Broadening Your Horizons in 2018

If your New Year’s Resolution includes learning and growing intellectually, you are in the right city to do so! NYC is a mecca for intellectuals seeking knowledge on everything from improving romantic relationships to finding meaning in the cosmos. With cultural institutions across the city offering affordable events, there’s no shortage of places for you to develop or deepen new neural pathways in the new year. Here are a few of New York’s best places for knowledge, learning and fun.


Image: Brooklyn Brainery

Brooklyn Brainery
190 Underhill Avenue b/t Sterling Place & St. Johns Place
Brooklyn, NY 11238

This is the best place to find affordable classes and lectures on a range of topics from art to science to personal well-being. Best of all, it features courses and events nearly every day of the week.

Upcoming lectures:
Screenwriting in the Age of Trump
Sunday, January 21, 3:00-6:00pm

Self Care for Women: Mindful Cycles, Healthy Bodies, Clean Beauty
Wednesday, January 10, 8:15-10:00pm

Image: WikiCommons

New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West b/t 76th Street and 77th Street
New York, NY 10024
The New York Historical Society is a preeminent cultural institution which promotes historical research and engages the public with a robust calendar of bi-weekly speaking events featuring historians and scholars.

Upcoming lectures:
Presidential Powers and the Constitution
Thursday, January 11th, 6:30 pm

Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook
Thursday, January 18th, 6:30 pm

Image: 92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue b/t 91st Street & 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128

The 92nd Street Y (92Y) curates insightful conversations in a variety of fields ranging from self-help to art to history.  With fascinating lectures nearly every day of the week, there’s no shortage of knowledge to be gained here.

Upcoming lectures:
The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War
Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018, 12 pm

Who are you, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality
Tue, Jan 16, 2018, 7 pm


New York Academy of Sciences
250 Greenwich Street b/t Vesey Street and Barclay Street
New York, NY 10007

This cultural institution acts as a mecca for the scientific community. It also coordinates one to two stellar public events each month  that explore science, health, and the planet.

Upcoming lectures:
Will Humans Survive our Assault on the Earth? A Message from Madagascar
Monday, January 29, 2018, 6:30PM
Free for members and nonmembers

A Touch of Awe: Crafting Meaning From the Wonder of the Cosmos
Wed., Feb. 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Image: Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn Historical Society
BHS Pierrepont
128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
55 Water Street b/t Main Street and Dock Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

This urban history center is dedicated to bringing relevant, meaningful programming to Brooklynites about the history of their borough.

Upcoming lectures:
Book Talk: Happiness Is a Choice You Make:  Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old
Thu, Jan 25, 6:30 pm

Urban Health, Urban Parks: The Salve of the City
Mon, Feb 5, 6:30 pm

Image: Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Brooklyn Botanical Garden
990 Washington Avenue at Montgomery Street
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Brooklyn’s best urban botanical garden works to create programming that connects New Yorkers to the world of horticulture, fostering health and an appreciation of nature.

Upcoming lectures:
Grow and Eat Microgreens Year-Round
February 8, 2018, 6PM

Introduction to Gut Health
Febraury 15, 2018, 6PM

Image:Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street b/t 5th and 6th Avenues
New York, NY 11019

New York City’s home for Modern Art also curates a full schedule of lectures and presentations about the most relevant issues in the art world, typically free to museum goers.

Upcoming lectures:
Style, Selfhood, and the Body: A Conversation with Lucy Jones and Yeohlee Teng
January 16, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Free with Museum admission

Fashion, Sustainability, and New Technologies: A Conversation with Bolt Threads and Modern Meadow
January 16, 2018, 11:30 a.m.
Free with Museum admission


Mid-Manhattan Library
476 Fifth Avenue (42nd Street Entrance)
New York,NY 10018

One of the biggest circulating libraries in the country, the Mid Manhattan Library cements itself as the heart of New York’s creative community with important programming, including conversations with contemporary authors, lectures by influential New York thinkers, and courses on personal finances.

Upcoming lectures:
Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Free, pre-registration recommended

Image: The Strand
The Strand
828 Broadway b/t 12th Street and 13th Street
Manhattan, New York

This famous bookstore is revered by New Yorkers not only for its endless supply of great reads, but for its impressive lecture and panel events with contemporary authors of note. Events take place multiple times per week.

Upcoming lectures:
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, How We Get Free,
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 7PM
$15 – Admission & Gift Card
Admission & signed copy of book – $15.95

It Occurs To Me That I Am America with Author Richard Russo
Tuesday January 16, 2018, 7PM
$15 – Admission & Gift Card
$30 – Admission & Signed Copy

Image: The Explorer’s Club

The Explorer’s Club
46 E 70th Street b/t Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021

The Explorer’s Club is a gathering place for scientists and explorers from all over the world. It also features stellar programming, with several public events each month about history, exploration and culture.

Upcoming lectures:

Ancient Himalayan Salt Trade: Exploring Indigenous Life
Monday, January 8, 2018, 6PM

1492 Retold: A Bicultural Reexamination of Columbus’s Epic Voyage
Monday, February 12, 6PM

Image: The Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029

An institution dedicated to promoting and celebrating the city’s history and diversity, the Museum curates multiple classes, lectures and workshops each week featuring historians, artists and activists.

Upcoming lectures:
“Black Is Beautiful”: Fashion and Consciousness
Tuesday, February 6, 6:30PM
$15 & up

Epic Histories with Mike Wallace and Nell Irvin Painter
Tuesday, February 27, 6:30PM
$15 & up

Image: Q.E.D.

27-16 23rd Avenue b/t 27th Street & 28th Street
Astoria, New York 11105

Billed as an “after-school space for grown-ups,” this Queens cultural institution offers affordable classes several times a week on everything from relationships to social media use.

Upcoming lectures:
Social Media Crash Course
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 12PM

Intro to Podcasting

Saturday, February 3, 2018, 12PM

There is no shortage of opportunities to stimulate your intellect across the city. My previous article about the New York Public Libraries offers additional options, as does the activities and networking site, Whatever you are interested in or curious about, you’ll likely find a group offering programming to meet your needs and take you to the next intellectual level in the new year. If getting out of the house isn’t on your priority list for 2018, 200 universities just launched 600 free online courses in November. Check out the courses offered here or head to and for other online learning opportunities. Happy 2018 Learning!

Leave a Reply