Explore the best of New York City virtually

Despite widespread closures and cancellations related to Covid-19 in New York City, there are still plenty of ways to explore the five boroughs while socially distancing. We’ve rounded up online resources from museums, galleries, comedy clubs, theaters and other venues so that you can experience the best of New York City virtually. Read on for dozens of ways to connect with your favorite NYC attractions—or discover new ones—from home or wherever you’re socially distancing right now.
sKinky Boots. Photo: Matthew Murphy


24-Hour Plays presents a series of shows that are written, cast, directed and performed by the NYC theater community in one day. Now they’re doing a mini version of this, presented on their Instagram account.

Broadway Cares has put together a special encore series of two dozen or so recent star-studded performances from Broadway Backwards, where genders are swapped on famous show tunes.

The Broadway Dreams foundation is hosting free daily Broadway Dreams Live Lessons for aspiring student actors, singers and dancers with some accomplished Broadway-caliber talent.

Broadway HD offers high-definition versions of classic and more recent Broadway plays and musicals. (Note: this is a paid service.)

Groove to disco versions of Stephen Sondheim songs on Broadway Records. (Purchase is required for this too.)

Take a virtual walk-through of the Harold Prince exhibit at Lincoln Center., which covers the NYC theater community, has started posting daily Living Room Concerts from performers in shows that are temporarily closed.

West Village bar Marie’s Crisis has taken its sing-along experience online with two sets of songs each night evening at 4pm. (You’ll need to join the Facebook group to access.)

Stars in the House is a daily live YouTube channel raising money for the Actors Fund emergency relief for those unemployed in the theater community.

Watch Broadaway classics like CabaretOnce Upon A Mattress and Anything Goes (featuring Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra in 1954) for free on YouTube.


Caveat is livestreaming shows.

Littlefield’s weekly stand-up showcase, Butterboy, plans on streaming its show independently on Mondays at 7pm, with $5 tickets available on EventBrite.

The Magnet Theater is streaming some shows.

Stand Up NY is also streaming shows.

Family-Friendly Activities

While The Amazing Max is on hiatus from Off-Broadway performances, the Amazing Max himself will offer online magic lessons for kids. (Note: this is a paid service.)

Get your fill of “-ology” (read: science) at the American Museum of Natural History. The institution is also making digital tours of its collection available.

Learn about cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Brooklyn Game Lab has made live game-related programming available to all during NYC’s store closures.

The Children’s Museum of Art has some how-to art projects online.

Historic Richmond Town brings its living history demonstrations online as well as its collection of vintage photographs and other educational resources.

Find out what it’s like inside the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Lincoln Center at Home provides a daily learning activity on Facebook Live through its pop-up classroom; there are regular kid-friendly concerts as well.

Take a history lesson at the Museum of the City of New York.

The New York Hall of Science will help you get an idea about infectious diseases with its Transmissions: Gone Viral interactive comic.

Check out a New York Harbor webcam and a Rockaway Beach surf webcam.

The New York Public LibraryBrooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library have all kinds of materials available online.

The New York Transit Museum has its Bringing Back the City exhibition online, showcasing how what happens to mass transit in times of crisis.

New Victory Theater is bringing an arts class right into your home.

On Spyscape’s website, learn what kind of spy you would be, do all kinds of puzzles and register to tour the James Bond exhibition, which they plan to make available online.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain symbols of hope. Take quizzes to test your knowledge of the sites.


Though BAM’s live cinema is on hold, you can still rent movies to screen at home (tickets are $12 for a 3-day rental) from the institution’s robust film program.

Tune in to Film at Lincoln Center’s Film Comment podcast.

The Paley Center is streaming previously unreleased discussions of popular TV shows like This Is Us, The Office and Parks and Recreation for free on YouTube.

The 10th annual Queens Film Festival will screen 220 independent films from 32 nations on from March 19 to 29.

Watch a selection of short films from Tribeca Film Festival alumni.


View Aperture’s special online exhibits on women photographers, and purchase prints and books from their online shop.

Visit the online viewing rooms of David Zwirner, with works by the likes of Jeff Koons, Marlene Dumas and Chris Ofili.

See Gagosian’s installation views of works by Donald Judd, Richard Prince and Roe Ethridge.


