Museums are too often said in the same breath as the word ‘boring’. With a strict set of rules, no photography (in most cases) and certainly no food, one can see why they may seem intimidating. Visit New York this year, however, and you may find yourself in for a pleasant surprise.

All through the summer of 2018, these cultural spaces in Manhattan will don one hat by day and another more experimental one by night. Music performances, happy hours and fun talks no longer have to be found only at an indie bar—these museums in the city are becoming more relevant, starting with Tuesday nights. To kick the week off on the right note, the Guggenheim Museum on 5th Avenue is extending its museum hours. There would be a public programme each Tuesday, including a series of moderated conversations among contemporary artists. And yes, there’ll be drinks available too at the in-house Café 3.

Busy Thursday evenings at the Cooper Hewitt museum
Visitors on a Thursday evening at the Cooper Hewitt Museum

Come Thursday, the Sculpture Garden inside the Museum of Modern Art (better known as MoMa) will come alive with the sound of music. There will be performances by artists in and around NYC in genres such as hip-hop, dreampunk, Afrofuturist soul and lo-fi Baroque pop for just the price of admission. Another alternative to your Thursday night plans is to visit the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in the Upper East side. This summer, they’re celebrating inclusivity and culture on Thursday evenings, with the keyword being ‘celebration’. With cocktails aplenty, they’re hosting events such as their first Pride Night, dance and music performances in association with Julliard School and a lot more.

Walk over to another New York Borough to spend the first Saturday of every month at The Brooklyn Museum. Happy hours (from 5pm-7pm), good food and a merry time are guaranteed, along with free entry to the museum.

And to round up the week well, the Summergarden at MoMa is a wonderful way to while away Sunday evenings with music. There are free jazz and classical music performances by students from the Julliard School and Lincoln Centre. The concerts begin at 8pm, but you should get there by 7pm at least if you want to bag a seat.

For more details on the particulars for each Museum day, please visit the website here.