African Burial Ground National Monument is the first national monument and museum dedicated to Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. This year marks the 153rd commemoration of June 19, 1865, commonly known as “Juneteenth.” On this day, the state of Texas announced the abolition of slavery, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States. Rangers will make presentations throughout the evening, and the film Our Time at Last will screen. The monument is located at 290 Broadway, between Duane and Reade Streets. www.nps.gov/afbg
China Institute is the go-to resource on China—from ancient art to today’s business landscape and its rapidly shifting culture. Its programs, school and gallery exhibitions bring to life the depth, complexity and dynamism of China. Tour the latest gallery exhibit “Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens” and enjoy a live-music performance. China Institute is located at 40 Rector Street, between West and Washington Streets. www.ChinaInstitute.org
Federal Hall National Memorial features exhibits that present the history of Federal Hall, a museum and memorial to America’s first President and the beginnings of the United States. National Park Service Ranger-led tours will take place on the hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the Junior Ranger program features activities for kids. Visitors can also take home a copy of the Bill of Rights. www.nps.gov/feha
Fraunces Tavern® Museum is the only museum located in Manhattan that focuses on the Colonial period, Revolutionary War and the Early Republic. Learn how important New York City was during the birth of the nation at this historic site and museum. Special exhibitions include, “Confidential: The American Revolution’s Agents of Espionage.” Enjoy live 18th-century music and dance lessons provided by the Tricorne Dance Ensemble; join a guided tour of the museum; and snap a souvenir photo in the Colonial Costume Photo Booth. Also, sign up for the museum’s mailing list and receive a free Fraunces Tavern pin. www.frauncestavernmuseum.org
Lower Manhattan Tours takes visitors through the historic capital of world finance: the square mile of downtown Manhattan known as “Wall Street.” Mini-Walking Tours (half-hour duration) will take place every 30 minutes, from 4–7 p.m. Tours meet in front of 55 and 57 Wall Street and end at one of the museums or historic sites participating in Night at the Museums. Please book in advance at WallStreetWalks.com. Tours will fill up quickly. A small number of slots will be held for walk-ups. www.LowerManhattanTours.com
Please book in advance: Book now 30 min tours
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. On view are the permanent Core Exhibition and Andy Goldsworthy’s “Garden of Stones,” and special exhibitions “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross”; “New Dimensions in Testimony℠,” created by USC Shoah Foundation; and “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm.” Tours of the Core Exhibition will be offered on the hour from 4–7 p.m. www.mjhnyc.org
National Archives at New York City connects visitors to New York history. Engage with costumed historical interpreters to learn about democracy in action, the women’s suffrage movement and more. Visit the Learning Center to discover the many national treasures of New York. Go on an “Archival Adventure,” pull archival facsimile documents off the shelves, and other learning activities. In the Welcome Center, view original documents that explore records related to the Vietnam War, and begin a journey into family history research/genealogy in the Research Center by examining immigrant arrivals (including Ellis Island), federal census and naturalization (citizenship) records, plus so much more. Giveaways include tattoos, pencils and National Archives pins, while supplies last. www.archives.gov/nyc
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. Activities and programming embrace the newly opened imagiNATIONS Activity Center, a family-friendly, interactive learning environment where the focus is Native innovations throughout history that shape the modern world. The museum is located at One Bowling Green within the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, across the street from Battery Park. Tours will also be offered on the hour from 5–7 p.m. of the museum’s exhibitions “Infinity of Nations” and “Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound,” as well as the Custom House building itself. Please visit the calendar at AmericanIndian.si.edu 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 5–8 p.m., with the last admission two hours prior to closing. Tickets are not available in advance and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the museum starting at 4 p.m. Distribution time is subject to change. www.911memorial.org
9/11 Tribute Museum is a project of the September 11th Families’ Association and offers visitors a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community: survivors, family members of lost loved ones, first responders, recovery workers, and people who live and work in Lower Manhattan. Visitors will learn about the historic events of that day, along with the personal experiences, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operations, and the tremendous spirit of support and generosity that arose after the attacks. 911tributemuseum.org
NYC Municipal Archives at the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) preserves and provides public access to historical records and information about New York City government. Its collections date from 1645 to the present. Records include office records, manuscripts, still and moving images, vital records, maps, blueprints and sound recordings. www.nyc.gov/records
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 archival materials from Poets House’s history, including handwritten correspondence from legendary poets and writers. Participate in a literary scavenger hunt: visitors will be given popular poems with several words missing and will have to find the poems within the books of Poets House’s extensive library. www.poetshouse.org
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. Visit the museum and join the Curator’s Tour, with founding director Carol Willis, of the special exhibition, “MILLENNIUM: Lower Manhattan in the 1990s,” at 5 p.m. www.skyscraper.org
South Street Seaport Museum is dedicated to telling the story of “Where New York Begins,” and 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 and ships to provide interactive exhibits, education and unique visitor experiences. Visit the exhibit, “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires Aboard the Great Liners, 1900–1914,” in the main museum building at 12 Fulton Street. On Pier 16, there will be open tours of the 19th-century sailing ship Wavertree and hourly tours of the lightship Ambrose (limited availability; registration on-site). For Night at the Museums exclusively, Bowne & Co., located at 209-211 Water Street, will highlight selected examples that show the breadth and brilliance of 19th-century letterpress printing, as well as demonstrate with equipment not regularly on public view.