Previewing: Museum Mile

This June marks the month that one of the most anticipated annual New York City events happens: Museum Mile! For one night only, an entire section of 5th Avenue (known as Museum Mile due to the high concentration of museums lining the strip) will be closed to automobile traffic so New Yorkers from all boroughs can enjoy a beautiful summer evening on the Upper East Side. All seven museums along the route will have free entrance for the evening, making it not only the biggest NYC block party, but also one of the biggest NYC cultural attractions to take place all year!

Glenwood residents living on the Upper East Side should be extra excited, due to the close proximity of the event to your apartment! From The Marlowe on 81st Street to Hampton Court on 102nd, the excitement will be happening right outside your door!

Closeup of Museum Mile (5th Avenue) Street Sign Museum Mile’s History

The very first Museum Mile festival took place in June 1978, as a way to bring New Yorkers from every single borough together for an evening of appreciating the beautiful collection of museums and art we have nestled on the strip of the Upper East Side from 82nd Street to 105th Street. It was such a success that it became an annual tradition every June, and has since brought over one million visitors to the festival over the past thirty seven years. In fact, it is such a mainstay in the NYC community that the strip of road on Fifth Avenue is now officially called “Museum Mile” on the street sign, and is an annual night that every single New Yorker, from the Westside to the Bronx to Downtown to Brooklyn, absolutely anticipates with joy.

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What To Know

This year’s Museum Mile evening is taking place on Tuesday, June 12th, from 6pm to 9pm. The festival takes place from 82nd to 105th Streets along Fifth Avenue, and includes live entertainment and music, as well as art activities for children. All the museums along this strip of road are completely free during the duration of the festival, including: El Museo Del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Guggenheim, Neue Galerie New York, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Collage of museums involved in Museum Mile

Additional Events

In addition to the museums that will be open to view, there is a lineup of free activities to enjoy as well (so much so that you’d actually never even have to set foot in a museum to be completely entertained for the evening!)

Highlights include:

  • Art-in-the street, where you can create musical instruments with the Little Orchestra Society
  • Incorporate yourself into a theatrical scene inspired by the paintings of Florine Stettheimer using colorful drawing materials
  • Imagination Playground on the Lawn, with Hands-on Design Activities
  • Sammie & Tudie’s Imagination Playhouse
  • Live bands and DJ’s offering live music and entertainment along the route! For a full rundown of the activities and locations, make sure to check out Museum Mile’s website.

Collage of events from Museum Mile

Good To Know

Museum Mile happens rain or shine, so make sure to check the weather before heading out and plan accordingly with your rain boots and poncho if needed. And while all the museums are free, it’s helpful to plan your route of attack ahead of time. For instance, the MET is so large that one could easily spend the entire three hours inside and hardly make a dent. Instead, check the exhibitions that are currently going on and see what interests you most at which museum. If you take the time to route out where the exhibitions are located ahead of time, you’ll be able to cover the most ground while you are there.

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Note: This event is extremely kid-friendly, so take advantage of the longer evening of sunshine and let the little ones enjoy the car-free strip of Fifth Avenue for the evening!!

If you’re looking for another wonderful free cultural event to attend during the summer months, make sure to check out Shakespeare in the Park!

What are you most looking forward to checking out for this year’s Museum Mile? We’d love to hear on Facebook and Twitter!

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