Public Art, Gallery & Library Exhibits

Feeling a little too rowdy (or cheap) for a museum? See art you can touch, embrace, walk over and around at NYC’s many site-specific art installations or at one our amazing public libraries. Use what you saved in admission fees to treat yourself to a neighborhood snack.
kid-friendly museum guide | family-friendly exhibits | free weekly storytimes | events this week

Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life

David Zwirner
34 East 69th Street

Through Dec 16

David Zwirner presents two major concurrent exhibitions of recent work by unique Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. See sixty-six paintings from her iconic My Eternal Soul series, new large-scale flower sculptures, a polka-dotted environment, and two very cool Infinity Mirror Rooms in the Chelsea (525 & 533 West 19th Street) locations, and a selection of new Infinity Nets paintings uptown. Expect lines; go early and/or on weekdays if possible (and get this book to read while you wait).

Taste of Home's Gingerbread Boulevard

Madison Square Park
Madison Avenue & 24th Street

Through Dec 20

Explore around and inside life-size decorated gingerbread houses and check out virtual and interactive elements such as a marshmallow snowman and Christmas tree decorating. Sip complimentary Folgers coffee and snack on M&Ms, Twix, Snickers and Dove chocolates.

Google @ Flatiron

Google @ Flatiron
110 Fifth Avenue

Through Dec 31

Explore, play, shop and test drive new Google products. Dance in an immersive Pixel photo studio, explore new worlds in a virtual reality experience and step into a colorful living room and meet Google Home.

The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson Street

Through Dec 31

Discover the story of chocolate and its journey from bean to bar through original artifacts, bon-bon making demonstrations. nine premium tastings, and a corner where kids children can dig for “undiscovered artifacts” in a sand pit and play chocolate shop proprietor with a toy kitchen and cash register. Presented by NYC chocolatier extraordinaire Jacques Torres and Eddy Van Belle, chocolate aficionado and founder of four other Choco-Story museums around the world. Buy timed tickets in advance online.

Flatiron Reflection

Flatiron Plaza
West 23rd Street & Broadway

Through Jan 1

Explore a bundle of giant shimmering tubes in an iconic plaza. Admire the play of light, shadow, and reflection from afar or step into nooks around the fluted perimeter offers niches. Designed by Future Expansion, the winner of the fourth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition.

Harlem Holiday Windows

Lenox Avenue
Lenox Avenue between 117th and 127th Streets

Through Jan 2

Participating businesses along a sparkle-filled Lenox Avenue between 117th and 127th Streets feature displays inspired by seven Traditional Harlem Celebrations that take place throughout the year: Three Kings Day, Christmas, Hanukah, Loiza, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and Harlem Week. This year’s theme was suggested by high school students from The Schomburg Center’s immersive Teen Curator’s Program and executed by undergraduates from Fashion Institute of Technology’s interdisciplinary Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) program, working closely with owners/operators and store managers.

Let There Be Light!

Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street

Through Jan 2

See an array of diverse menorahs from the collection of the Lori and David Moore family that show just how many ways there are to light up the holiday. Traditional and whimsical designs include an American flag menorah, traditional Chanukah lamps from around the world, and menorahs that take playful forms, including a shoe, a dog and an oversized book of matches.

CandlePower Pop-Up Experience

CandlePower Pop-Up Experience
503 Broadway

Through Jan 3

Walk on walls, sit among giant flowers, chill oceanside and more in an interactive, multi-sensory shopping experience from Yankee Candle.


Brookfield Place
220 Vesey Street

Through Jan 5

650 hanging lanterns create a canopy of rainbow lights in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Visitors send a wish to the lanterns above by touching a wishing station, transforming the installation and spurring a $1 donation from Arts Brookfield to the GRAMMY Foundation® to support its GRAMMY in the Schools® music education programs for high school students. Choreographed light shows, entitled “Snowfall,” “Christmas Tree,” “Ribbons,” “Firecracker,” and “Northern Lights” occur every two hours between 8 am and 10 pm.

Wreath Interpretations

Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue (at 64th Street)

Through Jan 5

Employing an array of uncommon materials, more than 40 participating fine artists, designers, and imaginative individuals create unique and unconventional wreaths. This year’s wreaths draw inspiration from a range of themes ranging from the personal to the universal.

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez
86 Trinity Place

Through Jan 7

Retrace the adventure of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present in a theatrical exhibit that evokes automobiles, train travel, and airplanes (and includes gorgeous luggage and couture)

Sea of Light: An Interactive Journey Through Light and Sound

Seaport District
Fulton & Front Streets

Through Feb 5

The Sea of Light installation will be like no winter light show you have ever seen before. Sea of Light is a fully immersive sensory adventure of light and sound activated by proximity and touch. Spheres of various sizes, ranging up to nine feet in height, will be illuminated with warm-colored light from over 150,000 LED bulbs, and will react to various movement and sound patterns. Each individual interaction will provoke a unique lighting pattern that makes for a rare winter art experience.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors by Ai Weiwei

Washington Square Park
5th Avenue & Washington Square North

Through Feb 11

Acclaimed Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei conceived this multi-site, multi-media exhibition for public spaces, monuments, buildings, transportation sites, and advertising platforms throughout New York City as a passionate response to the global migration crisis and a reflection on the profound social and political impulse to divide people from each other. Find site-specific art throughout the boroughs, with large scale interactive installations made from security fence at the SE corner of Central Park, Washington Square Park, Harlem bus stops and the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens.

Fearless Girl Statue

Bowling Green Park
Broadway & Whitehall

Through Feb 28

A bronze statue of a defiant girl facing off with the famous Charging Bull on Wall Street was installed by assat-manager State Street Global Advisors as part of a initiative to increase the number of women on their clients’ corporate boards.


High Line 14th Street Passage
Tenth Avenue & West 14th Street

Through Mar 1

This open-air group exhibition on the scenic High Line explores the relationship between man and nature, looking at how the boundaries between the natural world and culture are defined, crossed, and obliterated. We liked the circle of colorful creatures swallowing each other, the giant griffin sculpture, and he mysterious silver witch shoes (and the paletas from the La Newyorkina stand at 17th street).
See-saw and play music with your feet in the interactive La Deliciosa Show by Radamés “Juni” Figueroa on 30th Street.

Whiteout by Erwin Redl

Madison Square Park
Madison Avenue & 24th Street

Through Mar 25

Hundreds of suspended transparent white spheres, each embedded with a discrete, white LED light, gently sway with the wind one foot above the ground creating shummering patterns across the Madison Square lawn.

Dale Chihuly, Rose Crystal Tower

Union Square
14th Street & Fourth Avenue

Through Oct 5

See a stunning 31-feet tall tower that looks like rose petals that is composed of Polyvitro crystals and steel, by acclaimed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.

100 Gates Project

Lower East Side, East Harlem & Staten Island
See map for locations

Through Dec 31

The 100 Gates Project connects artists and merchants to create original murals on roll-down security gates on the Lower East Side, East Harlem & Staten Island, creating an open-air galleries that are open when your kids wake up too early and everything else is closed.

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