Art Museums to visit in NYC
Happy 2015! To start the New Year with a new travel blog series, I decided to write about fabulous New York City that I live in, starting with some insider tips!
Having lived in New York for a few years now and being a “culture vulture” as an aunt of mine likes to say, people are always asking me what museums to go to and which ones are free. So… here is the scoop on free museums in New York City and I will make sure to refer my friends and family to this post when asked again, and you can feel free to as well!
People are actually always surprised at the number of free days or hours for museums in Manhattan. So while you can spend a small fortune on your hotel room and food, you can spend very little money while in NYC, especially if you like art!
Below is a list of 11 top museums in New York City that you can visit for a dollar or less!
Really! Plus read on for insider tips and notes.
The Museum of Modern Art (the MoMA)
-FREE every Friday from 4pm to 8pm.
TIP – Get there before 4pm to stand in line – for popular exhibits the line can wrap around the block, so be prepared and dress appropriately if visiting the city in the winter/autumn months. By going on FREE Fridays, you save 25 dollars, which is the admission fee for ONE adult! Gasp!
-Located on 53rd street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue.
————From here I list some top museums on “Museum Mile” which basically run along 5th Avenue.
The Metropolitan Museum (called “the Met” by New Yorkers) is FREE
-Many tourists see the admissions fee sign and think they have to pay over one-hundred dollars for their family to get into the Met. No! It’s “pay what you wish” which means you can give a dollar if you want to, and don’t feel bad if you do because the Met has big donors. Give a few dollars and enjoy the museum!
TIP-The museum is open late on Friday and Saturday, until 9pm, so you can certainly get it in with your other tourist activities!
-Located on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street
The Frick Collection
-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Sunday from 11am to 1pm
For popular exhibits there can be a line.
The Frick is one of the jewels of New York City with a unique history, gorgeous interior and covetable gardens that can only be admired and not stepped into.
TIP – Remember to watch the movie about the building and history of the museum!
TIP 2 – For an after museum snack, head over to Laduree on Madison between 70th and 71st for a fresh, yet pricey, macaroon (there can be a line, but it moves pretty quickly).
**NOTE that children under 10 years old are not permitted, and that’s any everyday rule.
-Located on 70th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue
-FREE first Friday of every month from 6pm to 8pm
An exquisite museum of German and Austrian art and design.
TIP-for an authentic Austrian pastry and superb coffee, visit the Café Sabarsky or Café Fledermaus (open later on first Fridays, until 9pm). Sitting in Café Sabarsky will make you feel like you are in Europe!
NOTE – Children under 12 are not permitted into the museum
NOTE 2 – The gallery is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, BUT you can still eat cake because the café Sabarsky is open on those days.
-Located on 86th street and 5th Avenue
-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Saturday from 5:45 to 7:45
There is always a long line, so get there early early early!
TIP – This museum is for those who truly appreciate modern and abstract art.
-By going on Saturday evening you save 22 dollars, which is the admissions fee for ONE adult!
The Jewish Museum
-FREE every Saturday from 11am to 5:45pm
This museum never disappoints!
TIP – After visiting the Jewish Museum, you can stop by Ciao Bella, right down the same block on 92nd street, for a delicious gelato.
-Located on 92nd street and 5th Avenue
The Cooper Hewitt Museum
-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Saturday from 6pm to 9pm
NOTE – The garden and café are now FREE for all to access (before you had to pay to get into the museum AND gardens. There are now two entrances, one on 91st street and 90th street.
NOTE 2 – A bonus for families regarding general admission, children under 18 are FREE (something you don’t see very often).
In the newly renovated building, which now includes galleries on the 3rd floor and many interactive displays, the Cooper Hewitt is a great stop for kids and aspiring designers.
-Located on 91st street and 5th Avenue
The Museum of the City of New York
-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY DAY! Open 10am to 6pm every day!
-An amazing museum that is beautifully designed and focuses on New York City history, artists, and more.
-Located on 103rd street and 5th Avenue. –TIP – the museum is across from the lovely Central Park Conservatory Garden, entrance gate closer to 105th street, so make sure to pop in especially during the Spring.
——————-A few extra museums that are really worth visiting!
The Morgan Library & Museum
-FREE every Friday from 7pm to 9pm
This museum is located in another jewel of a building with access to the original residence of J. Pierpont Morgan and the stunning library.
TIP – The Museum Dining room has an excellent brunch, I suggest making a reservation. And as with most museum stores, the store is marvelous!
TIP 2 – While visiting the Morgan Library, if you have a question about the building, just ask one of the guards who always prove to be extremely knowledgeable. AND make sure to ask about how the second and third floor bookcases are accessed in a library without any stairs?
-Located on 36th street and Madison Avenue
The New York Historical Society
-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Friday from 6pm to 8pm
A wonderful museum with a great movie about New York City history and interesting exhibits like the recent “Madeline in New York” exhibit.
TIP – This museum café is another fabulous location for brunch.
-Located on Central Park West at 77th Street
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology– or as I say FIT museum
-FREE every day! Well it is closed Sundays and Mondays. But Open Saturday 10-5 and Tuesday to Friday Noon to 8pm.
*** I have loved every exhibit I have seen at FIT. They are stunning, informative, and inspiring. Plus, as the motto says, it’s “the most fashionable museum in New York City.”
-Located on West 27th Street and 7th Avenue
So there you have it, 11 museums you can visit in New York City for a dollar or less!
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