New York

10 Cool NYC Art and Museum Exhibitions to Check Out Now

Grab your mask and wander the halls of the city's unparalleled cultural institutions.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts

When NYC museums were forced to close their doors in March due to COVID-19, art-loving New Yorkers had to endure an already difficult period without all of the creativity and inspiration that comes from wandering the halls of our city’s unparalleled cultural institutions. Thankfully, though, museums in NYC were able to reopen in the late summer, and have remained so since then.

And with winter already here, a museum visit is the perfect way to get out of the house to a heated destination where we can keep six feet apart-while immersed in paintings, sculptures, and cool art experiences-to help get us through the season. When going, expect attendance limited to 25% capacity, staggered and timed entry with ticketing booked in advance, and standard safety protocols including the requirement of facial coverings and social distancing. So grab your mask and hand sanitizer and check out these ten cool exhibitions instead.

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History

Upper West Side
Exhibition: The Nature of Color
Visit the permanent exhibits of this 150-year-old museum and NYC institution, with breathtaking dioramas of African elephants or halls filled with meteorites and 94-feet-long blue whales. And be sure to check out a special exhibition called The Nature of Color. In it, you’ll learn of some of the astounding ways color exists in both nature and in the human world, how color affects our behavior, and where color exactly comes from (hint: it’s all about light!).
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE NYC
Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE NYC
Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE NYC

ARTECHOUSE NYC

Chelsea Market
Exhibition: Celestial
This digital art space located inside Chelsea Market first debuted in March, but was forced to shut down 10 days later due COVID-19. Since reopening in September, ARTECHOUSE NYC has been hosting immersive light experiences that transport visitors to a magical place where forgetting about the pandemic (even while wearing a face covering) comes easily. In celebration of Pantone’s color of 2020, Classic Blue, ARTECHOUSE NYC’s current installation Celestial, is a trippy and fun light show that celebrates all things blue and takes you on a 40-minute journey full of masterful graphics resulting in plenty of “whoas.”
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

Brooklyn Museum

Prospect Heights
Exhibition: John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance
The original design of the Brooklyn Museum might date back to 1893, but it’s had plenty of additions and renovations since then, including the iconic glass roof that now greets museumgoers at its entrance. While there, head straight to John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance, a museum solo exhibition that’s a first for the artist and a part of the prize package for winning the inaugural UOVO Prize for emerging Brooklyn artists. In it, Edmonds’s photography explores subjects such as queerness, African art, and Black identity.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Concourse
Exhibition: José Parlá: It’s Yours
Located blocks away from Yankee Stadium, The Bronx Museum of the Arts has been open since 1971 and museumgoers can visit free of charge. Running until January 10, José Parlá: It’s Yours, is the first solo museum exhibition for the world renown artist, featuring paintings in Parlá’s hallmark abstract style that were inspired by his time of living in the Bronx, in addition to issues related to gentrification and systemic racism within the borough as well.
How to visit: Reserve tickets for timed entry via website.

El Museo del Barrio

East Harlem
Exhibit: The Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York
El Museo was founded in 1969 and is America’s first cultural institution dedicated to Latino and Latin-American arts. Exhibiting over 8,000 objects spanning more than 800 years of art and culture, the museum is located in Spanish Harlem, a neighborhood that’s home to a large Puerto Rican population. To celebrate El Museo’s 50th anniversary, the exhibition, The Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York, showcases Taller Boricua, a local “alternative space” and printmaking studio that produced and distributed hundreds of prints from artists in the 1970s.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Upper East Side
Exhibition: Making The Met, 1870-2020
Considered to be one of NYC’s most significant museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka The Met) holds some impressive statistics: over seven million visitors annually; two million square feet of space to peruse; 5,000 years of culture housed under its roof, and 150 years in operation. To celebrate the museum’s sesquicentennial this year, make a visit to their special exhibition Making The Met, 1870-2020. Originally set to debut in March but pushed back because of the pandemic, the exhibit features over 250 works of art that give an evolution of The Met’s collections, buildings, and overall history. See The Met as a work of art itself for once and learn how it became the landmark it is today.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

MoMA PS1

Long Island City
Exhibition: This Longing Vessel: Studio Museum
Housed in a former public school, the MoMA’s Queens location is an arts center focusing on contemporary works across all mediums, and is one of the borough’s most popular destinations for wandering through museum halls and basking in avant-garde creativity. In collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1 currently has a special exhibition, This Longing Vessel: Studio Museum, showcasing works from creators in the Harlem institution’s artists-in-residence program. From new media to painting, check out the talents of E. Jane, Naudline Pierre, and Elliot Reed.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

The Museum of Modern Art

Midtown
Exhibition: Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver’s Cinematic Illusion
After three years of renovations, the new Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) debuted in October of 2019 with plenty of extra square footage to glimpse classics like Monet’s Water Lilies, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, and Cindy Sherman’s self-portraits. Through February, visitors can also check out Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver’s Cinematic Illusion, a moving-image installation merging film, lights, and sound in a 360-degree experience. Created by Japanese artist Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver and originally premiering in 1969 in a Tokyo nightclub, Cinematic Illusion projects almost 1,500 images for a unique cinematic adventure of its own.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

Photo courtesy of New Museum
Photo courtesy of New Museum
Photo courtesy of New Museum

New Museum

Lower East Side
Exhibition: Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment
Seven rectangular boxes stacked high on the Bowery is home to the New Museum, NYC’s go-to downtown destination since 2007 for cool and contemporary art. Make a visit for Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment, a colorful series of 60 paintings from the over five-decades-long career of American artist, Peter Saul. Running until January 3, Saul is known for his cartoonish, irreverent, and iconoclastic works that can appear cheerful from afar (in thanks to their bright colors and vibrancy), but at a closer glance, messages on matters related to politics, racism, and important global issues are waiting for your interpretation.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Meatpacking District
Exhibition: Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945
This stylish museum located near the High Line and the Hudson River showcases contemporary American art. One of their current must-visit shows is Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945, an exhibition highlighting the work of Mexican muralists who captured the state of their country after the end of the Mexican Revolution-and who would subsequently also have a great impact on American art and artists as well. Vida Americana is a curation of almost 200 works of art from over 60 Mexican and American artists.
How to visit: Purchase tickets for timed entry via website.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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