New-York Historical Society Opening Weekend

Check out what's new at this venerable institution.

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New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society Photograph: Alex Strada

The celebration for the New-York Historical Society's completed renovation on Friday, November 11, features more than just a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Here are five events that will highlight New York's past to entertain visitors of the present.

Grand Reopening Ceremony
A number of reenactors bring to life historical characters, including George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, Revolutionary War soldiers, and Benjamin and Deborah Franklin. The period players will inaugurate the society's Living History Days program, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new DiMenna Children's Museum. 11am; free with admission

Check out the new exhibits
In addition to the museum's spiffy new gallery space, the reopening also marks the debut of four new shows. "Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn" examines 18th-century popular uprisings in America, Haiti and France, focusing on the similarities between the three ideologically linked events. "Freedom Now: Photographs by Platon" shows off eye-catching images the New Yorker shutterbug recently took of Civil Rights figures. "Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy" features works from the society's collection from the 1830s to the 1860s, and "Beauties of the Gilded Age: Peter Mari's Miniatures of Society Women" brings together 300 idealized portraits the socialite commissioned from 1889 to 1903. (11am--10pm; free with admission)

New York History Mysteries Scavenger Hunt
Get an intimate introduction to the society's collection as Watson Adventures organizes a search through the building's four floors. Along the way you'll find artifacts such as a cot on which George Washington slept, antique toys and Aaron Burr's death mask. (6:45pm; $17.50)

Big Quiz Thing
Show off your impressive stash of historical knowledge, or your ability to come up with smart-alecky jokes about local figures, at this live game show. Hosted by quizmaster (and TONY copy chief) Noah Tarnow, this edition features questions that celebrate the institution's collection. as well as BQT's usual video and audio rounds. If you don't know an answer, come up with a clever one for a potential Smart-Ass Point. The winning team receives nerdy bragging rights—and prizes like free memberships and gift certificates to the museum shop and restaurant. 8pm; $10

Late Night Champagne at Caff Storico
Top off the day by toasting NYHS with a glass of bubbly. The reception will be held in the museum's new Italian restaurant, whose moniker translates to "history caf." The venue will officially open later this month. 10pm; free

New-York Historical Society reopening, 170 Central Park West between 76th and 77th Sts (212-873-3400; nyhistory.org). Fri 11 10am--10pm; $15, seniors $12, students $10, children 7--13 $5, children under 7 free, after 6pm free.

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