In a city like New York, the volume of new and exciting things to see and do never disappoints—a surplus of museum exhibitions, concerts, sports and family events, new restaurants and retail shops are continually popping up. This season, however, raises the bar exponentially: 10 extraordinary developments are opening within a six-month timeframe. These noteworthy new attractions span three of the City's five boroughs, extending from Harlem in Upper Manhattan to Staten Island's St. George neighborhood, and include everything from headline-making debuts—like the opening of One World Observatory and the Whitney Museum’s new Meatpacking District home—to smaller but no-less-exceptional unveilings, like the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling. Below find more information on the City's newest can't-miss attractions.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Opened: May 1
Hours: Sun.–Mon. and Wed., 10:30am–6pm; Thurs.–Sat., 10:30am–10pm
Admission: Adults, $22; full-time students and seniors 65 and over, $18; under 18, free; pay what you wish Fri., 7–10pm
The Whitney Museum of American Art is the world's leading museum of 20th-century and contemporary art of the US. Focusing particularly on works by living artists, the Whitney is celebrated for presenting important exhibitions and for its renowned collection, which comprises over 19,000 works by more than 2,900 artists. This spring, the Whitney moved into its new Renzo Piano–designed space in the Meatpacking District; the opening exhibit, America Is Hard to See, casts a wide net on the museum's greatest hits. You'll find works by Calder, Hopper, Warhol, O'Keefe and almost 400 others. Upcoming shows include a Frank Stella retrospective, an installation by Laura Poitras and a survey of works by David Wojnarowicz.
One World Observatory
Opening: May 29
Hours: May 29–Sept. 7, 2015: Daily, 9am–midnight; Sept. 8, 2015–May 5, 2016: Daily, 9am–8pm
Admission: Adults 13–64, $32; seniors 65 and over, $30; children 6–12, $26; children 5 and under, free
Beginning in late May, you'll be able to see the City from a new perch. The ascent to the top of the tallest building in the western hemisphere takes less than 60 seconds; once there, you'll find a three-level lookout to explore. The new space boasts panoramic vistas of the City skyline, surrounding waterways and beyond from 1,250 feet high. The observatory also features the latest in innovative technology and will host interactive exhibitions and become the future home of numerous dining establishments.
Peopling of America Center
Opening: May 20
Hours: Ferries operate to/from the island 9am–5pm daily (hours extended in summer)
Admission: Museum admission, free; ferry fee, $18
These newly updated galleries on Ellis Island chronicle the stories of the earliest arrivals to New York, including Native Americans, people who came against their will and immigrants from around the world who arrived at Ellis Island’s processing center, which opened in 1892 and closed in 1954. Graphics and stories help illustrate the firsthand accounts—which seem like they happened a million years ago, even though they didn't. Soon, the museum itself will be renamed the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Brookfield Place Shops & Restaurants
Hours: Vary by retailer/restaurant
Adding on to last year's opening of Hudson Eats, a curated collection of 14 chef-driven fast-casual eateries, Brookfield Place introduced a spate of luxury retailers and some fine-dining establishments this spring. You can shop at more than 40 contemporary retail and world-class luxury houses, including Hermés and Salvatore Ferragamo and top fashion brands such as Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg. New dining options include Le District, a 25,000-square-foot French-inspired marketplace—complete with wine bar, café, fresh-produce vendors and various food stations—that's like a Gallic version of Eataly. Upscale eateries Parm and L'Atelier de Joël Robchon should be coming soon.
Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition
Opening: May 30
Hours: Daily, 10am–10pm
Admission: Adults, $29; children, $26
Fans of Saturday Night Live will surely flock to this exhibition, which celebrates the 40th anniversary year of the NBC show by displaying a variety of items directly from the series including costumes, props, set pieces, scripts and videos. The exhibition also reveals SNL's weeklong creative process and allows fans a behind-the-scenes look at how the show unfolds—from script read-through and set design to hair and makeup and musical guests.
Discovery Garden for Children
Opening: June 6
Hours: Tues.–Fri., 8am–6pm; Sat.–Sun., 10am–6pm (November–February closing time is 4:30pm)
Admission: Adults, $12; Seniors/students with valid ID, 12 and over $6; under 12, free
A major part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's South Garden Revitalization project, this awesome garden, geared toward kids ages 1 to 12, is set to open in June 2015. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the space is a 1-acre park where kids can explore, play, do scientific investigations and discover different ecosystems and habitats found in the greater New York City area, from woodlands to meadows to marshes.
Opening: August 20
Hours: Daily, 10am–10pm
This new addition to NYC’s Battery Park aims to entertain, inspire and educate adults and children alike. Built to recall the early 20th-century era when the Battery was home to the original New York Aquarium at Castle Clinton, the carousel will showcase magical sea and fish creatures along with 60 SmartGlass panels that will transform the carousel's walls from clear to blue, simulating a realistic trip to the ocean's floor.
Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling
Opening: October 3
Hours: Thurs.–Fri., 10am–5pm; Sat.–Sun., noon–5pm
Admission: Adults, $7; seniors/students/children 9 and over, $4; children 8 and under, free
At the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling, young children and their families learn about Sugar Hill, and about the world at large, through intergenerational dialogue with artists, art and storytelling. Located at the intersection of uptown Manhattan neighborhoods Harlem and Washington Heights, the museum offers exhibitions, performances, hands-on workshops and other programs designed to engage children ages 3 to 8 in discovering and appreciating the diverse art and culture of Sugar Hill. The expansive, skylit museum space was designed by renowned architect David Adjaye.
Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor
Opening: September 19
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 11am–5pm; Sat., 10am–5pm; Sun., noon–5pm
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors/students, $3; members and children under 12, free
Set to open in September, the Staten Island Museum, which currently welcomes nearly 220,000 people each year, moves into its new home in the borough's Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. In 1965, museum members saved this historic site from demolition, and soon, the beautiful building, formerly a dormitory for retired seamen, will help visitors discover the unique offerings of New York City's southernmost borough via the Staten Island Museum's collection. In addition to the exterior being restored, the building has become LEED certified and will be a 21st-century, climate-controlled museum inside of a historical 19th-century landmarked structure.
St. Ann's Warehouse at the Tobacco Warehouse
Opening: November 6, 2015
Hours: Vary by performance/exhibition
Admission: Varies by performance/exhibition
Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, near the beloved Jane's Carousel, this outdoor space has undergone a $31 million transformation, turning what was a large empty space (with cool brick walls and archways) into a year-round, 25,000-square-foot performing arts facility. Set to open in November 2015, it will include a theater space with a capacity for 300 to 700 people, a multi-use artists' studio and an open-air Triangle Garden, which will be accessible to the public during Brooklyn Bridge Park hours.