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Attractions—Museums & Culture

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American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History (www.amnh.org). This is a hot ticket. From the famed dinosaur halls (4th Floor) and Hall of Ocean Life to the Butterfly Conservatory and Rose Center for Earth and Space, this 4-square-block museum houses the world’s greatest natural science collection. Buy your tickets in advance for the Space Show in order to guarantee admission (available online). It is also recommended buying tickets in advance for a specific IMAX film or special exhibition, such as the Butterfly Conservatory. Call 212-729-5200 for tickets or 212-769-5100 for information. Suggested admission $14 adults, $11 seniors and students, $8 children 2-12. Space show and museum admission is $22 adults, $17 seniors and students, $13 children under 12. Additional charges for IMAX movies and some special exhibitions. Subway: B,C to 81st Street; 1 to 79th Street.

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The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com). The largest metropolitan animal park in the United States and one of the city’s best attractions. Try to visit on a weekday to beat the crowds. May and October are also good times to visit, as the Children’s Zoo and Express Monorail are still open and hopefully the weather will not be too warm. Expect to spend an entire day at this world-famous zoo. Subway: Take the number 2 train to Pelham Parkway and then walk west to the Bronxdale entrance.

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Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. Home to the impressive Brooklyn Philharmonic, BAM is one of the best places in the country to attend cutting-edge musical and dance performances. The Next Wave Festival every autumn is a much-anticipated event.

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Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn,New York 11238-6052
 (map it)

Phone: (718) 638-5000

Brooklyn Museum of Art, on Eastern Parkway (Eastern Parkway stop on the 2 or 3 train) is a large museum which contains excellent collections of Egyptian art, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania. Just past the museum are the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (separate admission charge), so you can visit both in one pleasant afternoon.

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Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, (www.carnegiehall.org). The premier venue for classical music in the United States, Carnegie Hall is famous around the world for its dazzling performances. Playing at Carnegie Hall is, for many classical musicians, the pinnacle of success. Carnegie Hall houses three different auditoriums, with the Isaac Stern auditorium being the largest venue.

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Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Chamber Music Society is the most prestigious chamber music ensemble in the United States, playing in the acoustically impeccable Alice Tully Hall.

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The Cloisters

Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and other monastic sites in southern France. Its gardens are a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon. Pay for the Cloisters or the Metropolitan Museum and see both for the price of one.

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The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street at 5th Ave, (www.frick.org). One of our personal favorites. The Frick is intimate in size and setting like a beautiful, large, private home. See classic works by Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, Vermeer, El Greco, Goya, Whistler and many more famous painters. A highlight of the collection is the Fragonard Room. Tues-Sat. 10am to 6 pm, Sun. 11am to 5pm. Closed all major holidays. Admission: $15 adults, $10 seniors, $5 students. Children under 10 are not admitted. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Subway: 6 to 68th Street/Hunter College.

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Guggenheim

Guggenheim, (www.guggenheim.org). The architecture is more interesting than its collections. It was designed by the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1959.

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International Center of Photography

International Center of Photography, 1133 Sixth Avenue (at 43rd Street). Devoted solely to photography, this museum is a block from Times Square and always has interesting exhibits.

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Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, (www.nycwax.com). New York City's branch of the famous London wax museum. Features over 200 detailed life-like wax models of celebrities, politicians, athletes and historical icons in the heart of Times Square.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, (www.metmuseum.org). Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum is located in New York City's Central Park along Fifth Avenue. This is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere and attracts more people than any other spot in New York City. Masterpieces of all world cultures are the rule, not the exception. From Egyptian mummies, to ancient Greek statuary to Islamic carvings to Renaissance painting to Native American masks, you could spend your entire vacation in the museum and not see the entire collection. The Rembrandts and Vermeers alone are incredible, but the collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist canvases is also breathtaking. Other major collections of the Museum include arms and armor, Asian art, costumes, European sculpture and decorative arts, medieval art, musical instruments, drawings, prints, antiquities, photography, and modern art. A good way to get an overview is to take the Museum Highlights Tour, offered every day at various times (usually between 10:15am and 3:15 pm; tours also offered in Spanish, Italian, German and Korean). Visit the museums website for a schedule of this and other walking tours. Another good alternative is to grab a map at the round desk in the entry hall and concentrate your visit on what you like. The museum also contains several dining facilities, including a full-service restaurant serving Continental cuisine (call 212-570-3964 for reservations). Hypnotic beauty will overwhelm you in every corner of the museum.

