The cultural-events staycation: Take a high-low-culture-cation

Enjoy the perfect high-low staycation with cultural events that include from art, antiques, films, museums and puns



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New York offers a smorgasbord of cultural events, from fine art, antiques and challenging films to baser pleasures like crafting the perfect pun for a mob of baying wits-in-waiting. Try this staycation for the cultural equivalent of the truffle burger.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of staycation ideas

Inspect old-world antiques at the Cloisters

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Make your way to the highest reaches of Manhattan to explore art and architecture at the Cloisters, a museum and garden celebrating the culture of medieval Europe. Highlights among the 3,000 works include an early-16th-century Netherlandic tapestry from Spain’s Burgos Cathedral and conserved stone tracery of four large 15th-century windows from a Dominican monastery in Burgundy, France. Make sure to peep the four reconstructed cloisters on the outside that give the institution its name and take in the spectacular Hudson River views before you leave. Recommended admission $12–$25.

  1. Fort Tryon Park, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr
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Consider local oddities at the City Reliquary

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If you prefer remnants of old-timey New York to those of Europe, head to the City Reliquary: There you’ll discover a quirky collection of local ephemera, such as the 2ND AVE half of the original Second Avenue Deli sign, which was saved from a Dumpster death by an eagle-eyed pedestrian. The museum’s gallery current exhibition is on Dick Power, a specialty bike designer and builder from Sunnyside, Queens. The exhibition will be on view at City Reliquary until September 2014. Suggested donation $5.

  1. 370 Metropolitan Ave, (at Havemeyer St)
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Explore events at the Lincoln Center Festival 2014

There’s no shortage of arts festivals in New York each summer. But they tend to be niche affairs, catering to Off-Off theater fans (the Fringe Festival), outdoor concertgoers (SummerStage) or classical-music buffs (Mostly Mozart). Lincoln Center Festival is different: Spanning nations and artistic disciplines, it brings a wealth of top-notch work to various stages each July and August.

Play for laughs at Punderdome 3000

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Bust out your crudest quips at this a one-of-a-kind monthly round-robin battle of wits hosted by father-daughter duo Fred and Jo Firestone. All are welcome to witness the hilarity, but only the first 18 funny people to sign up at the door will have a chance to perform. (Suggested topics are thrown out, and each player has 90 seconds to make the audience laugh.) Winners are determined by a decidedly unscientific human clap-o-meter. Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. $6–$7.

  1. 622 DeGraw St, (between Third and Fourth Aves)
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Indulge in offbeat entertainment at Otto’s Shrunken Head

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Almost anything goes at Otto’s, an East Village tiki lounge that boasts a beach-bar menu as big as its personality. The lineup of regular events suits a range of leisurely desires: Choose from Rock Trivia on the second Monday of each month; Draw Mania on the last Monday; and Rebel Night, a rockabilly party, on the third Friday. Other mischief pops up throughout the calendar, so keep your eyes trained on the website.

  1. 538 E 14th St, (between Aves A and B), 10009
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