Museum parties, open bars and more

Think museums are all gilt frames and commemorative spoons? We'll tell you where to get sloshed, rock out and learn about sex.

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  • Target First Saturdays

  • P.S.1 Warm Up

  • Cielo Abierto

  • Nostalgia Ride

Target First Saturdays

 

Killer museum parties

 

Killer museum parties

 

Killer museum parties

Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy between Flatbush and Washington Aves, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org; every first Sat starting Oct 2 5--11pm, free) has long been regarded as one of the best museum-sanctioned blowouts around. The party is taking a breather during September, but it will be back October 2 for a fall season packed with film screenings, craftmaking, gallery talks and dance performances.

In the meantime, head to Target Free Sundays: Studio Jam at the Studio Museum in Harlem (144 W 125th St between Malcolm X Blvd [Lenox Ave] and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd [Seventh Ave]; 212-864-4500, studiomuseum.org, Sept 19, Oct 17, 2-3pm, free)—where the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars will get the party swinging in true Harlem style.

For a family-friendly fete, hit SUPER SABADO! Target Free Third Saturdays at El Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Ave at 104th St; 212-831-7272, elmuseo.org; every third Saturday of the month, 11am-8:30pm; free) where you can soak up Latino culture through concerts, gallery tours, screenings and spoken word recitals. Don't miss October's edition, the Da de los Muertos Celebration, where attendees pay homage to the dead by partying all day.

Top nontouristy tours

On a crisp fall afternoon, take your sweetheart to The Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Dr, Fort Tryon Park; 212-923-3700, metmuseum.org/cloisters), an uptown branch of the Met. Gaze at the changing leaves on the garden tour (given every Tuesday through Sunday at 1pm) or take a guided tour of the collection (everyday except Saturday at 3pm). On Saturdays, noted scholars and experts give gallery talks on topics like "Medieval Doorways at The Cloisters" (Sept 11, noon and 2pm) and "Women in Medieval Art" (Sept 25, noon and 2pm). All tours and gallery talks are included in the price of admission (which is a suggested donation of $20 for adults).

Fashionistas will heart the programming at The Museum at FIT (Seventh Ave at 27th St; 212-217-4558, fitnyc.edu). Sign up now for a free curatorial cruise through the current "Japan Fashion Now" exhibit (Sept 27 and Oct 11, 6pm; Oct 19 and Nov 17, 10:30am). E-mail museuminfo@fitnyc.com or call 212-217-4585 for reservations.

Cool classes and lectures

If you think space cuisine is all about Tang and freeze-dried ice cream, get hip to the nuances of intergalactic gastronomy at Adventures in the Global Kitchen: The Astronaut's Cookbook reading and tasting, which is just one of the American Museum of Natural History's many ancillary offerings (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5200, amnh.org; Oct 5 at 6:30pm, $25). After you've explored the science behind zero-gravity food, stick around for the Hayden Planetarium's space show, "Journey to the Stars," narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.

Anyone with an iPhone can claim photographer status these days. Distinguish yourself from the dilettantes by brushing up at the Beginner Adult Photography Workshop at the Alice Austen House Museum (2 Hylan Blvd at Edgewater St, Staten Island; 718-816-4506, aliceausten.org; Sept 4, 11:30am--1:30pm), where $30 covers camera use, instruction and digital prints of your photos. More advanced shutterbugs can show up for the Intermediate Digital Photography/Intro to Photoshop from 2-4pm ($30).

Then, transcend the cinematic world as you know it at "Art as a Way of Transformation," a master class with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky at the Museum of Arts & Design (2 Columbus Circle at Broadway; 212-299-7777, madmuseum.org; Sept 25, 3-5pm; $65). Jodorowsky will discuss art-making as a means to personal and spiritual enlightenment, so you can get your artistic and mystical fix in one fell swoop.

Best of the rest

Mixed media lovers will flip for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
's newest performance project, "Coup de Foudre: Based on The Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau" (1071 Fifth Ave at 89th St; 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org; Oct 9, 8pm; Oct 10, 6pm; $30, students $10), which is being presented in conjunction with the Chaos and Classicism exhibit. Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and choreographer Corey Baker will reinterpret Cocteau's classic film during what promises to be a trippy live show.

If you prefer your museums a bit more risqu, pop into the Museum of Sex (MoSex) (233 Fifth Ave between 27th and 28th Sts; 212-689-6337, museumofsex.com; admission $16.75) to check out the Sex Lives of Animals exhibit. While you're there, give your own sex life a boost by paying a visit to the newly opened Oralfix Aphrodisiac Caf, where you can sip stamina-enhancing elixirs and take infatuation-infused shots.

Updated September 1, 2010

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Museums: The actually cool guide
Highlights of the best venues. Plus: parties, food, gifts and Kate Moss.

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