Museums get a bad rap. Even the word “museum” is a turn-off. It sounds all... Latin, like some punishment to threaten your kid with, or a mantra to keep you from getting aroused in public. But forget the branding, and focus on their raison d’etre: showcasing the greatest art, science, and history on the planet, all distilled into one building you can visit for the price of an eggs Benedict (or for free, if you time it right). We’re talking about mankind’s greatest achievements here -- the story of life itself. Plus, they dovetail nicely with brunch, picking up brainy dates, staying cool in the summer heat, and, low-key, throwing some of the city’s finest parties.
New York is lousy with options -- as many as 200, depending on how you count. Waltz into world-leading institutions or stumble across niche pop-ups you never knew existed. Visit ‘em all, if you’re some sort of masochist for learning. But at least start with these, the very best: