A (Weekend) Night at the Museum

Late hours, cocktails and music mark the summer art scene. Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter Sign Up Thank you

Late hours, cocktails and music mark the summer art scene.

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Rubin Museum of Art

Friday Nights until late evening, ongoing

Named, rather modestly, for the second-tallest mountain in the world, the Rubin Museum of Art’s weekly transformation from Eastern art museum to club lounge is remarkable because it’s actually kind of cool. The design of the museum lends itself to the shift-it has always seemed more Buddha Bar than Buddhist temple-and, pending a new liquor license, two-for-one cocktails from 6 to 7 p.m. should smooth over any rough edges. 


Roof Garden Café and Big Bambú

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fridays and Saturdays, ongoing

If the 28,000 feet of K2 is a bit too daunting, try the Met’s comparatively low-to-the-ground roof cafe, open free on Fridays and Saturdays until 9 p.m., with a 50-foot-high bamboo tower by the Starn brothers just begging to be summited. An array of summertimey cocktails-orange garnish! Mint garnish! Sugarcane garnish!- make the thought of a climb more bearable. 


First Fridays

Neue Gallerie

First Friday of each month, until 8 p.m.

Its aroma of Berlin decadence and Vienna chic has always made the Neue, like the Rubin, a little too cool for daytime. Appropriately, they’re open late one Friday a month, letting visitors in free to see their collection in the dim twilight that best suits Weimar style. 


First Saturdays

Brooklyn Museum

July 3 and August 7, until 11 p.m.

Once your wurst hangover has worn off, the Brooklyn Museum awaits! Two Saturdays this summer, they have six hours of free events and music stretching from early afternoon until late. Party hard: Money raised from the August party goes to Haiti earthquake relief.


Summergarden and MoMA Nights

Museum of Modern Art

Sunday nights, 8 p.m. 

The MoMA’s Summergarden, a garden concert series that starts July 11, has the same scenery as their annual posh Party in the Garden, but costs $1,000 less, and there is substantially less risk of choking to death on an hors d’oeuvre. MoMA Nights is a similar program on Thursdays, which can count as a weekend depending on whether you care about your job.



Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Fridays, 6 p.m.. starting July 9

Unlike most of the drinks-in-the-garden events offered on Museum Mile, Cooper-Hewitt’s has a door charge ($15). This should go a long way toward keeping out the riffraff. There will be light fare and light jazz in the back garden, and visitors will have access to the museum, currently showing its design triennial. 


Thelonious Monk Jr.

Museum of the City of New York

June 25, 7 p.m.

In 1963, Thelonious Monk played Japan for the first time, forming a beachhead in a nation that for 37 years has championed his music over the era’s other jazz giants. This month, in conjunction with the Japan Society’s “Samurai in New York”, Monk’s son will take the stage, playing drums alongside Japanese guitarist Yuchiro Oda in a style called Do Enka, a jazz-blues-spoken word mishmash. In Tokyo, this would be a huge draw, but we can see it for just $12. 


Warm Up


Saturdays 2 p.m.-9 p.m, July 3 on

As befits a museum founded in an ever-so-slightly eerie former public school, P.S.1 has always skewed towards a young demographic. But the architectural construction designed to accompany this summer’s weekly Warm Up party may have taken that trend too far: Hanging nets and bright bouncy balls? Artist’s renderings of the sculpture show it overrun with toddlers. Feel free to dance, but watch where you put your feet. 



A (Weekend) Night at the Museum