Reactor

New York City Museums, For Free

by Kyle Chayka on February 24, 2011

Dan Nguyen's museum map (image from iheartnymuseums.com)

Website I Heart NY Museums by programmer Dan Nguyen is a super useful online mash-up of New York City museum data that shows you when each museum has admission-free hours. With this schedule, it’s easy to plan an exhibition itinerary that won’t leave you blowing $20 at MoMA.

A vertical list of New York City museums (plus some zoos and other cultural centers) is compiled on the site, and each is followed by its weekly schedule color-coded into blocks. Light blue boxed designate hours that the museum is completely free, while darker blue signifies a suggested donation (we all know it’s okay to pay $2 to go to the Met sometimes). Green bars show museums’ normal, regular-price hours. Each bar has the exact hours noted below, so no need for guesswork.

This super functional database also shows suggested donation and regular ticket prices for those museums not always free, as well as the institution’s Yelp rating, physical address and internet presence. Could you get any more handy? Apparently, yes. Clicking on a particular museum will bring it to the top of the list and display a diagrammatic Google map of its location. It even tells you the price for annual membership to the museums.

The Museum of Modern Art, for example, has a normal ticket fee of $20 and an annual membership of $75, but has free hours from 4 through 8 PM on Fridays. Just don’t count on being able to get in right away. Basically, anything you need to know for a good museum outing is listed here.

It would be great if something like this website could be made for every city. It’s a fantastic resource that we could use more of. For now, count yourself lucky if you live in New York or are coming here soon! This is one site to plan your trip around.

Dan Nguyen's free museum hours graph (image from iheartnymuseums.com)

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