Before summer ends, seize the opportunity to take in some al fresco artwork. Spend an afternoon perusing these parks and open-air museums, or plan an entire day trip that takes you outside of the gritty city to scenic areas like Beacon and New Windsor, New York.
Dia:Beacon occupies a former Nabisco Box printing factory on the Hudson River and is famous for its extensive collection of 1960s Minimalist art. The collection includes fluorescent light sculptures by Dan Flavin, Richard Serra’s gargantuan “Torqued Ellipses,” and mixed-media “mirror displacements” by Robert Smithson. Between art sightings take a break outdoors in the west garden filled with Cherry Blossoms and Louise Lawler’s satirical audio work, “Birdcalls” (1972/81). Beacon is a train ride away on the MTA Metro North line. Purchase a package price which includes discounted train fare and reduced admission to the museum.
If you go
Thursdays – Mondays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3 Beekman St.
Beacon, New York
Located in the Hudson River Valley, Storm King is an outdoor sculpture park sprawling over a 500-acre landscape of scenic woodlands. Spend the day in nature either by foot or on a rented bicycle while viewing over 100 sculptures by artists including Richard Serra and Alexander Calder. No car? No problem! Storm King details a number of public transit deals on its website, making this a simple day trip to an upstate New York oasis.
If you go
Wednesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
1 Museum Rd.
New Windsor, New York
The High Line
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight line elevated above the streets. Running from the Meatpacking district to West 34th Street, this botanic trail hosts food vendors, public art, and plenty of sightseeing for an afternoon outing. Grab a bite at The Taco Truck and enjoy an afternoon of art and people watching. Do not miss Ed Ruscha’s “Honey, I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic Today,” a commissioned hand-painted mural at West 22nd Street.
If you go
Open all week, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Between 10th and 11th Ave.
From Gansevoort St. to West 34th St.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Located on the East River in Queens, Socrates Sculpture Park spans nearly five acres with over 90 varieties of trees and plant life. Walking amongst the birch trees overlooking the Manhattan skyline creates a one-of-a-kind art experience. Currently on view are monumental sculptures by artists Tamara Johnson and Daniele Frazier. Johnson’s “Backyard Pool” transformed an asphalt parking lot into a fauna filled oasis. Frazier’s “It Takes Two” features two 20-foot inflatable tools — a hammer and a nail — inviting visitors to relax in the grassy lawns and enjoy the sculptures sway in the breeze.
If you go
Open all week, 10 a.m. - sunset
32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, Queens