Find an online viewing room, available through March 31, for Hollis Taggart’s latest exhibit: the works of abstract expressionist William Scharf. (Note: email sign-up required.)

Lévy Gory offers online viewing rooms of works from Art Basel Hong Kong. (Note: email sign-up required.)

sDorothea Lange. Tractored Out. Childress County, Texas. 1938. Gelatin Silver Print. The Museum of Modern Art. Purchase

Museums and Cultural Institutions

View much of the Alice Austen House collection online, including photographs and texts describing Austen’s life and work.

The American Folk Art Museum makes its collection of books, paintings, textiles and other works available on its website.

While the Brooklyn Historical Society is closed, you can still visit its collection digitally, with online exhibits on the history of Brooklyn’s waterfront and the borough’s anti-slavery movement.

The Brooklyn Museum will be sharing Art for the Socially Distanced, spotlighting a piece from the collection on their tumblr each day.

The Coney Island History Project includes a compilation of nearly 100 oral histories and a digital archive of photos, which reveal the seaside park’s rich history.

Get a glimpse of El Museo del Barrio’s permanent collection or explore a variety of content on the museum’s YouTube channel.


Virtual tours, an art history library and video lectures make it easy to connect online with the Frick Collection.

Check out a 360-degree view of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum or read art books from its digital archive.

The Jewish Museum offers mobile tours of their collection, featuring the voices of Kehinde Wiley, Isaac Mizrahi and others.

Take advantage of immersive 360-degree videos of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most beloved locations, including The Met Cloisters, The Met Breuer and the Fifth Avenue museum’s Temple of Dendur and arms and armor galleries.

Browse exhibits and listen to audio guides on the Morgan Library website, including I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Engage with the Museum of the City of New York through their online collection, and check out a lecture about their Germ City exhibit on their YouTube channel.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) operates a lively and informative YouTube channel with all sorts of videos about art and artists, including a piece on its Dorothea Lange photography show and interviews with famous directors in the channel’s film section.

Look at photos of the Neue Galerie’s exhibit on Viennese photographer Madame d’Ora and see views of the installation with a video from the exhibit’s curator.


At the New York Botanical Garden online, visitors can explore recent installations, browse horticulture lecture videos and stay up to date with its latest news.

Browse multiple New-York Historical Society exhibitions online.

Take some time to meditate with a two-hour session in the Rubin Museum’s virtual Shrine Room.

The Society of Illustrators features exhibits and more on its website.

Explore the Staten Island Museum’s Women of the Nation Arise! exhibit, which includes archival issues of TheSuffragist and TheWomen Voter magazines.

Check out video highlights on the Whitney Museum of American Art Watch and Listen page, which includes content from their critically acclaimed Vida Americana exhibit.

sCourtesy, Met Opera


The 92Y is livestreaming some of its offerings for free; others, like an online film lecture series by Columbia University’s Annette Innsdorf (starting March 29), require registration and payment.

The show must go on for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater; watch their at-home performance of “I Been Buked” from Revelations, and visit their YouTube channel for much more.


For the next eight weeks, the Chamber Music Society will release concerts from its 50-year archive every day at 12:30pm.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center blog and Youtube channel are two great resources for adding some music to your time at home.

Joe’s Pub at the Public hosts Live from the Archives, streaming past performances every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

The Metropolitan Opera has been an innovator for years with its live high-definition broadcasts. Now they’re streaming one opera a day, starting at 7pm.

Stream avant-garde dance performances from the New York Live Arts archive for free; three shows will be featured each week.

Though the New York Philharmonic canceled the rest of its season, you can still enjoy its music through the NY Phil Plays On platform.

Nowadays has launched Virtual Nowadays, a nightly stream of DJ sets and music discussions beginning at 8pm.

sPhoto: Julienne Schaer


Take a virtual stroll through Central Park—or many other parks in the five boroughs.

The Empire State Building has its audio tour available (in nine languages), with corresponding visuals.

Peruse both lesser known landmarks and beloved historic sites with video tours from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Turnstile Tours will be hosting daily virtual versions of their citywide tours, including up-close looks at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Prospect Park. (Note: some sessions charge a small fee.)

Viewing NYC has articles, photo galleries and videos that give a virtual first-person look at NYC attractions. Here’s one of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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