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Best museum parties


Brooklyn Museum

Museums Natural history Prospect Park

Sample a smorgasbord of culture at the Brooklyn Museum free Target First Saturdays. The monthly bash includes lectures, live music, dance performances and DJs. Each party takes inspiration from the exhibits on view or, on occasion, neighborhood events—expect one prompted by Crown Heights’ annual West Indian–American Day Carnival in August.

PopRally presents Bent by Ssion
Photograph: Ilenia Martini

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Museums Art and design Midtown West

MoMA and MoMA PS1’s PopRally bashes are often pegged to something on display, and has welcomed such trendsetters as Patti Smith (to celebrate Georges Seurat’s birthday) and Spike Jonze (who presented a selection of skate videos). The evening includes wine and beer, as well as extended gallery hours.

One Step Beyond at the American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: AMNH\D. Finnin

American Museum of Natural History

Museums Science and technology Upper West Side

Big-ticket artists (Kanye and Animal Collective are among the past performers) are the main draw for One Step Beyond. But the otherworldly wingding's setting doesn’t hurt—how cool is it to dance in a planetarium? Don’t miss the museum’s multimedia installations and screenings while you're there.

Warm up the dance floor at MoMA PS1
Photograph: Brett Messenger


Museums Art and design Long Island City

One of longest-running (and most popular) museum-curated music series. Warm Up manages to remain fresh every year, due in no small part to its eclectic lineups of globetrotting DJs. While you’re there, gawk at the installation that annually takes over the courtyard as as part of the museum’s Young Architects Program


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Museums Art and design Upper East Side

The Gugg’s new iteration of its old First Friday affairs, now rebranded as Art After Dark,  gives celebrants the opportunity to have the famous spiral building all to themselves. Background music is provided via an iPod playlist created by an artist or a curator.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

Museums Art and design The Bronx

The Bronx Museum’s free First Friday programs are perfect for culture hounds looking for an intimate gathering with top-notch performers—past guests have included the Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet, pianist Valerie Capers and hip-hop pioneer DJ Ralph McDaniels.


Studio Museum in Harlem

Museums Art and design Harlem

Get down uptown at Uptown Fridays, a popular free fete, where dancing in the museum’s courtyard is encouraged. Take a break from the dance floor with guided tours, which happen all night long.

New Museum of Contemporary Art

Museums Art and design Lower East Side

Do as instructed at the period Get Weird series and let your freaky side reign. The avant-garde events have showcased MEN and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner’s first-ever solo show solo show.


Rubin Museum of Art

Museums Art and design Chelsea

The Rubin has a particular knack for meshing contemporary pop culture with Buddhist principles in its K2 Friday nights. The museum’s sleek café morphs into a lounge, offering a special menu of Pan-Asian tapas to kick off an evening of live or deejayed music. A screening of a classic film usually follows.


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