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For Big Apple visitors and New Yorkers alike who are looking to experience New York City's incredible arts and culture, the city's annual Museum Mile Festival offers free admission to the city's finest art collections. Taking place on Fifth Avenue from 82nd Street to 105th Street, the area has officially been designated as "Museum Mile," so named because of the many incredible museums and works of art found on this avenue. The Museum Mile Festival offers the public a chance to experience The Met while broadening their horizons by experiencing the wide range of museum collections on Fifth Avenue. This renowned event offers art lovers a truly special night out on the town.


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Below are all the details to enjoy the many participating museums on this annual day, when the city's many museums and fine artwork come to the very forefront of its nightlife.

Museum Mile Festival: When To Go

Held annually, the festival usually takes place on the second Tuesday of the month of June. It begins at 6 pm, rain or shine, and lasts until 9 pm. Bring your walking shoes and stroll the mile-long length of Fifth Avenue, which is closed down for what has been dubbed as New York's biggest block party. Throngs of New Yorkers and international visitors who time their visit right can enjoy free admission to eight participating museums.

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How To Experience The Museum Mile Festival

With street after street shut down, Fifth Avenue transforms into a walkable stretch of not just brilliant museums but outdoor arts and things to do and see. What can you expect as you stroll along? Bring your appetite because there are always plenty of food vendors to grab a bite to eat from. In addition to the art inside the museum, there is always plenty of art for sale by artists themselves on the street, as well as street musicians performing for passing crowds. Many of the participating museums offer art-related activities for families and children to enjoy.

Free Admission To These Eight Museums

Of course, with all that outdoor strolling and mingling, don't forget to enjoy the whole reason for the festival: the museums! There are eight participating museums that each offer free admission to see some of the most incredible works of art in the world. Each museum offers extended evening hours for people to view the collections while the sun sets outside. The following museums make the annual Museum Mile Festival such a cherished event:

  • The Guggenheim Museum: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum features the famous spiral ramp and a domed skylight that has enthralled visitors for decades.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: One of the most stunning museums in the world and, in fact, the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere, The Met houses over two million works of art. Two million! You won't be able to cover it in one evening, but you will have fun trying.
  • The Africa Center: Founded in 1984 and located at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street in East Harlem, this museum is devoted to increasing awareness and appreciation of African art and culture.
  • El Museo del Barrio: Specializing in Latin American and Caribbean art and a particular focus on art from Puerto Rico and the many contributions of the Puerto Rican community in New York, El Museo, as it is called, is an extraordinary museum to experience.
  • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum: As the only museum in the United States solely focused on both historical and contemporary design, visitors will see collections from modern times to centuries ago that challenge and inspire.
  • The Jewish Museum: This renowned museum is "dedicated to the enjoyment, understanding, and preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of the Jewish people." It features a wide collection of fine art and cultural artifacts.
  • The Neue Galerie: Dedicated to showcasing German and Austrian art and design from the early twentieth century, this museum is located in the William Starr Miller House at 86th and Fifth Avenue.
  • Museum of the City of New York: Founded in 1923, this museum focuses on educating the public on the past and current history of New York City and honoring its unique, accomplished, and one-of-a-kind people.

For arts and culture lovers, the annual Museum Mile Festival offers a chance to stroll along Fifth Avenue, dance in the middle of the street as artists perform, eat delectable treats from the many available food vendors, and, of course, appreciate some of the finest art in New York City. And when one has the opportunity to take in the finest art on display in the venerable museums of the Big Apple, rest assured, that means they see some of the finest art collections in the entire world.