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View Full Version : Free or "Pay What You Can" Museums in New York City


bienville
04-27-2011, 12:35 PM
Do Museums go in Cafe Society or IMHO?

Might spend a few days in NYC this summer. I've spent lots of time in New York, I can thoroughly enjoy myself just finding a nice place for lunch and soaking up the vibe. If the trip happens, however, I'll be traveling with someone who has never been to New York but has always had it as her "Dream Place to One Day Visit".

So, I figure we should actually "do stuff". Still, we'll be on a very tight budget (the main reason this is still just a "maybe" trip instead of a definite plan).

What are the best options for free or "pay what you can" museums?

Don't forget to include places that might just have a one day a week thing going on where they're free.

Dr. Righteous
04-27-2011, 12:45 PM
Here are some (http://gonyc.about.com/cs/museums/a/museumdeals.htm)

Hello Again
04-27-2011, 01:02 PM
Do Museums go in Cafe Society or IMHO?

Might spend a few days in NYC this summer. I've spent lots of time in New York, I can thoroughly enjoy myself just finding a nice place for lunch and soaking up the vibe. If the trip happens, however, I'll be traveling with someone who has never been to New York but has always had it as her "Dream Place to One Day Visit".

So, I figure we should actually "do stuff". Still, we'll be on a very tight budget (the main reason this is still just a "maybe" trip instead of a definite plan).

What are the best options for free or "pay what you can" museums?

Don't forget to include places that might just have a one day a week thing going on where they're free.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (donation based at all times - they sort of pressure you for their "suggested donation" but STAY STRONG!)
American Museum of Natural History (ditto)
Whitney Museum of American Art: Pay what you want Fridays, 6-9pm.
Frick Collection: Pay what you want Sundays, 11am -pm

bienville
04-27-2011, 01:21 PM
Great link Dr. Righteous. Thanks!

Hello Again, thanks for making personal suggestions! Personal suggestion from the Dope are Gold!

Gus Gusterson
04-27-2011, 01:35 PM
You can just walk into the American Museum of Natural History. Go right past the ticket lines to the exhibits. There are ticket sellers but no ticket takers so nobody will bother you. Of course, if you can afford to pay something you should, though you may have to stand in a long line to do so.

MOMA is free Fridays after 4:00 but it's a total zoo.

Hello Again
04-27-2011, 01:39 PM
Great link Dr. Righteous. Thanks!

Hello Again, thanks for making personal suggestions! Personal suggestion from the Dope are Gold!

:( I just realized that when I listed the Frick, I was actually thinking of the Coooper-Hewitt Design Museum, I just realized that the Frick is something different (all fusty European Art, which if you're in a mind for it, you can see stacks of at the Met), and C-H doesn't have a free day. jerks. :(

The great thing about the Met/Natural History is that for $1 or $5 or whatever you feel like throwing at them, you can spend the ENTIRE day there, and not even have really scratched the surface of the collection. ETA: I'm not sure about being able to breeze past the line. I think it depends on the entrance. I vaguely recall downstairs there's a turnstile.

Call the Forbes before you go. I heard they closed the Toy Soldier and Toy Boat collections. WHAT!? If that is wrong, and they are open, it is so worth the trip. it's just a short walk from Washington Square Park, where on a nice day you can see jugglers, musicians, and comedians polishing their craft and hustling for dollars.

TheMerchandise
04-27-2011, 03:08 PM
Also the Cloisters (http://www.metmuseum.org/cloisters/) (part of the Met) are donation only and beautiful and little visited by tourists.

Hal Briston
04-27-2011, 03:22 PM
You can just walk into the American Museum of Natural History. Go right past the ticket lines to the exhibits. There are ticket sellers but no ticket takers so nobody will bother you. Of course, if you can afford to pay something you should, though you may have to stand in a long line to do so.We took (the dino-obsessed) Littlest Briston there for her 5th birthday last year, and there was indeed a guard checking tickets. It wouldn't have been difficult to avoid him, as he was covering only one of the several ways in, but he was definitely there.

And let me second the "stay strong" comment -- they put heavy pressure for the full donation, but A) we were pretty damn broke, and B) we were only going to be there for an hour. I think I went with half-price.

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