new york historical society

Review: New York Historical Society Museum and Library

new york historical society

Every Monday, Gray Line New York will be highlighting a “Partner of the Week” on our blog. We are going to provide a review for a new partner’s product and share our own insights and experiences. This week, our Partner of the Week is the New York Historical Society Museum and Library.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society Museum is New York’s oldest collecting institution. But that certainly does not make it unappealing. It is located right along Central Park West with central park right across the street, making the outside just as pleasant as the inside. During my visit inside the museum on a hot Spring, Wednesday afternoon, I discovered over ten million artifacts, documents, and works of art. In addition, I explored the earliest moments of our nation’s founding as well as important events of today. This included remarkable sculptures, furniture, paintings, ceramics, and other artifacts from history.

After admiring the elegance and displays of the lobby, which included brief historical pieces of New York City, slavery, The Revolution, and World War II, I headed upstairs to the exhibits. I first came across a library and a reading room free of charge to any visitor to sit and look or read. The rest of the second floor included “The Complete Flock of Audubon’s Aviary.” This contained numerous rooms with their collection of Audubon watercolor paintings. These watercolor models of The Birds of America were so unique to see. I learned that the New-York Historical Society is the only place to view these national treasures in their entirety. And I certainly believed that you could not find an exhibit like this anywhere else.

new york historical society

After bird watching, I went up another flight of stairs to explore all the different kinds of artifacts from the 17th century all the way through to the 21st century. First I found The Holiday Express, where I found an abundance of toys and trains from the Jerni collection. This was my favorite part of the entire museum because the beauty and detail in all the miniature trains and train stations was like nothing I have ever seen before. However, this was the only exhibit that I could not take pictures in, so you will have to visit and prove me right on this one.

I continued through-out the floor where I stumbled upon several different artifacts. I looked at numerous tables and chairs used by the first US Congress. Seeing desks that our forefathers sat in was incredible. The painting exhibit included American Paintings from the colonial period through the twentieth century. The paintings captured so much American History including depictions of Washington Crossing the Delaware and self-portraits of several US presidents. Similar to this, the sculpture room displayed sculptures of historical figures like Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Jefferson.

new york historical society

NYC police equipment from the 1940’s and 50’s.

Needless to say, I had no idea that there was so much awaiting me at the NY Historical Society Museum. I could talk all day about the unlimited history in this museum. Now that I’m thinking about it, I did fail to mention the Children’s History Section on the lower level and the Military weapons from the Civil War and both world wars on the upper lever. Lucky for you, I am providing you with some insight of the museum before arriving. There might have been a few more things I forgot to mention, but I guess you’ll have to plan a visit and find out for yourself. There is no way you can pass this recommendation to indulge yourself with rich stories of New York and American history.

To pre-purchase tickets for the New York Historical Society Museum and Library, visit our website now:  New York Historical Society Museum and Library Tickets

Review and photos by Megan Ryan


Father’s Day With the New York Historical Society

Last month we teamed up with the New York Historical Society to bring you a buy one get one Mother’s Day special.  Well, with Father’s Day less than two weeks away we’re back to our old tricks.  Show the New York Historical Society Museum and Library your Gray Line New York bus ticket and your dad gets to go into the museum for free!


At the end of May, the NYHS opened a new exhibit called Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History.  Learn about the history of craft beer and home brewing in New York City.  If you stay until after 2 p.m., enter the beer hall which features some of the best craft selections in New York.  Your dad will love it!

This offer is valid not just for Sunday or for the weekend, but for an entire week.  From June 14 till June 21, stop by the museum with your Gray Line New York ticket and your dad goes free!

This Memorial Day Weekend in NYC

(Editor’s Note: This week we waited until Friday to post TWiN, rather than Thursday like we normally do.  What do you say, do you like the extra day to prepare that we usually give, or should we keep posting on Fridays?  Let us know in the comments and vote below. – Kevin)

This weekend we’re giving you a TWiN special Memorial Day edition.  We’ve been covering Fleet Week and Memorial Day for a while now, but one last set of ideas couldn’t hurt, right?  So here you go, This Memorial Day Weekend in New York City:

Game 7

The Rangers and Devils hate each other, and aren’t convincing anyone otherwise anytime soon.  Right now, the Devils lead the best-of-7 series 3-2, but everybody has known since day one that this series was going the distance.  The Rangers first two playoff series went to game 7.  The Rangers/Devils Eastern Conference Finals in 1994 went to game 7.  The regular season series between the two teams was split evenly, 3-3.  It is in the stars, and on Sunday, we’ll have one more game to play.

Details: Sunday, 8 p.m., The Garden.  If you don’t have tickets, find a nice bar, because with the holiday on Monday, this city will be rocking Sunday night.

Beer Here

Today, the New York Historical Society Museum and Library is opening an exhibit called Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History.  Via their website, the exhibit “will survey the social, economic, political, and technological history of the production and consumption of beer, ale, and porter in the city from the seventeenth century to the present.” Very cool.

