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Lower Manhattan's Free Night at the Museums 2017

On Tuesday, June 20, Lower Manhattan presents its third annual Night at the Museums. Fifteen participating museums and historic sites will stay open late from 4 to 8pm, and offer free admission, tours, and special programming. Visitors can hop from museum to museum downtown as all are within easy walking distance.

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Visitors of all ages can spend a summer evening immersed in New York City’s history, explore what makes the United States unique, discover new cultures and heritages, take a walking tour of the area, or stop for refreshments, including restaurants offering special Night at the Museums discounts.

For complete information, including a map and schedule of events, visit or pick up a free Night at the Museums Guide at any of the participating institutions.

All activities are free but some require tickets or advance reservation: National September 11 Memorial Museum tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the museum starting at 4pm. Walking tours offered by Lower Manhattan Tours require an advance reservation and a limited number of tickets will be available for walk-ups. See details below and on the NATM website.

Participating museums and historical sites are:

African Burial Ground National Monument is dedicated to teaching about Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. Visitors can tour the museum, view the film “Our Time At Last,” and speak to National Park Service rangers about the history of the site from its creation through its rediscovery to its designation as a national park. A drum and dance performance by Fusha Dance Company will take place at 4pm.

Special Programming Tour the visitor center, rangers will be on hand to answer questions and make periodic presentations. View the film Our Time At Last, which details the history of the African Burial Ground from its creation through its rediscovery to its designation as a national park. - See more at:

China Institute s the oldest educational and cultural organization in the United States focused on advancing a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, business, and art in the belief that cross-cultural understanding strengthens the global community. Tour the latest gallery exhibit Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou and enjoy a live music performance. The full event schedule is available at

Federal Hall National Memorial serves as a museum and memorial to America’s first President and the beginnings of the United States of America. Exhibits present the history of Federal Hall. National Park Service Ranger-led tours will be offered on the half hour from 4pm to 7pm. Meet George Washington, see a special map display of New York City in the 18th century, and hear Linda Russell present Early American Music from 4pm to 7:30pm.

Fraunces Tavern Museum is the only museum located in Manhattan that focuses on the Colonial period, Revolutionary War, and the Early Republic. Discover just how important New York City was during the birth of our nation. Special Exhibitions include Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War, and Lafayette, featuring artifacts relating to the Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. Enjoy live 18th century American music with Rose Tree, a musical trio. Chime in on choruses and dance along while learning the history of the music and instruments. Take a souvenir photo in the Colonial Costume Photobooth or create your own flag as inspired by the Museum’s Flag Gallery.

Lower Manhattan Tours takes visitors through the historic capital of world finance: the one-square-mile of downtown Manhattan known as "Wall Street."  Mini-Walking Tours (half-hour duration) will take place every 30 minutes, from 4pm to 7pm. Tours meet in front of 55 & 57 Wall Street and end at one of the museums or historic sites participating in Night at the Museums. Please book in advance at Tours will fill up quickly. A small number of slots will be held for walk-ups.

The Museum of American Finance
is the nation's only independent museum dedicated to American finance and financial history. See the featured exhibit For the Love of Money: Blacks on US Currency, on loan from the Museum of UnCut Funk, displaying anti-slavery tokens, commemorative coins, bronze medals, and gold medallions that honor barrier-breaking Black athletes, entertainers, civil rights leaders, military leaders, and politicians. The exhibit celebrates Black icons, seminal historic events, and institutions which have shaped Black history and significantly influenced American history. Visitors can take tours on the hour from 5pm to 7pm, with a limit of 20 people per tour.  

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s Holocaust memorial museum. Using first-person histories and personal objects, the Core Exhibition tells the story of the Jewish experience before, during, and after the Holocaust. Also on view is Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones, his only permanent installation in New York City, and the special exhibition My Name Is… The Lost Children of Kloster Indersdorf about the powerful reality faced by children in the aftermath of war. Guided tours of the Core Exhibition will be offered on the hour from 4pm to 7pm. A talk at 6:30pm on Jewish communities in China will be given by researcher Liang Pingan and Abraham H. Foxman, Director of the Museum's Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

National Archives at New York City invites visitors into the Learning Center to discover and uncover the many national treasures of New York. Enjoy an Archival Adventure and pull archival facsimile treasures off the shelves. View famous signatures and other original records or discover family history research/genealogy by exploring immigrant arrivals. Meet Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson (historic reenactors) and witness these famous founding fathers debate our nation’s principles.

National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution illuminates through exhibitions and programs the diversity of Native peoples of the Americas, from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of Patagonia. Celebrate the summer solstice with fun and educational activities. Special tours will be offered of the museum’s collections, Infinity of NationsNative Fashion Now, Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed, and the stunning Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House building on the hour from 5:00 7:00 p.m. Please visit for tour details.

National September 11 Memorial Museum is the country's principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events, and exploring 9/11's continuing significance. Free admission is from 5 to 8pm, with the last admission two hours prior to closing. Tickets are not available in advance and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the museum starting at 4pm.

9/11 Tribute Center, created by the September 11th Families Association, presents videos, artifacts, and “Person to Person History,” linking visitors who want to understand the historic events of 9/11, including the rescue and recovery operations and the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, with those who experienced them. Visitors will discover the tremendous spirit of resilience and service that arose after the attacks. Volunteer Guides speak to visitors about the events of September 11th as well as their personal experiences every half-hour between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

NYC Municipal Archives Visitor Center, located in a stunning Beaux Arts building, holds New York City Government’s historical records beginning with documents deeding land to the Lady Deborah Moody in 1645. Explore the building’s grand staircases, sculptures, and mosaics by preeminent artists of the period, with Municipal Archives photographer Matthew Minor, as he takes you on a behind-the-design walk through early 20th century architecture.  Building Tours are held at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Or take a special guided tour of the Archives with the Commissioner at 5:00 p.m. Sign up for all tours in advance as spaces are limited. Email with tour name and time in subject header.

Poets House offers something for everyone in the wide and varied tradition of verse. Visitors can peruse the 70,000-volume poetry library and view exhibitions that focus on the physical and visual expression of poetry. View books, magazine issues, and ephemera from the working library of Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation. Participate in a literary scavenger hunt: visitors will be given popular poems with several words missing and will have to find the poems in books in Poets House’s extensive library.

The Skyscraper Museum located in the world's first and foremost vertical metropolis, celebrates New York City's rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs, and publications, the Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. Visit the Museum, open all day, and join the Curator’s Tour with founding director Carol Willis of the special exhibition, Ten and Taller, 1874-1900, at 5pm.

South Street Seaport Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the rise of New York as a port city and its critical role in the development of the United States. The Museum uses its historic buildings, unique collections, working 19th-century printing presses, and ships – including the newly restored historic ship Wavertree – to provide educational experiences and interactive exhibits. See the exhibition Street of Ships: The Port and Its People, walking tours exploring the history of the East River waterfront start at 5:30pm and 7:30pm (45 minutes, onsite registration required), tour of the Historic Ship Wavertree, and live demonstrations at Bowne Co. Stationers and Printers.

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