So, of the 83 museums in New York City, here are a handful that are worth spending a day off getting lost inside. Be sure to get a NYC ID if you don’t already have one for discounted tickets. Also, free museum days and times are game changers.
Also, also, also, art is everywhere you look. Don’t underestimate the fun and glamour of traipsing through Chelsea galleries and sculpture gardens when you don’t have a few hours to lose on a museum day.
Manhattan: Near Sinai (UES)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – nearby, free with your NYC ID. Tackle it in bite sized pieces, 1 hr a visit. Swing by the rooftop bar or cafe and people watch for 75% of that hour.
Museum of the City of New York – right by work, great post conference hang. Get to know the reason Elmhurst is as perfect as i is and why Staten Island exists.
The Guggenheim – pricey, but you have to go at least once.
The Frick Gallery – fancy shmancy, essentially the classics section of the met. But 10/10 indoor courtyard for your insta.
El Museo del Barrio – short and sweet if you only have 1-2 hours, but don’t forget to grab a bite while you’re there
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – enjoy the green space and some Bluestone Lane coffee after.
The Jewish Museum – THEY HAVE A RUSS AND DAUGHTERS INSIDE! ENOUGH SAID.
Near Elmhurst/Not Really, but in Queens
The Noguchi Museum – check out the scheduled live shows before you go for a twofer.
Socrates Sculpture Park – get weird and picnic in this free little gem of a park.
Moma PS1 – come for the art, stay for the daytime rave
Not as Nearby but Worth It
9/11 Memorial Museum (Financial District)
American Folk Art Museum (Lincoln Center) – ALWAYS FREE. Takes less than 1 hour, right by the lincoln center
The Museum of Modern Art (Midtown)- all the paintings you had posters of in your college dorm. Hands down, the best museum gift shop.
Museum of the Dog (Midtown East) – It’s American Kennel Club so a little problematic, but if you can get over that, spend an hour or two in the dedicated dog library learning about our best friends.
National Museum of the American Indian (Financial District) – FREE! If you find yourself lost in FiDi (I’m so sorry). BUT, ask about the in person guided tour for salacious details about the gorgeous space.
The Whitney Museum of Art (Meatpacking) – time your visit to get breathtaking views of the sunset over the city.
Museum of Arts and Design – A precious little gem in Columbus Circle
The Rubin Museum of Art (Chelsea) – destress in the Tibetan Bell room
International Center of Photography Museum (Lower East Side) – Cross the street to Essex Market after for tasty treats
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (Lower Manhattan) – only open Fri-Sunday
New York Transit Museum (Brooklyn) – The entrance is an old subway platform. How neat is that!
Mmuseumm (Soho) – 5 min free museum. Quirky and perfect for the EM resident on their day off.
The Met Cloisters (Washington Heights) – take a day trip with your friends and hang out in the park after
Elizabeth Street Garden (Nolita) – cute place to drink your coffee and people watch
Fotografiska (Gramercy Park) – check out the bar if nothing else
You can google the rest but these are just a few of my favorites!