There's always something exciting opening (& closing) in NYC. Don't miss these must-see temporary museum exhibits & pop-ups!

Also see our guides to NYC museums (which have spectacular permanent collections and host fun family programs), all the public art and gallery-heavy Chelsea/Meatpacking.

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Closing Soon

Seaport Discovery: Exploring our Waters with Eric Carle 

The Seaport
Closes May 29

Visit a discovery room of maritime-themed art by the late Eric Carle, beloved creator of picture books for young children, at The South Street Seaport Museum.

Huge immersive murals bring families into Carle’s book, A House for Hermit Crab, and the cargo-ship adventures of 10 Little Rubber Ducks. Activities include meeting a live hermit crab, driving ferries on a giant play-table, and learning about cargo ships through the eyes of a rubber duck—all while exploring Carle’s use of color and pattern.

Also take free tours of historic tall ship Wavertree. See our guide to Seaport.


The Butterfly Conservatory

American Museum of Natural History
Closes May 29

Walk through a 1,200 square foot vivarium with over 500 butterflies of more than 100 different species from countries including Thailand, Brazil, Kenya and Australia.

The lovely plants, flowers and temperatures are tropical so dress in layers. Or get an outside view of the people, plants and butterflies through transparent walls in a hallway with educational illustrations like videos and displays about the protection of butterflies and New York species.

See our complete guide to the American Museum of Natural History.

Future Retrieval | Crystal-Walled Seas

Denny Dimin Gallery
Closes Jun 4

Enter an underwater garden with reefs, fungi and other oceanic, organic forms, reimagined in ceramics, weaving, cut paper and paintings. Guy Michael Davis and Katie Parker collaborate together under the name Future Retrieval, mining archives and museums to digitally collect and make objects that re-examine the history of decorative arts. Much of this exhibit is based on early illustrated instructionals on sustaining aquatic life in a domestic setting. Lots to to look for in this art aquarium.

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm

Clive Smith 2022

Marc Strauss
Closes Jun 4

See Clive Smith’s paintings of new species of birds: owls, ducks, spoonbills, pelicans, kingfishers, and pigeons, plus occasionally an insect or a mammal makes an appearance as well. Look for new feathers and fur patterns, based on canonical masters like Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Hilma of Klimt, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Kenneth Noland, Josef Albers, and Mark Rothko.

Tuesday-Saturday 11 am – 6 pm

Faith Ringgold: American People

New Museum
Closes Jun 6

See over fifty years of work by artist, author, educator, and organizer, Faith Ringgold, one of the most influential cultural figures of her generation and creator of magical children’s books.

Richly textured paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts link the multi-disciplinary practices of the Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young Black artists working today. Look for elements of her personal autobiography and American and Black history documenting her life as an artist and mother and  amplifying the struggles for social justice and equity.

See our guide to the New Museum.


Josh Sperling: Daydream

Galerie Perrotin
Closes Jun 11

Find inspiration in Josh Sperling’s colorful painted lines that curl and wend and spiral, shimmying up walls across three floors of a spacious gallery show.

Not far from legendary Economy Candy.

African/American: Making the Nation’s Table

MOFAD at The Africa Center
Closes Jun 19

Learn about African American foundational and ongoing contributions to the nation’s culinary culture in an immersive exhibit from the Museum of Food and Drink.

Look for countless African American food and drink producers who have laid the foundation for American cuisine honored in an awe-inspiring 14 feet by 30 feet Legacy Quilt.

Take an immersive…

Takashi Murakami: An Arrow through History

Gagosian UES
Closes Jun 25

See new works by Takashi Murakam in three simultaneous presentations spanning two of Gagosian’s New York galleries, at 976 and 980 Madison Avenue, and bridging the physical and digital realms. Look for distinctive personalities in walls of pixelated flowers with faces. See digitally modeled NFT avatars in meticulously detailed, hand-painted portraits and full-scale figurative sculptures

Kenny Scharf WOODZ ‘N THINGZ

Closes Jun 25

Explore legendary downtown painter Kenny Scharf’s “intuitive derangements of the regime of senses” in an exhibit of colorful, surreal paintings. Anthropomorphic elements of nature like red  trees with big eyes interact with mesmerizing patterns and vibrant colors.

Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 6 pm


Flower Craft

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Closes Jun 26

Celebrate the creative visions of botanical artists working at the forefront of contemporary floral design. Inspired by nature’s ephemerality and its inimitable palettes, these artists are investigating all stages of the plant life cycle, from seed to germination to decay, to interpret nature in sculptural form. As they expand the boundaries of materials and creative…

The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Closes Jul 23

See unique collection of artifacts curated by The National Jazz Museum, including items highlighting the career of pianist and jazz icon, Dr. Billy Taylor plus maquettes of characters Joe Gardner and Dorothea Williams from the Disney movie Soul, and virtual experiences via the Play Disney Parks app.

The National Jazz Museum partnered with Disney to…

The New York Public Library’s Treasures

New York Public Library
Closes Jul 31

See some of the most extraordinary items from the 56 million in the New York Public Library’s collections of the last 125+ years. Encounter manuscripts, artworks, letters, still and moving images, recordings, and more that bring vividly to life voices of the past. Highlight’s include the stuffed inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh and Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy…


American Museum of Natural History
Closes Aug 14

Get up close with dozens of life-sized models of spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood sharks. Go inside the jaw of an megalodon, see fossils, touch models of teeth, hunt like a hammerhead and more in touch-free interactive displays.

See our complete guide to the Natural History Museum.

Life of a Neuron

Chelsea Market
Closes Aug 31

Step into the human brain – an immersive, digital 3D model of a real human prefrontal cortex neuron — the “thinking cell” of the brain — and see it grow from birth through death.

Created by ARTECHOUSE Studio in partnership with Society for Neuroscience (SfN), this exhibition is the result of three years of ardent…

Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle

Closes Sep 1

Experience the exciting colors, lines, and forms of Vasily Kandinsky, a major artistic innovator and painting theorist of the early twentieth century. Follow his work in reverse chronological order, starting with his late-life paintings in France and proceeding upward along the Guggenheim’s spiral ramp through experiments in painting, poetry, and stage composition in Germany and…

Minecraft: The Exhibition

Liberty Science Center
Closes Sep 5

Step inside the world of Minecraft, the best-selling video game of all time.

Both fans and those who haven’t played yet will enjoy this incredible immersive experience. Encounter life-size characters from the game, learn the skills to become a Minecraft expert, and embark on a quest to build a better world–both digitally and in real life.


In America: An Anthology of Fashion & A Lexicon of Fashion

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Closes Sep 5

Try to figure out what’s happening in cinematic “freeze frames” produced in collaboration with notable American film directors including Sofia Coppola, Regina King, Martin Scorsese and Chloé Zhao. Personality-filled mannequins in fashions from dating from the eighteenth century to the present are featured in vignettes installed in American Wing period rooms spanning 1805 to 1915:…

Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept

Whitney Museum of American Art
Closes Sep 5

Survey an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of sixty-three artists and collectives whose dynamic works reflect the challenges, complexities, and possibilities of the American experience today. The fifth floor is brimming with  a mixture of painting, sculpture, video, sounds and more, while the sixth floor is dark and haunting. Look for sculptures of life-seize people and…

Jim Henson’s World

Museum of Moving Image
Closes Dec 31

Explore Jim Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television and his transformative impact on popular culture and learn how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.

Among the nearly 300 objects on view…

New York, New Music: 1980-1986

Museum of the City of New York
Closes Dec 31

Discover Run-DMC, the Talking Heads, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, John Zorn and other great 80s NYC musicians. Watch amazing videos plus see posters, photos costumes & more. Explore the broader music and cultural scene, including the innovative media outlets, venues, record labels, fashion and visual arts centered in New York City during the community-driven musical renaissance of the early 1980s (and see some awesme break dancing).

To hear the songs and videos in the exhibition, bring your own corded headphones to insert into the plugs provided for optimal sound, or pick up free disposable headphones at the ticket desk.

Connected Worlds

New York Hall of Science
Closes Jul 27

Explore a fantastical animated world where your actions – gestures, movements, and decisions – impact how well the world is kept in balance. Six magical, computer generated habitats: jungle, desert, wetlands, river valley, reservoir, and grasslands -have their own trees, plants, and animals, but they share a common supply of water. The habitats are fed…