It’s that time of year again: Open House New York weekend! This unique, free, two-day event now celebrating its 15th year invites the public to explore more than 250 buildings, businesses, private homes and outdoor spaces around the city — many of which are off limits otherwise. Far from an architecture geek happening, OHNY is a great way to explore the city as a family, and they even have a dedicated kids program. Read on for our top picks on where to hit this weekend!

photo: OHNY Facebook page/Mikiko Kikuyama

Some Open House New York Basics
Taking place all across the city, in every borough on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, Open House New York features two kinds of sites: those that are “Open Access” and can be visited free of charge without a reservation, and those that require advance reservations and cost a $5 fee. (Most of the latter are sold out at this point — you can view them here — but there’s still plenty left to explore.)

Planning is Key
The options can be overwhelming, so it’s wise to get yourself a guide, which you can pick up at any of these site around the city. Alternatively, you can download the guide of Open Access sites here.

Visiting hours vary by site, and lines can get long, so plan accordingly. (If you really want to see something, go there first, as some lines cut off before the official closing time of a site. Also: bring snacks, water, etc.) Additionally, not all sites are stroller accessible and events happen rain or shine.

If you really want to cover a lot of ground and have some cash to burn, you can get a “Passport” for $150 which enables two people to skip the line at Open Access sites.

Odette_Veneziano_OHNY_Family_Festival_2_10_15_2011-8211-1024x682

photo: Odette Veneziano for OHNY

Open House New York Kids Sites
As mentioned, select sites will features special kid-friendly architectural programming. All OHNY Kids programs are Open Access and free of charge, and you’ll find special tours, crafts, and fun activities geared specifically toward families with children here.

Bartow-Pell Mansion/Richard Warren

Bronx

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Brooklyn

Historic Ship MARY A. WHALEN
Red Hook
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Old Stone House & Washington Park
Gowanus/Park Slope
OHNY Details: ohny.org


Manhattan

Blue School
Seaport
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Cast Hall at the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art
Midtown
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Center for Architecture
Greenwich Village
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Church of the Transfiguration
Flatiron District
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Federal Hall National Memorial
Financial District
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Little Red Lighthouse/Linda Shockley

Little Red Lighthouse
Washington Heights
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum
Upper East Side
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Museum at Eldridge Street/Aaron Otto

Museum at Eldridge Street
Lower East Side
OHNY Details: ohny.org

US Coast Guard Cutter LILAC
Tribeca
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Staten Island

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Lighthouse Hill
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Queens

GallopNYC Sunrise Stables
Ozone Park
OHNY Details: ohny.org

King Manor Museum
Jamaica
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Free Synagogue of Flushing
Flushing
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Queens Museum
Flushing Meadows
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Welling Court Mural Project
Astoria
OHNY Details: ohny.org

Will you be attending Open House New York? What’s your must-hit spot?

— Mimi O’Connor