Kid On The Town
Events, Deals & Tips For City Kids
Metropolitan Museum Of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, New York
Upper East Side

Sunday–Thursday 10 am – 5:30 pm
Friday & Saturday 10 am – 9 pm

NYC’s largest museum is also one of the most welcoming to young visitors. Explore a vast collection that spans millennia and continents. You might get lost searching for iconic favorites in the grand halls, but you’ll definitely discover fascinating art that appeals all ages. Check out the awesome family guides & maps.

$: Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

Annual Memberships: $80+. Includes museum store discounts, members-only classes, parties & previews, and admission to the lovely medieval Cloisters and Gardens in Inwood.

Favorite Spots: Where do we start? Walk inside the intricately carved Temple of Dendur and say hello to nearby crocodile and feline statues. Admire enchanting sculptures, fountains and Central Park in the American Wing Courtyard. Compare the chain mail of European knights on horseback with elaborate Japanese samurai gear in Arms and Armor. Be amused and frightened by the oversized carvings of realistic and fantastical creatures in Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Wander around and be surprised and delighted as your kid finds his or her own favorites.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220) (through Jul 16)

Featuring more than 160 objects of ancient Chinese art, this major international loan exhibition explores the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting Chinese cultural identity. The works in the exhibition—extremely rare ceramics, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and architectural models—are drawn exclusively from 32 museums and archaeological institutions in the People’s Republic of China, and a majority of the works have never before been seen in the West. Highlights include renowned terracotta army warriors and a striking statue of a seminude performer whose anatomical accuracy, unheard of in Chinese art, brings to mind Greco-Roman sculpture first introduced to Asia by Alexander the Great.

The Met Roof Garden: The Theater of Disappearance (through Oct 29)

Life-size models of human figures and their parts along with replicas of valued objects from the Museum’s varied collection take over the Met’s Roof Garden in Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas’s site-specific installation. Sculptures and objects lounge, revel and kiss across crowded banquet tables with a stunning view of Central Park.

Storytimes: Storytimes in the the lovely art-themed Nolen Library (which can be accessed without paying admission via the southern entrance at 81st Street) come with a list of related artworks to hunt down in the galleries.

Family Programs: Ages 3 to 7 can participate in the free Start with Art at the Met (Thursday 3:30 pm, Saturday 11 am & 2:30 pm), hour-long guided walks and art activities. All ages can create works of art next to ones in the galleries with provided supplies during Sunday Studios (drop in from 1 to 3 pm).

Strollers/Diapers: Enter south of the prohibitive giant staircase through the Uris Center for Education at 81st street, which has an open space filled with soft benches and large bathrooms with changing tables. Changing tables are also in some of bathrooms throughout the galleries, including outside the Temple of Dendur and north of the American Wing Courtyard. Strollers can be checked at the coat check or taken to the galleries (excluding some special exhibits).

Eat & Treats: Choose from two kid-friendly, fairly gourmet cafeterias; the American Wing Cafe has soups, salads, sandwiches and a gorgeous view of Central Park. 'the cafeteria' in the basement is less scenic but has buffet stations with pasta, sushi, hot entrees, a frozen yogurt sundae bar and kids' meals that come in cardboard taxis. Or head to Shake Shack on 86th between Lexington & Third Ave. Pick up one of the city's best black-and-white cookies at William Greenberg Dessert (1100 Madison between 82nd & 83rd Streets).

Other Tips: Pick up a free Family Map at an information desk; it folds out into an awesome poster you can take home. Prepare for your visit (or reminisce after) by reading You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum which pairs the adventures of a balloon flying around NYC with artwork from the Met.

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