Nights at the Museums in NYC Fall 2017

By Alison Durkee

New York City’s museums are home to some of the greatest collections in the world, but there’s even more to discover once the day is over and regular museum hours end. Spend your nights out this fall at the city’s museums with these upcoming talks and events.

Many museums will be continuing their ongoing special evening offerings this fall, including the Rubin Museum of Art’s K2 Friday Nights, MetFridays at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Frick Collection’s First Fridays. These Friday events boast music, special exhibition admission, drinks, and more, offering an easy way to enjoy these museums after the sun goes down. The Guggenheim will also continue their Art After Dark series on October 27 with a special Halloween edition. Attendees will be encouraged to come in costume to the evening event, which includes a private view of their current exhibitions, along with drinks and music. Those looking for a more science-y Halloween celebration, meanwhile, can spend their Halloween donning a costume and heading to the American Museum of Natural History for an evening of spooky stories from the cosmos.

Over in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays series will resume October 7th, while the Museum of Food and Drink will offer their MOFAD @ Night event on September 15 and October 13, an open house event featuring a special look at their Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant exhibition – and of course, plenty of food and drink. More competitive foodies can also head to the museum on September 26 and October 17 for a food trivia night, or relax with a Chianti Classico wine tasting on October 24.

Families, too, will be able to spend an evening – or even longer – at the city’s museums this fall. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will continue their Family Astronomy Nights on October 20 with an event featuring NASA scientist Noah Petro. Young science lovers can also have a special experience at the American Museum of Natural History this fall at their Night at the Museum events (various dates), which give children ages 6-13 the chance to sleep overnight at the famed museum and see its famed displays after everyone else has gone home. Grown-ups wanting to see the museum’s iconic dinosaur bones or giant blue whale after hours are in luck too, though, as the museum will host a special edition of the event for those ages 21 and up on October 13.

Performing arts fans will also have plenty of reasons to skip the theatre and spend their evening at a museum this fall. MoMA will host several performances this fall featuring works by performance collective Lone Wolf Recital Corps, as well as a special Modern Mondays evening with Lone Wolf member and interdisciplinary artist Kamau Amu Patton on September 18. Film and TV fans can catch a preview screening of the dance-centric documentary Bobbi Jene at the Museum of the Moving Image on September 18, or head to the Astoria museum for a rare conversation with legendary puppeteer and director Frank Oz about his work with Jim Henson on September 22. Twin Peaks fans can also discover some unexpected connections between the David Lynch show and the peaks of the Himalayas on a special gallery tour at the Rubin Museum of Art on September 22.

Those wanting to learn more about what goes into the making of some of the city’s most high-profile performances can head to the Guggenheim museum for their Works and Process series, which will continue this fall with events featuring American Ballet Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, JUNK at Lincoln Center Theater, and more. Fans of current Broadway hit Come From Away, which centers on the Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland in the wake of September 11, can learn more about the making of the show at an evening event at the National September 11 Museum and Memorial on September 18.

Some museums will also give New Yorkers the chance to learn more about their city’s history this fall, thanks to such events as a November 14 talk with Mike Wallace, author of Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919, and a look at the little-known tale of a “ghost ship” moored off the Brooklyn coast during the American Revolution (November 20). New Yorkers can also learn more about the city’s current response to climate change in conjunction with the efforts of the city’s earliest Dutch settlers to control the city’s waterways at an event on October 11.

Those hoping for a more global perspective, meanwhile, can learn more about a Zen Buddhist community in China through a documentary screening on September 22, or delve deep into the history of China’s Han Dynasty through a weekly evening course at the China Institute. New Yorkers can also learn more about the public health issues facing those around the world at What Global Education Can Learn From Public Health on September 18, or spend that evening learning exploring the sustainable food processes that will keep us afloat at Growing Local: Designing Sustainable Food Businesses.

New Yorkers can discover the city’s museums for free on September 23 thanks to Museum Day Live!, a Smithsonian-sponsored event offering free admission around the country. Participating NYC locations include the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and more. Of course, those looking for free evening admission to the city’s museums aren’t limited to September 23. Many museums throughout the city offer free admission one evening each week or month, including MoMA (Friday nights), the Museum of the Moving Image (Friday nights), the Neue Galerie (first Friday of each month), the Museum of Arts and Design (Thursday nights), and the Asia Society (Friday nights).

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