On the second Tuesday of each June, the museums participate in the annual Museum Mile Festival (212-606-2296). This year's is June 10. The museums are open in the evening, admission is free, and Fifth Avenue closes to traffic and opens to an assortment of musicians, magicians and other street performers.
The nine museums, from north to south along Fifth Avenue, are:
* El Museo del Barrio (at 104th Street)
Hours, admission: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $6 suggested donation.
Dining: None on site.
Why go: El Museo is the only New York museum focused solely on Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art.
Don't miss: One of the fathers of Puerto Rican art exhibits in his first major retrospective -- "Rafael Tufino: Painter of the People" -- in the United States. Through Aug. 24.
Tip: Ask to see the charming 1920s murals depicting fairy tales in the restored Teatro Heckscher, which is connected to the museum.
* Museum of the City of New York (at 103rd Street)
Hours, admission: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; $7 suggested donation, $12 for families.
Dining: None on site.
Why go: This museum has 1.5 million historic relics and works of art -- toys, military uniforms and fire engines among them.
Don't miss: "Roaring into the Twenties: The New New York Woman" shows how the trendy women of Jazz Age New York influenced global fashion. Through Sept. 14.
Tip: History buffs fascinated by the bloated indulgences of the Robber Barons will enjoy the re-creations of rooms from their homes, which take up the fifth floor.
* Jewish Museum (at 92nd Street)
Hours, admission: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Note: Hours differ on Jewish holidays, so call first.); $10, except pay-what-you-can from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
Dining: Cafe Weissman, on the lower level, serves cafeteria-style, gourmet kosher meals.
Why go: The museum discusses 4,000 years of Jewish history and culture in its exhibits, primarily through a sizable collection of art.
Don't miss: "Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting" looks at the role of Jews in show business. Through Sept. 14.
Tip: Special package deals are available, including $22 for a guided tour, continental breakfast and museum shop discount.
* Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (at 91st Street)
Hours, admission: The museum is closed for installation until April 22. Usual hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m; $8.
Dining: A small coffee shop with a limited menu is in the Lester and Enid Morse Garden Room.
Why go: The museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, focuses on the beauty in design of obvious art, like paintings and drawings, and more utilitarian art, like wall coverings and chairs. It's housed in Andrew Carnegie's former 64-room mansion.
Don't miss: "National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now" (April 22 through Jan. 25) looks at cutting-edge decor, interiors, crafts and functional objects of the past three years.
Tip: If you visit in late spring through end of summer, be sure to visit the garden off 90th Street.
* National Academy of Design (at 89th Street)
Hours, admission: Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $8.
Dining: None on site.
Don't miss: The 178th Annual Exhibition shows works by contemporary artists across the country. May 2 through June 15.
Why go: The closets must be packed in the six-floor Beaux-Arts townhouse, because the collection includes more than 8,000 pieces of art from the 1800s and 1900s.
Tip: Free lunchtime lectures by art professors from various universities are held several times a month.
* Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (at 89th Street)
Hours, admission: Saturday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; $15.
Dining: Cafeteria-style Museum Cafe is accessible through the Rotunda.
Why go: Touring the exhibits of late 19th- and early 20th-century art (including works by Picasso, Pissarro, Cezanne and Degas) is one thing, but Frank Lloyd Wright's building is a work of art itself.
Don't miss: Multimedia artist Pierre Huyghe is the winner of the annual Hugo Boss prize. Two of his ultra-hip modern works are on exhibit through May. 4.
Tip: Admission to the Guggenheim is included in the $45 CityPass, which combines the ticket price to attractions in New York. It's the only Museum Mile admission included. Info: 888-330-5008, www.citypass.com.
* Neue Galerie New York (at 86th Street)
Hours, admission: Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $10.
Dining: On-site Viennese restaurant, Cafe Sabarsky (see review below).
Why go: Open since November 2001, the Neue Galerie puts a heavy emphasis on Viennese art circa 1900 and German art from a variety of 20th-century movements.
Don't miss: The glamorous and sometimes erotic works by artist Christian Schad are the focus of an exhibit on "Neue Sachlichkeit," or the New Objectivity movement of post-World War I Austria and Germany. Through June 9.
Tip: For $90, Cafe Sabarsky periodically offers a fixed-price dinner and cabaret show. Call the museum for schedules and information.
* Goethe Institut New York (at 83rd Street)
Hours, admission: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; free, though some performances have a fee.
Dining: None on site.
Why go: This organization promotes the German language through a variety of lectures, seminars, films and performances, as well as its extensive library.
Don't miss: "Germany in the Crosshairs" is part of the institute's free film series and includes episodes of German TV detective programs shown with English subtitles. Through May 20.
Tip: The institute's library is a decent place to research a trip to Deutschland, though admission is $10 and hours vary slightly.
* Metropolitan Museum of Art (at 82nd Street)
Hours, admission: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; $12 suggested donation.
Dining: The Museum Cafe (212-570-3964) is an expensive sit-down restaurant requiring reservations. Elsewhere, you'll find several cafeterias and bars: Public Cafeteria, Museum Bar Cafe, European Sculpture Court Cafe, Great Hall Balcony Bar (open Fridays and Saturdays only, 4 to 8:30 p.m.) and Roof Garden Cafe (open May through October).
Why go: The Met is one of the world's largest museums, with a colossal collection of 2 million works spanning nearly all artistic periods. The stunning -- and actual -- Egyptian temple alone is worth a visit.
Don't miss: "Manet/Velasquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting" examines how Spanish painting took the French by storm in the 18th century. Through June 8.
Tip: The view of Central Park from the Roof Garden Cafe is one of the loveliest in the city.
-- Elissa Leibowitz