Best museums to while away a winter afternoon

New York’s best museums can be intimidating; we’ve put together three itineraries to help you maximize your time in three of the city’s top institutions.

Christian Marclay's "The Clock"

Christian Marclay's "The Clock" Photograph: Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery

Museum of Modern Art

What to do: If you’re interested in checking out Christian Marclay’s The Clock (through Mon 21), which splices together clips from movies and TV to chart 24 hours in chronological order, know before you go: Visitors have been waiting 20 or 30 minutes to get a spot. (The line-averse can follow @TheClockatMoMA on Twitter for up-to-the-minute details on queuing times.) During its final weekend (Fri 18–Sun 20), it will play on a continuous 24-hour loop.

Tempting as it is to spend a few hours watching Marclay’s montage, there’s plenty more to see in the institution—including Edvard Munch’s haunting Expressionist masterpiece The Scream, on view through April 29. Head upstairs to the Painting and Sculpture Galleries on the fourth and fifth floors to examine works by Jasper Johns, Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe,Pablo Picasso and other titans. After stopping in to the MoMA Design Store to check out the wares, see if there’s an evening film screening that piques your interest. (Of note: “Oscar’s Docs, 1955–2002: American Stories,” a series highlighting award-winning documentaries about the U.S., which begins Feb 2.) 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400, Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 10:30am–5:30pm; Fri 10:30am–8pm. $14–$25.

Where to fuel up: Danny Meyer’s adjacent restaurant, the Modern, may be out of most New Yorkers’ budgets; grab a seat in the eatery’s Bar Room, which is slightly more casual (and less pricey). Sample small plates, such as an Alsatian tarte flambé ($14), and wash it down with a Sixpoint beer ($9).