Museum-going can get expensive in New York City, with some of the more popular venues costing upward of $20 for an adult admission. Why not save yourself some cash and venture into new areas of art and culture by paying a visit to one of these museums in the city that are free for all every day of the week?
- American Folk Art Museum- Relocated to 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street), the American Museum of Folk Art is home to an array of quilts, decorative objects and paintings that display a level of craftsmanship most (erroneously) do not associate with folk art. If the collections don’t get you there, the music should – the Folk Art Museum hosts both Guitar Afternoon (2pm every Wednesday) and Free Music Fridays (5:30-7:30).
- National Museum of the American Indian- Housed in one of New York’s finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture (the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, at One Bowling Green downtown in lower Manhattan), the National Museum of the American Indian, a part of the Smithsonian Institute, houses one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world, along with a Photographic Archive that depicts Native Americans from the 1860s to the present.
- The Museum at FIT- For those interested in fashion, both where it has been and where it is headed, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is a must see. The changing special exhibits (at 7th Avenue at 27th Street) by notable designers seem to be the big draw, but part of the permanent collection is the Fashion and Textile History Gallery, an exhibit highlighting trends spanning the last 250 years. The Museum at FIT is also home to the annual Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition every May.
- Sony Wonder Technology Lab- Want a kid-friendly, high-tech, interactive environment that you can personalize during your visit? The Sony Lab in midtown (550 Madison Avenue at 56th Street) has become so popular that their website recommends advance reservations for visitors. Accepted from three months up to seven days prior, reservations can be made by calling (212)833-3100. If you decide not to make reservations ahead of time, get to the Lab early – there are a limited number of same day tickets available, and they move fast.
- Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library- A free museum and reference library with a collection of art from Spain, Portugal and Latin America to rival any outside of the Iberian Peninsula, the Hispanic Society of America (located on Audubon Terrace, at Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets) has a comprehensive survey of Spanish painting from the Middle Ages to the present. With additional space devoted to sculpture, textiles and decorative arts on display, the library is also a destination for researchers of Spanish culture, as the library holdings contain over 250,000 books and periodicals, including 15,000 manuscripts printed before 1701.