various exhibits that both celebrate and educate visitors about Jewish culture, history, life, and beliefs.
This is one of the coolest museums in NYC that also consists of three galleries, one that showcases an impressive permanent collection of Jewish memorabilia and artifacts owned by the museum.
In fact, there are over 800 items in this collection, some of which date back as far as the 14th century.
I honestly learn a little bit more about Jewish culture every time I visit, and I am always blown about by how beautiful all of the artifacts are.
And then in the other two rooms are the temporary collections, featuring exhibits on topics as diverse as Jewish cemeteries in Europe, Jewish mysticism and Jewish arts and crafts.
Address: 1 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the N/R/W train to 59th Street and walk from there.
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Childrens Museum Of Manhattan
Easily one of the coolest museums in NYC for families, the Childrens Museum of Manhattan features a ton of super fun, totally interactive exhibits that younger kids will love.
So, I typically tell people that if you have a child who is ten or under, then this is one of the cool museums in NYC that you can visit while on the Upper West Side.
Yes, its a bit small but its all about the quality of the exhibits here, which strive to stimulate kids imagination.
Therefore, give one of the fun museums in NYC a try as you check out popular exhibits like the Talking Dragon, Dora the Explorer rooms, an 8-foot tall finger painting mural, an outdoor exhibit about NYCs watershed, and an array of toddler discovery programs great if its a rainy day and youre looking for fun indoor activities in NYC.
Address: 212 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:45 pm.
Price: Tickets for adults and children are $15.00 each while seniors/disabled visitors are $12.00 and infants under one are free.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 79th Street station and walk to the museum from here.
Nyc Travel & Health Guidelines
Most indoor establishments require masks be worn: subway/public transportation, Broadway theaters, attractions, shopping, museums, etc and most ticketed events require vaccination proof.
Check the latest NYC Travel requirements. As of November 2021, Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show one of the following:
Children under 2 years old do not need to test. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
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