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Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center

Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, (www.metoperafamily.org), 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Met (as it is known) is one of the greatest opera companies in the world. The company performs six days a week (Monday-Saturday) during the season (September-April), and always features the greatest singers from around the world. Expect to pay a small fortune for the most expensive seats, but upper-tier seats can cost as little as $25.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 11 West 53 St (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), (212) 708-9400, (www.moma.org). Sat–Mon, Wed–Thurs 10:30am–5:30PM, Friday 10:30AM–8PM, closed every Tues., Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. $20 adult, $12 student, FREE under 17; FREE for everyone Friday 4–8pm. Quite lengthy line to have bags checked. All expensive items must be carried on person (laptops, phones, cameras) as the staff refuse to check such items. The most astounding and comprehensive collection of modern art in the world. So large that it would require multiple visits to see all of the works on display. If you want to see the real crowd-pleasers, go to the 5th floor, where you will find works like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. An art freaks dream world. Subway: E or V to Fifth Ave/53 St; B, D, or F to 47–50 Streets/Rockefeller Center.

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Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Avenue at 27th Street, (www.mosex.com). A museum that chronicles the evolution of sex. It features images, films, and sex devices. They also sell some adult collections.

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New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center

New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, (www.nycballet.com), 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). Founded by George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet is among the world's finest dance companies. Their performances of the The Nutcracker during the holiday season are very popular.

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New York City Opera at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center

New York City Opera at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, (www.nycopera.com), 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The slightly more accessible and energetic younger sister of the Met, the NYCO is a world-class company that puts on a dynamic series of performances. Tickets can go for as little as $16.

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New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center

New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Running in October, the New York Film Festival is one of the country's best, with great films from around the world accompanied by interesting discussions, lectures, and panels. Be advised that tickets usually sell out at least a month in advance.

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New York Hall of Science

New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street in Queens located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, (718) 699-0005 Groups: (718) 699-0301 (www.nyscience.org). Open M-F 9:30AM to either 2PM or 5PM depending on the day and season; 10AM to 6PM on weekends. Free hours are available from September to June on Fridays from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, and on Sundays from 10AM to 11AM (first open hour of the day), with the Science Playground available for an additional fee. The New York Hall of Science is on the grounds of the former World's Fair, and incorporates one of the buildings of the Fair, known as the Great Hall, which is available for private events. Many hands-on exhibits that will thrill children. The park also offers a carousel, zoo, and boat and bike rentals. Lots of family fun.

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New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center

New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, (www.nyphil.org), 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). One of the premier orchestras in the United States, playing a wide variety of concerts (more than 100) to sold-out crowds. The Philharmonic is well-known for its standard-setting performances of the classical canon. The season runs from September to June, and in the summer they play free concerts in parks around the city (http://nyphil.org/attend/summer/index.cfm?page=parks).

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New York Public Library

New York Public Library, Corner of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. After the Library of Congress, this is the largest non-academic library in the United States. It is housed in a beautiful building by Carrer and Hastings, which is seen as the greatest example of Beaux Arts architecture. The main reading room is glorious, and the library contains numerous important rare items such as Thomas Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence (Super Cool !!).

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Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, (212) 632-3975, (www.radiocity.com). See the Rockettes or another show or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.

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Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival. Throughout May the movie theaters of Lower Manhattan are taken over by the Tribeca Film Festival, which puts on an enormous number of screenings and talks. Just a few years old, the Tribeca Film Festival has already secured a prominent place on New York's film calendar.

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USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave & 46th St, (212) 245-0072, (www.intrepidmuseum.org). Kids and adults love this place. See the aircraft carrier Intrepid, climb inside a replica of a Revolutionary War submarine, sit in an A-6 Intruder cockpit, and there is much, much more. April–Sept. Mon–Fri 10AM–5PM, Sat–Sun 10AM–6PM; Oct.–March Tues–Sun 10AM–5PM. $16.50 adult. Subway: A,C,E to 42nd St./Port Authority.

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Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. at 75th Street (www.whitney.org). Arguably the finest collection of 20th-century American art in the world. Major works by Hopper, Bellows, O’Keefe, Lichtenstein, Johns and others. Admission: $15 adults, $10 seniors, students and children under 12 are free. Also, the best museum restaurant in town: Sarabeth’s at the Whitney. Subway: 6 to 77th Street.