With admission to some NYC museums now up to $25 per person, be smart – and cheap – and visit when these must-see destinations are FREE. The caveat, of course, is the museums are crowded with others enjoying NYC culture on the cheap. Borough by borough, these are the freebies –
American Museum of Natural History — Free the last hour (4:45-5:45pm). Admission price is ‘suggested’ at all other times, so you could pay as little as $1 if you have the chutzpah, and the thick skin to ignore the dirty looks. Central Park West & 79th St, Upper West Side.
El Museo del Barrio — Free the third Saturday of the month. 1230 Fifth Ave between 104th & 105th Sts, Spanish Harlem.
Museum of Modern Art — Entry is free 4-8pm on Friday. Gets busy. 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth & Sixth Aves, Midtown West.
Neue Galerie — Free 6-8pm the first Friday of the month. 1048 Fifth Ave at 86th St, Upper East Side.
New York Historical Society –Pay what you wish, 6-8pm Friday. 2 W 77th St at Central Park West, Upper West Side.
Studio Museum in Harlem — Free on Sunday. 144 W 125th St at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, Harlem.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden — Free all day Tuesdays, and 10am to noon Saturday. Eastern Parkway at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Museum — Free first Saturday of the month, when there’s big wine-sipping, DJ parties that draw half the neighborhood. 200 Eastern Parkway, at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Bronx Zoo — Pay what you wish on Wednesday. 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx.
New York Botanical Garden — Free Wednesday, 10am to noon Saturday. Bronx River Pkwy & Fordham Rd, The Bronx.
Wave Hill — Free 9am to noon Tuesday and Saturday. W 249th St at Independence Ave, Riverdale, The Bronx.
Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum — Pay what you wish, first Friday of the month. 9-01 33rd Rd, Astoria, Queens.
Museum of the Moving Image — Free 4-8pm Friday. 35th Ave, at 36th St, Astoria, Queens.