Explore These Museums Around Staten Island

February 21, 2018 | Blog | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes

New York City is known around the world for its exceptional arts and cultural offerings. From history to science to art, museums of every stripe play a significant role in the city’s reputation as a haven for knowledge-seekers.

On Staten Island, you’ll find a fascinating array of museums. Here are a few of our favorites to see when you visit the area.

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art offers a soothing retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Providing a look into the art and culture of the Himalayas and Tibet, the museum was established in 1945 by Jacques Marchais, who was considered a leading expert on Tibetan art.

Marchais designed the museum, creating its fieldstone buildings in the tradition of a monastery in the Tibetan mountains. The historic buildings were among the first architecture in the Himalayan style in the United States, and the museum became the world’s first dedicated only to Tibetan art.

During your visit, you can enjoy a variety of exhibits focusing on Himalayan and Tibetan culture, meditation gardens, and classes in meditation and tai chi. In addition, special programs include musical performances, lectures, films, traditional crafts and more. The museum is open between 1 and 5 pm on Wednesdays through Sundays, and guided tours are available with an appointment.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Snug Harbor, with an 83-acre campus and 26 historical buildings, houses a variety of different botanical gardens and 10 acres of wetlands. In addition, the site is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and is a Smithsonian Affiliate. Created as housing for retired sailors, the site grew from its first three buildings to 50 and became home to 900 residents from around the world.

At the turn of the 20th century, the site had become self-sustaining, boasting a chapel, power plant, dormitories, a bakery and dairy, farms, gardens and even a cemetery. The major buildings represent changing architectural styles from the 19th and 20th centuries, with early buildings created in the Greek Revival style and later buildings in Second Empire, Renaissance Revival, Victorian and others.

Museum of Maritime Navigation and Communication

The Museum of Maritime Navigation and Communication highlights maritime history and electronic maritime equipment used in the Staten Island area. The museum’s displays and exhibits focus on both subject areas.

All of the equipment on exhibit was installed on ships and is displayed with descriptions of the purpose and uses of the items. In one exhibit, visitors learn how technology has changed over the years, including how navigation technologies evolved into GPS and how radio receivers went from glass tubes to microprocessors and chips.

Staten Island Children’s Museum

If you have young visitors, you may want to spend some time at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, open on Wednesdays all day for grandparents and 3 to 5 pm for other members of the public. The mission of the museum is to stimulate children’s natural curiosity and creativity and prove that learning can be fun and interesting.

Programming at the museum stresses hands-on learning and encourages participation by people of different ability levels. The museum was founded in 1974 and is located on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens. At 40,000 square feet, the museum offers a range of interactive exhibits, along with a performance pavilion and picnic area.

Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor

If you wonder about the connections between art, history and natural sciences, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor. Since 1881, the museum has offered innovative exhibits based on scientific research. The museum is part of the Cultural Institutions Group, a public-private partnership with the city. It also receives support from the city, which owns the building.

During your visit, you can enjoy exhibits like “Remember the Mastodon,” which explores the fate of the 10,000-pound Mammut americanum, whose fossilized bones have been unearthed on Staten Island. Another recent exhibit, “Avalokiteshvara in Asian Art,” provides an introduction to Buddhist culture and art throughout Asia.

The Staten Island Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Enjoy Easy Access to Arts and Culture

Residents of The Brielle at Seaview enjoy easy access to the many museums and cultural attractions in Staten Island and all of New York City. We offer assisted living and memory care in a comfortable setting to ensure you or your family member lives a vibrant life. To learn more or to schedule a visit, please contact us today.