Hispanic Society of America

We asked Evelyn Kanter, author of the new NYC guidebook 100 Things To Do in New York City Before You Die, who visited the Forest Hills and Briarwood libraries this spring, for suggestions for the best summer locations in the city.

She shared this collection of small NYC museums worth visiting, all of which are also free!

"The Hispanic Society of America (above) displays one of the largest collections of Velasquez and Goya paintings outside Spain, along with masterworks by El Greco. The collection includes other Hispanic treasures dating from the Bronze Age from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, and fabrics and intricate tiles from Moorish Spain. The extensive research library boasts more than 250,000 documents from the 1700s to the present, and there are free docent tours on weekends. The impressive columned building resides on a bluff in Washington Heights." (www.hispanicsociety.org)

"Find rare Greek and Roman mosaics, statues, pottery, coins, and other artifacts at The Onassis Cultural Center, tucked in the basement of an office building across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Exhibitions focus on a theme, such as emotions or animals, plus an area devoted to contemporary art by Greek artists. The center also partners with several NYC theater groups to stage performances of ancient and modern Greek plays." (www.onassisusa.org)

National Museum of the American Indian

"The National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan (above) houses one of the world’s best collections of Native American art and artifacts from tribes throughout the Americas, from the Arctic Circle to Patagonia. Be sure to look up at the Rotunda, which reminds many of the U. S. Capitol—not surprising, since it shares the same architect. This outpost of the Smithsonian Institution has an excellent Native American art market of handmade crafts each fall, just in time for holiday gift buying." (https://americanindian.si.edu/visit/newyork)

"The Fashion Institute of Technology has its own museum, not surprisingly named Museum at FIT. Rotating exhibits focus on a single theme, such as a particular designer, decade, color, fabric, or item of clothing, such as shoes. There’s also a gallery showcasing the work of current students, who might be the future Halston or Dior." (www.fitnyc.edu/museum)

"In addition to rotating exhibits, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College offers walking tours and even private tours of other NYC museums, led by docents. There also are concerts and special family day events throughout the year." (www.gtmuseum.org)

Learn more in Kanter’s book, available at Queens Public Library, and on her website, NYC On the Cheap.