Summer in New York wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Museum Mile Festival. Since 1978, this unique one-night event brings some of the art world’s most exciting collections to the public—for free. Put June 14, 2016, on your calendar, because we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide for exploring this can’t-miss festival, which stretches a 23-block section of Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets.

A CULTURAL WHIRLWIND
The Festival kicks off at 5:45 pm with an opening ceremony on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street). Get there early—it’s sure to be crowded. Check out The Met now, or wrap up your evening here. In addition to the sheer number of famed masterpieces on view, check out P.S. Art, an annual exhibit of work by talented young artists from New York City's public schools.

Next, make your way down Fifth Avenue toward the six other participating museums, starting with El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading museum of art from Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. The museum’s Figure and Form collection of recent acquisitions includes Puerto Rican Pieta, a large portrait of artist David Antonio Cruz and his mother. On your way, catch Afro-Latin disco tunes and sidewalk art-making opportunities.

Just steps away, you’ll find the Museum of the City of New York, which celebrates the character and diversity of New York. Don’t miss Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, an exhibit of comics and illustrations by the Brooklyn-born artist.

Stop into the Jewish Museum to view Beatriz Milhazes’s new series of sculptures, Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings, inspired by the brightly colored floats of Carnival in her native Brazil.

Got the whole family with you? Visit the Imagination Playground as well as a sidewalk-based design activity in conjunction with the exhibition Pixar: The Design of Story as you head to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. While there, catch the diverse collection spanning 30 centuries of historic and contemporary design.

At the famed Guggenheim Museum, take in A Long-Awaited Tribute: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion, composed of selected materials from the museum’s archives, before finishing the evening at the Neue Galerie New York. The latter includes a range of media, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts, and photographs created in Austria and Germany between 1890 and 1940.

Back at The James New York, enjoy our very own artistic outdoor oasis—the Urban Garden, a multi-level space featuring sculptures made from recycled and reused materials. Use The James as your base for the Museum Mile Festival.  

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