Fun Things to Do in NYC- Museum Edition

by Aaron Liburd, Viageur

New York is a bustling city that is full of life with so much to see and do. There is so much to experience from its vibrant culture, the breathtaking Skyline, Iconic landmarks, food, art, fashion, and everything in between.

You can be sure to always have a good time in this concrete jungle with a sea of options to choose from out of the countless attractions. You’ll have no shortage of ways to spend your time and dime in the city that never sleeps.

Of all the attractions of New York, nothing outmatches its museums in number, scale, or variety. The  Museums of New York, all 83 of them, give you an incredible range of collections to enjoy from art, History, Science, and even Sex. Here are some of our best Museums in NYC

12 of the Best Museums in NYC

1. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) 

Go to AMNH on Thanksgiving Eve if possible. This is where they stash the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons that they carry down 8th avenue the night before the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. This museum is a must-stop in especially if you have children. They will appreciate and love it plus the dinosaur bones and special exhibits will make you feel like you are on the set of the Night at the Museum movie. Another piece of advice: Don’t eat in the cafeteria here. The food is that bad, expensive, and not worth it. Go eat out somewhere else and enjoy the family-friendly Upper West Side.

2. Whitney Museum of American art

Whitney Museum of American art has very modern art. Great building aesthetically for the architecture. This is where rich hipsters go in Manhattan to look at cool modern art. If you like deep art, go here - it is a must-stop in Lower Manhattan as it is located right near the Gansevoort and Standard Hotels.

3. New Museum 

The main reason to go to the New Museum is that you are staying in or near Lower Manhattan. You’ll encounter a lot of new mediums (#notjustpaint) so if that’s not your taste or you don’t want to see art that’s outside your box, skip it and just hit the bars instead. There are many cool things to visit on Lower East Side.  

4. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design museum

It's on the Upper East Side located right on Fifth Avenue although not as popular as the Guggenheim and the Met, which are located nearby on the Museum Mile. You can see what life was like for the wealthy during the Gilded Age. You may think this mansion belongs to some wealthy billionaire but it is a museum dedicated to the historical design of the 18th and early 19th centuries; a great place to stop and visit for Instagram photos.

5. Museum of the City of New York 

1.5 million pieces of art are housed here on the Museum Mile. If you want to understand the history of the city of New York, this is where you must visit. It’s the where what when and how of NYC curated and documented in a museum.

6. Museum of Arts and Design

First, go to the restaurant Robert. It has the best view you can get of Central Park and Columbus Circle. To be honest, unless you value the design of all objects and need to be surrounded by things that are stylized, it’s one you could probably skip. Still, the Museum of Art and Design looks pretty good.

7. Studio Museum in Harlem 

The Studio Museum is a good starting point to see Harlem. A lot of Black artists are showcased here. They are expanding to new buildings but as a former resident of Harlem, stop here and The Schomburg Center if you want to see some exceptional Black art.

8. The Jewish Museum 

The Jewish Museum is the largest of its kind outside of Israel. If you want to understand the culture of people who emigrated here over the past 150 years. stop here and learn why. It is a somber place to visit but lets you reflect on many historical achievements made by the Jewish community in America.

9. The Morgan Library & Museum

This is a museum/library/landmark/historic site/music venue. Some of the oldest artifacts that are owned by a private collection are located here, including one of the 23 original copies of the Declaration of Independence.  This place drips of old money charm and you can see rare artifacts and art pieces that you may never get to in a lifetime. Take advantage of the opportunity and go see this monument to human history in a super swanky former home that is now a museum. I would say this home is akin to an American palace. 

10. Brooklyn Museum

On the edge of Prospect Park, it is a must-stop in Brooklyn, especially on the first Saturday of every month. This museum has a large collection of African art and has very big and beautiful open halls that lend themselves to taking amazing pictures. On a Saturday afternoon, go to Prospect and then hit the museum around 7 pm. You can really enjoy the place and feel like you’re enjoying life. There are also good roti spots down Washington Avenue and new bars going towards Bergen street.