New York is known for its extensive collection of world-class museums. With such a broad and diverse array of institutions, many are not always aware that plenty of these museums are free of charge to visitors! Consider spending some time at these impressive and fascinating free museums in NYC, as they are equally as worthwhile as bigger names like the MET or MoMA.
National Museum of the American Indian
This stunning attraction contains artifacts from over twelve hundred cultures that span back twelve thousand years! The histories and stories of Native tribes and their allies are presented in an authentic way that pays homage to the Indigenous cultures of North America. Their gift shop is also highly regarded as a premier destination for genuine American Indian souvenirs. The museum is open 364 days a year.
American Folk Art Museum
The American Folk Art Museum is unrivaled in its devotion to and preservation of traditional folk art showcasing creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from all over. More than eight- thousand works of art are available for guests to peruse, highlighting three hundred years of the medium at its best. The museum conveniently sits near Lincoln Center and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Located in Long Island City, this open-air gallery sits along the East River waterfront and gives a home to large-scale multimedia installations and sculptures. Dedication to the public arts and making cultural programming as accessible as possible are what Socrates is all about. In addition to the displays of art, other activities such as theater presentations, dance events, yoga, and sunset mediations are always happening here. The park’s exhibitions are open until sunset.
This street art collective has been around since 2011 when it was just a single mural. Today, graffiti and murals from famous NYC artists like Banksy and Blek le Rat are proudly displayed for all to see! Each piece of artwork tells a different story and gives audiences much to see. Be sure to check out the free, annual street art showcase with music, food, artists, and local vendors during the summertime.
Hispanic Society of America
Both a museum and reference library, the Hispanic Society of America breathes life into the rich history and diverse cultures encompassing the Hispanic people of Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and former Latin American colonies. Thousands of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and books are all throughout the institution for patrons to enjoy.