Expat Genius 09 Apr, 2016

10 NYC Cultural Deals To Take Advantage Of In 2016

By Michelle, Genius in New York

New York is undoubtedly one of the most prominent cities in the world for everything from art to music, film, and food. This vibrant metropolis offers a seemingly endless number of cultural activities at any point in time, but culture is even better when it’s affordable or free. We’ve compiled a list of ten unmissable cultural deals to partake in this year.


The Museum of Modern Art, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. Entrance at 53rd Street.

The Museum of Modern Art, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. Entrance at 53rd Street | © 2006Timothy Hursley

Museum of Modern Art

UNIQLO Free Friday Nights allow visitors free admission to MoMA on Fridays between 4pm and 8pm. For modern art enthusiasts, MoMA has nearly 10,000 artworks on display – an unmissable experience for tourists, and a favorite activity amongst locals. The museum exhibits the best in modern and contemporary art, from painting to sculpture, prints, photography, design, film, performance art, and more. In addition, MoMA offers a spectacular program of events, lectures, classes, and film screenings.

Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 708 9400


New York City residents age 14 and older can now apply for IDNYC, a government-issued identification card, to obtain free membership at 40 participating institutions across the city. IDNYC is the largest municipal identification card program in the nation, and cardholders subsequently enjoy a myriad of benefits; access to city services and buildings, proof of identification, a library card, and special entry to museums, zoos, concert halls, and botanical gardens, as well as discounts on movie tickets, sporting events, health and fitness centers, and NYC landmarks.


Crowd in Great Hall of New York Hall of Science | © D. Handschuh

Crowd in the Great Hall of New York Hall of Science | © D. Handschuh

New York Hall of Science

With free admission between 10am and 11am every Sunday, science aficionados can gain insight into the secrets of science, technology, engineering, and math at New York Hall of Science through 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, and participatory activities. Learn about the complex concepts and technological development of 3D robots and humanoid technology, get up close and personal with a real Mars Rover, and delve into the latest scientific discoveries. New York Hall of Science is the perfect place for an educational day out for visitors of any age.

New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Queens, NY, USA +1 718 699 0005


© Gideon Tsang/Flickr

© Gideon Tsang/Flickr


MoMA PS1 presents contemporary art and new genres by emerging artists, alongside adventurous new works by recognized artists. In honor of New York-based artists everywhere, New York City residents can enjoy free admission to MoMA PS1 through the 15th of October, 2016, thanks to a generous and much-appreciated gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. Free entry into the museum includes all exhibitions during regular museum hours, but excludes concerts, fundraisers, and ticketed events such as museum nights. Remember to bring proof of your NYC residency.

MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens, NY, USA +1 718 784 2084

The Metropolitan Museum of Art / The Cloisters

Admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters is suggested donation, which means you can pay as much – or as little – as you see fit, and just a few dollars will grant you access to thousands of years of history and art. Additionally, The Met offers same-week admission to The Cloisters, so visitors can gain entrance to both institutions should they visit within a week’s time. The Met exhibits the world’s most precious fine art and artifacts, while The Cloisters will transport you to medieval Europe with a focus on the art and architecture of the 12th through the 15th centuries. It’s a pretty inexpensive trip across continents and through time, if you ask us.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 535 7710


'The Italian Renaissance Garden' in the 'Wild Medicine' exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden | © 2013 Talisman Brolin/TalismanPHOTO

The Italian Renaissance Garden’ in the ‘Wild Medicine’ exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden | © 2013 Talisman Brolin/TalismanPHOTO

The New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden offers free passes on Saturdays between 9am and 10am. Explore over one million living tropical, temperate, and desert plants, and learn about the Garden’s extensive and diverse collection. Visitors can wander through world-renowned Victorian-style glasshouses, including the Haupt Conservatory, and attend landmark botanical-themed exhibitions. For those interested in learning more about plant science and ecology, the New York Botanical Garden also offers curriculum-based programming.

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, New York, NY, USA +1 718 817 8700


Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright | © Jauher Ali Nasir/Flickr

Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright | © Jauher Ali Nasir/Flickr

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Every Saturday from 5:45pm to 7:45pm, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has a ‘pay what you will’ admission offering to visitors. The museum is devoted to modern and contemporary art from the twentieth century and beyond, which includes works from Impressionist to Post-Impressionist, early modern masterpieces to sculptures, performances, and film screenings. At this international art hub, there will be no shortage of surprises and avant-garde works by artists from all over the world to impress you.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10128, USA +1 212-423-3500


911 Memorial and Museum | Image courtesy of 911 Memorial and Museum

9/11 Memorial and Museum | Image courtesy of 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is built in the precise location of the World Trade Center as a tribute of remembrance to honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. Offering free admission on Tuesdays from 5pm until close, visitors can look upon artifacts as well as multimedia displays. The 9/11 Memorial is comprised of two enormous pools (located where One and Two World Trade once stood), in which 30-foot waterfalls cascade down, as well as the ‘Survivor Tree’ – a callery pear tree recovered from the Ground Zero site.

9/11 Memorial and Museum, 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 266 5211 

The New York Aquarium

New York Aquarium has a ‘pay what you will’ admission offering every Friday from 3pm to close (4pm to close in the summer). An exciting venture for ocean lovers, the aquarium allows visitors to experience unusually close proximity to an abundance of living aquatic animals and plants, such as seals and sea otters, walruses, sharks, Glover’s Reef, and other colorful and fascinating marine life. The aquarium puts on numerous captivating exhibitions, activities, programs, and events to choose from.

New York Aquarium, 602 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 265 3474

Grand Central Partnership

The Grand Central Partnership organizes a free, 90-minute guided walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding Grand Central Station every Friday at 12:30pm. Explore the famous and historic Grand Central Terminal, the Whispering Gallery, the Chrysler Building, Pershing Square, and the original Lincoln Memorial. Conducted by urban historians Peter Laskowich and Madeleine Levi, this is a fantastic opportunity to unearth the architecture and social history of Midtown East. No reservations are necessary, and tours meet in the Sculpture Court at 120 Park Avenue, located on the southwest corner of East 42nd Street and Park Avenue, across from Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central Partnership, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 601, New York, NY, USA +1 212 883 2420


By our Genius in New York Michelle

After graduating from the University of Manchester with a Master of Business in Global Business Analysis, Michelle has relocated to New York City from Sunnyvale, California and is writing about culture from a global traveler perspective. She enjoys perusing galleries in the Chelsea and SoHo areas, jogging in Central Park, and salsa dancing.

This article was originally published on The Culture Trip