Muse For Museums: Places Where New Yorkers Won't Need A Library Card 🧐🗿🖼

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With the unveiling of New York Public Library’s new Culture Pass initiative, the city’s cultural institutions just became much more accessible to everyone. But the system is not without its flaws. Only a certain number of passes are available per day for each attraction, and the passes for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden are reserved through September 1st, at the time of writing.

If you want to make last minute museum plans, you may be out of luck - which is precisely why today is your lucky day.

With our list of free and pay-what-you-will museums and attractions around NYC, you’ll never find yourself without anything to do. We have activities for every day of the week, whether or not you have a Culture Pass. 


Sunday (Free 10-11 AM)


New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th St, Queens) 

nysci On view this week, images hand created by Vandorn Hinnant that employ ancient rules of geometric construction. Hinnant uses a compass, straight edge, graphite markers, color pencils and metallic inks to create his works. http://bit.ly/2L5TVhw #math #exhibit #drawings

Perfect for lazy Sundays and science enthusiasts alike, NYSCI features exhibits ranging from the process behind animation to mathematically-inspired artwork.

The historical museum always has new rotating exhibits, making every visit fresh and exciting. And not paying the $16 for admission? Who wouldn’t want that?


Monday (Pay what you will 10 AM - 5 PM)

Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue 
(12 Elridge St, Manhattan) 

trish_mayo #KikiSmith #eldridgestreetsynagogue #art #sculpture #stainedglass

If you’re looking for a piece of history to visit on your Monday off, especially if you have an interest in American Jewish history, Eldridge Street Synagogue is ideal.

As the “first great house of worship” build by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the US, Eldridge is home to no shortage of history. The curators have rounded this out with a variety of educational opportunities and art installations.


Tuesday (Free 5 - 9 PM)

9/11 Museum (180 Greenwich St, Manhattan) 

911memorial Standing at 36-feet tall in Foundation Hall is the Last Column. Covered with mementos, memorial inscriptions and posters placed by rescue and recovery workers the column was the last piece of the Twin Towers removed from Ground Zero. #911Museum

One of the finest museums the city has to offer, located on the site of the original towers, the the 9/11 Museum is at once exhaustively curated, and beautiful.

It holds a mind-boggling number of artifacts related to the 9/11 attacks, from the build-up to the city’s inspiring recovery efforts.

This quality comes at a price - you’re looking at $24 admission for adults on normal days. Tuesday is your chance to avoid that.


Wednesday (Free all day)

New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx) 

nybg #GeorgiaNYBG is always changing. Here in the Nolen Greenhouses, parades of fresh flowers and foliage await their moment in the Conservatory spotlight. 💫✨

Sometimes, you need a day in the garden. We won’t tell your boss - just do it for you.

Do it on Wednesday for your wallet, because admission is free all day. You’ll still have to pay for any special events or exhibitions, but the deal is still great.


Thursday (Pay what you will, 6 - 9 PM)


Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle, Manhattan) 

madmuseum "Sanctuary recalls a history that cannot be omitted, but it [is] also one with which many cannot—and should not—hastily commiserate. Victor Hugo Green, the eponymous creator of the book, had hoped that one day his publication would be obsolete; Adams ensures that it will not be overlooked. Perhaps remembering and recreating sanctuaries is an act of resistance too." – ‘Artist Derrick Adams Reinterprets Jim Crow Era Travel Guide’ by Interview Magazine [full article in the bio link 📰] . Closing on August 12: ‘Derrick Adams: Sanctuary’ explores themes of racism and mobility through 50 mixed-media works of collage and sculpture in a site-specific installation created by the artist (@derrickadamsny). The exhibition was inspired by ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’ (or commonly known as ‘The Green Book’). . Published from 1936 to 1967, ‘The Green Book’ was created by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green and served as a guide to finding hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other businesses that welcomed black Americans during the Jim Crow Era, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against non-whites was widespread. #derrickadamssanctuary

Design is a tricky intersection between artistic and practical values, which is precisely what makes it worthy of having a dedicated museum.

Pay whatever you want to see the museum’s historical and contemporary references to the best in design on Thursday evenings - spend some time after work enriching your perspective.


Friday (Free 4 - 8 PM)

Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd St, Manhattan) 

themuseumofmodernart Any tune will do in “The Humming Room” (2012). Now on view in our #AdrianPiper exhibition. … [Artwork: Voluntary group performance. Full-time museum guard, empty room equipped to echo, and two text signs, one above the door and one adjacent. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin]

The MoMA has one of the best-curated collections of modern art anywhere in the world.

Think of it - you can kick off your Friday night by viewing works by the greats, like van Gogh, Warhol, Pollock, Malevich. You’ll certainly have something to talk about at the bar later.


Saturday (Pay what you will, 5 - 7:45 PM)

Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Ave, Manhattan) 

guggenheim We're kicking off the weekend at #ArtAfterDark tonight! Check out our #InstaStory for more. __ 📷 @BenHiderImages #Guggenheim #FrankLloydWrightFridays

In a city of iconic architecture focused on height and spectacle, the Guggenheim has managed to solidify itself as genuinely unique.

It’s considered one of the most important pieces of American architecture ever, and also happens to house plenty of similarly important modern and contemporary art.

That’s a package deal if we’ve ever heard of one - and at a discount on Saturday evenings.


Alrighty, folks, we hope this helps you out if you want a day or night out at one of these fine museums for low prices, or for free! Come on, who doesn't like cheap or free stuff? 

Got a hot tip or correction? Drop us a line at tips@spoilednyc.com
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