The school year may be coming to a close but there is still plenty of learning to do in New York City. New York City’s museum scene is lush with masterpieces, artifacts, and neat exhibits that will leave a lasting impression on you and your children. From spaceships to paintings by Da Vinci, the city’s museums have something to stimulate the whole family. Let’s take a look at 10 of NYC’s top museums and start planning our next outing!
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s reputation precedes itself and the museum is undoubtedly the crown jewel of New York’s cultural scene. The museum holds a massive collection of Asian, Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, European, and American art. It is the biggest museum in the United States and holds over 2 million works, demanding at least a full day’s worth of time to view all of the masterpieces.
This summer the MET will be showing a few special, unique exhibitions. The first, "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" explores how new wave designers are reconciling hand made processes with all of the new technology available to them, including 3-D printing. Another exhibition, "Turner's Whaling Pictures", unites all four of landscapist J.M. William Turner's nautical pieces for the first time ever. It also explores the impact that they may have had on Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick". Melville was in London where the pieces originally resided in 1849, shortly before he penned his epic novel in 1851.
Admission: The museum maintains a “pay what you wish” admissions policy but recommends donations of $25 for adults and $12 for students.
Parking: To reserve a guaranteed parking spot within easy walking distance of The Met please click here.
2. Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Image from CooperHewitt.org
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum is fittingly located in the majestic Andrew Carnegie Mansion and provides an immersive experience into all things design, both historical and contemporary. The museum accomplishes this with a wide array of eccentric and educational exhibits, as well as a solid core collection of pieces that portray the impact of design on everyday human life. From product design and decorative arts to textiles, wall coverings, and even digital design, the Cooper-Hewitt provides a crash course on the development of everyday objects and how their designs influence our interaction with them.
A wide range of exhibitions should provide something for the whole family this summer. "Pixar: The Design of Story", gives you an inside look into the design process of everyone's favorite animated production company. Sketches, paintings, and sculptures reveal how characters and settings were brought to life. A full list of exhibitions can be found right here.
Admission: Adults - $18, Seniors - $12, Students $9
Parking: Driving to the Cooper-Hewitt and want your family to think you’re a superhero? Reserve a guaranteed parking spot ahead of time by clicking here.
3. The Museum of Modern Art
Image by Bot (Kaldari) (Wikipedia CC BY 2.5)
When the Museum of Modern of Art opened its doors in 1929 it was the first museum in Manhattan to exhibit European Modernism. Today, the museum holds over 150,000 pieces of art and stands as the most complete collection of modern artwork in the world. MoMA also contains a research library that details the history of modern art.
Act quickly to catch a rare Edgar Degas print making exhibition before it ends on July 24. Degas was enchanted with a new printmaking process that expanded the realm of possibilities in art. He threw himself into the process, and the fruits of his labors are now on display in New York for a limited time.
Admission: Adults - $25, Students - $14
Parking: Driving to MoMA? Parking Panda offers a great valet parking option less than a block away from the museum. Make a reservation by clicking here and you will receive an online discount!
4. The Morgan Library and Museum
Image from themorgan.org
The Morgan Library and Museum might be the only place in the world where you can view both a diary kept by Bob Dylan and original sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci. Located in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, the Morgan Library and Museum contains banking tycoon J.P. Morgan’s extensive private collection of art and noted literary works. The museum holds pieces from the High Renaissance and Impressionist movements to ancient artifacts and rare manuscripts and books.
Pieces from Rembrant, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Cezanne round out Morgan’s art collection, while famed authors Henry David Thoreau, William Blake, and Emile Zola all have rare versions of their work on display. The museum is a can’t miss for any culture fiend looking to cross off a number of artists from their bucket list this Summer.
Admission: Adults - $18, Children - $12
Parking: Parking Panda has an affordable valet parking option just 1 block away from the museum. For $27 you can park from 9am to 9pm and drive back home at your convenience. Click here for a complete list of parking options for The Morgan Library and Museum.
5. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
Image by Rama (Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)
It’s not often that you get to step foot on some of the world’s most powerful naval vessels. The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum showcases some of the United State’s most impressive aircraft and battleships. The museum is located at directly on the Hudson River at Pier 86 in Manhattan’s West Side. The USS Intrepid is the museum’s centerpiece and lays decommissioned after seeing active duty in WWII, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War.
In addition to the Intrepid, you can also view the NASA space shuttle Enterprise, along with a submarine equipped with a guided missile, and a British Airways Concorde jet. The Concorde jet crossed the Atlantic Ocean at record speed in 1996.
Admission: Adults - $31, Seniors and Students - $27
Parking: There are a plethora of parking options near pier 86 that you can reserve ahead of time. Click here to view these options.
6. The Guggenheim
The Guggenheim Museum is well known not only for its eclectic collection of Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary art, but also for the building’s original design that was conceived and executed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The gallery is displayed in a continuous spiral that ascends through the building, reflecting Wright’s vision of a free flowing space.
On exhibition this summer is "But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa".
Admission: Adults - $25, Students and Seniors - $1
Parking: The Guggenheim does not list an official parking lot on their website. To reserve a guaranteed parking spot within walking distance of the Guggenheim please click here. If you’re willing to hoof it, Parking Panda has a parking option that is 4 blocks away from the museum and would cost $30 for 12 hours of valet parking. In New York City, that’s an absolute steal.
7. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is a must see for anyone interested in one of New York City’s most prominent facets, the fashion. The museum has over 50,000 garments in its permanent collection, dating back to the 18th century and includes pieces from some of the titans of fashion design.
The Gallery FIT, located on the main floor of the museum, showcases work from students and faculty members of the school. The Fashion and Textile History gallery educates visitors on 250 years of fashion history. The Museum at FIT also has strong educational programming, including free lectures, panel discussions, fashion conversations, and guided tours.
This summer the museum will have an exhibit on display titled "Uniformity". The exhibit will explore the role of different types of uniforms in society and their influence on the fashion industry.
Parking: Headed to check out FIT? Click here to reserve a guaranteed parking spot in advance.
8. The Whitney Museum of American Art
Image from whitney.org
This summer, check out the Whitney Museum of American art’s new $422 million home in the West Village that was completed just last year. According to Wallpaper.com the bulding “spans 220,000sq ft and nine stories that will include the city’s largest column-free art gallery spaces, an education centre, theatre, a conservation lab and a library and reading rooms.”
The Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection is centered around New York socialite and museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s personal collection of some 600 art works. Whitney continually supported American artists throughout her life and added to her collection. The collection spans the entirety of major American art movements in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Whitney founded the museum on the principles of supporting young, emerging artists in the American art scene. To this day, the museum holds a biennial exhibit showcasing a survey of contemporary American art.
Admission: Adults - $22, Students/Seniors - $18, Children - Free
Parking: Headed to the Whitney but not sure where to park? Click here to view a full list of parking options in the area and reserve a guaranteed spot ahead of time!
9. New York Transit Museum
Flicker Image by Marcin Wichery (CC By 2.0)
Have you ever wondered what makes The Big Apple go? Come find out at the New York Transit Museum, the “largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history”, according the to museums website. At the NYTM you can discover the rich history of New York’s subway, bus, commuter rail, and bridge system.
The museum is located in a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn Heights. Visit the “Steel, Stone, and Backbone” exhibit to learn how NYC’s subway system was constructed from the underground up.
Admission: Adults - $5, Children - $5
Parking: To reserve a guaranteed parking spot ahead of time near the New York Transit Museum please click here.
10. The Frick Collection
Image by Gryffindor (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Frick Collection too holds an impressive private collection of European art. Housed in the Upper East Side Mansion of Henry Clay Frick, the museum is widely regarded as one of the best small art museums in the United States. According to the museum's website the collection now holds a “permanent collection of more than 1,100 works of art from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century.”
Noted artists featured at the museum include El Greco, Johannes Vermeer, Jean-Honore Fragonard, and Pierro Della Francesca.
Admission: Adults - $20, Students - $10
Parking: Click here for a full list of parking options in the area.
Have a museum that you think should be added to the list? What about tips for upcoming exhibitions? Join the conversation on our Twitter account @ParkingPanda.
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