Memorial Day

We get an extra one this weekend, and we owe it to our troops.  Take the day and celebrate all of the sacrifices that our American heroes (and their families) have made for us.  If it weren’t for our troops protecting our freedom, our lives would be dramatically different.  Below are the suggestions that we have given all week on how to enjoy Memorial Day, but before we get there I have one more. Find a soldier and thank them personally.  They deserve it.

How to Beat the Crowd

Heroes Ride Free

The Memorials of NYC

Parade of Sail

Fleet Week/Memorial Day Specials

Memorial Day Activities

Fleet Week Photos

Sneak Peek: June Events and Specials

June is still a couple of weeks away, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t start to get your plans in order now.  Here is a sneak peek at some of the specials that we’ll have in June:

Flag Day Deal!

In honor of Flag Day, we’re offering 10% off the price of the NYC Tribute Tour (9/11 Memorial) when you buy your tickets between June 11 and June 17.  Flag Day celebrates the adoption of the American Flag in 1777, and while it may not be the most celebrated holiday in the land, we love to love our country.

Snap a pic of the Cyndi Lauper Bus to win!

Father’s Day at the New York Historical Society

On Mother’s day, we teamed up with the New York Historical Society to give out a discount to all you moms out there.  Well, for Father’s Day we’re doing it again.  Show the NY Historical Society your Gray Line New York bus ticket and you get a buy one get one for your dad.  With the Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History exhibit opening at the end of May, your dad will certainly enjoy his visit!

Pride Parade with Cyndi Lauper

Ride of Fame inductee Cyndi Lauper is the Grand Marshal in this year’s Pride Parade in NYC, so we’re going to give away some cool stuff!  Find the Lauper Bus on the street and take a picture of it.  Post that picture on our Facebook wall you’ll be entered to win a special prize!  Entry to this contest is during Pride Week, which is June 17th-24th.

Check back to the blog often where we’ll keep you updated with all of the latest NYC news, events and deals!

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This Weekend in NYC: Mother’s Day

As per usual, this weekend is packed with things to do in NYC.  Here are a few items that we think you might enjoy:

Mother’s Day at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library

Beginning today and running until next Thursday, hop-off your Gray Line New York bus tour and your mom gets free admission with purchase of one ticket.  Just show them your GLNY bus ticket and your mom is good to go!

Bronx Week

Bronx Week kicks off today and continues through next Sunday, but this weekend they will be hosting some very exciting events.  On Friday morning at 8 is the Bronx Bankers’ Breakfast where Mayor Michael Bloomberg will take the stage as this year’s special guest.  On Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. is the Bronx Agricultural Tour, which includes a healthy lunch and lessons in agro-tourism and entertainment.  Don’t forget the Bronx Heroes Comic Convention from 11-6 Saturday Afternoon!  In fact, you might just want to take a look at the whole calendar of events, because there are just too many to talk about here.

National Public Gardens Day

Friday is National Public Gardens Day and some of New York’s best will be on full display.  The Queens Botanical Garden is offering free admission if you print a voucher beforehand.  The Bartow-Pell Museum Mansion will also have free guided tours all day!

Japan Day at Central Park

A tradition that first started in 2007, Japan Day has captured the interest of New Yorkers old and young.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the cherry trees given to the US as a sign of enduring cross-cultural friendship, and the event will take place on Sunday.  There will be food, activities and performances at Naumburg Bandshell in the Park, where last year 30,000 came out for the festivities.

There are a few ideas to enjoy this weekend, but there is plenty more where they came from.  Whatever you end up doing, take lots of pictures and share them on Facebook.  As always, the best way to see the city and go from place to place is with our hop-on hop-off tours, so don’t miss out!

Mother’s Day With the New York Historical Society

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This Mother’s Daycelebrate your mom with a beautiful sightseeing tour around Manhattan followed by a trip to the New York Historical Society Museum and Library.  Together, we will be celebrating our mothers be offering a buy one get one admission discount for mom with your Gray Line New York bus ticket. (UPDATE: Offer is valid May 10-17, not just Mother’s Day)

The museum is the perfect way to treat your mom with fantastic history and culture!  Let’s take a look at what will be there:

The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History

Explore the story of New York and American history in the newly designed gallery.

Harlem: The People

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This exhibition of photographs by Camilo José Vergara explores the changes of Harlem and the people who live there.  Beginning in June, the second rotation of this exhibition, Harlem: The Place, will take center stage.

Titanic Voices

100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, hear the stories of those on board through the amazing artifacts recovered from the ship’s tumultuous journey

Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York

This exhibition will highlight 150 examples from the New York Historical Societies collection, and tell the stories behind them.  While many of the pieces are about personal successes, a few have very unsettling backgrounds.

These exhibits and more will be available for viewing this Mother’s Day, so don’t miss out!