new york

• Wander the city’s most iconic museum, all by yourself
• Sip cocktails over the sounds of a live string quartet
• Tour the lengths of each wing with no visitors in sight

Okay, maybe you won’t have the place all to yourself, but The Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met” to locals) at night is a world away from the the chockablock siege of tourists that it is during daytime hours. The camera-toting hordes crowding around the Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian Galleries? Replaced by a few doting couples and local culture devotees. The cacophony of the Great Hall? A live string quartet is the soundtrack at night in the Balcony Bar, which only opens on weekends and serves a special menu inspired by the rotating exhibitions with wines from Europe and South America. Make sure to wander into the farthest reaches of the museum—you might just find yourself in the Robert Lehman Wing standing in front of Bellini’s Madonna and Child with no other visitor in sight.

Hop off the subway at 86th Street and walk north until you reach 5th Avenue. Make a left and there you will see the Met with its grand staircase and classic columns.

​​1000 5th Ave. at 82nd Street, 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org; open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.Open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. recommended admission: $25, seniors $17, students $12; children under 12 free