There's nothing like taking a culture trip through the many distinct museums in midtown NYC, especially when you've got a free day to explore while visiting Manhattan. And while some of the larger and more impressive art galleries and museums in NYC always seem to take center stage on lists of the best places to visit, the truth is that you don't have to travel too far from our midtown Manhattan hotel to find an amazing cultural experience! Whether you're into art, science or more diverse cultural fare, there’s something for everyone at every cultural corner of Midtown East Manhattan. So if you're looking for things to do in NYC, take a gander at this handy guide to the best museums in and around midtown New York City just steps away from our hotel close to Grand Central Station.
Normally, you wouldn't think of a public library as a type of museum,... that is, unless you're in Manhattan. The two impressive marble-work lions guarding the entrance to this National Historic Landmark watch over this haven of bibliophiles smack in the middle of Bryant Park that houses upwards of six million books. As an unusual conjunction of the New York Public Library Main Branch and nearby Bryant Park, these halls have exhibits as well as reading areas, so go explore!
Address: 476 5th Ave New York, NY 10018, New York City, NY 10018
Cross Street: At Bryant Park on 5th Ave between West 42nd St & 40th St
Hours: Sun 10am-5pm, Mon 8am-8pm, Tues-Wed 8am-9pm, Thurs 8am-6pm, Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm
As the world's most recognized Wax Museum and multi-national tourist attraction where you can hangout with your favorite movie stars and historical figures, Madame Tussauds New York hosts throngs of people who flock through their doors to find out just what someone looks like up close! With 200 years of tradition, curiousity and (some) morbid inquisition, it's no wonder that this attraction has stood the test of time to this day.
Address: 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Cross Street: West 42nd St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave
Hours: Sun-Thurs, 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat, 10am-10pm
Cost: From $29 Adults, FREE Children (2 and under)
Launched in 1943, this former aircraft carrier-turned-floating-museum fought in World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War as well as being re-tasked to become a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s. From it's slip on the Hudson River, this National Historic Landmark serves now as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, preserving and exhibiting military history, science and tales of service through artifacts, authentic video and interactive experiences.
Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
Cross Street: West 46th St & 12th Ave at the Pier
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Cost: $33 Adults, $31 Seniors (65+), $24 Children, FREE Children (ages 0-4)
Originally the private library of zillionaire financier Pierpont Morgan this museum turned landmark (and sometimes music venue) has 20 unique spaces, rife with galleries, libraries and even a performance hall. With art and artifacts from 4000 B.C. to the present and myriads of rare manuscripts (including one of 23 copies of the original Declaration of Independence), there is no other museum like the Morgan in NYC.
Address: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016
Cross Street: Madison between East 37th St & 36th St
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10:30am-5pm, Fri 10:30am-9pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm, Mon Closed
Cost: $20 Adults, $13 Seniors (65+), $13 Students (current ID), Free to members and children 12 and under and on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Gulliver’s Gate is a fully interactive, technologically advanced universe of miniature recreations sprawling across 50,000 square feet - a big little world that piques the mind and draws you into the minutea that dots this incredibly detailed, delightful landscape. And while calling this space a museum may certainly be bending the rules a bit, exploring a miniature showcase of 25+ cities from 5 continents the size of a football field,... really is a big deal!
Address: 216 W 44th Street New York, NY 10036
Cross Street: West 44th St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave
Hours: daily 10am—8pm
Cost: $36 Adults, $27 Children (ages 4-12), $27 Senior (65+), FREE Children (ages 0-3)
Well known for its exemplary award-winning rotating exhibitions, The Museum at FIT (MFIT) also boasts a permanent collection of clothing garments & fashion accessories which are shown, detailed and supported by educational programs and knowledge, put together in a fun, accessible way. Built to further the knowledge of fashion, this unique small museum sees 100,000 people per year and is a rewarding (and fashionable) experience.
Address: 227 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Cross Street: 7th Ave at 27th St
Hours: Tues-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun-Mon Closed
Built for mature audiences only, The Museum of Sex, (known as MoSex) is a museum dedicated to "the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality" through art, exhibitions, and programs tied to the subject matter. As a cultural exchange that is committed to open debate and communication, this space brings with it a provocative dose of 'love on display' for brave adult explorers looking for something a bit further off the beaten path.
Address: 233 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016
Cross Street: 5th Avenue at East 27th St
Hours: Sun-Thurs, 10:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat, 10:30am-12am
Cost: $17.50 Mon-Fri before 1pm, $20.50 all other times
Now you see me and now you see museum! At the Houdini Museum in Manhattan, you can satisfy your deepest eldritch longings for magic and learn ancient secrets from purveyors of the unknown as you take in magic shows, lectures, and many other events that cater towards the magic enthusiast, amateur arcane wielder, and illusionist alike. And with so much magic flying around, you never know who you might bump into in here!
Address: 213 West 35th St, Suite 401 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10001
Cross Street: West 35th St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave
Hours: Mon–Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Location: The Lawn