New-York Historical Society

70 Central Park West at 77th Street
New York, New York
Upper West Side

Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday 10am-6pm
Friday 10am-8pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

This fascinating museum features an entire floor to interactive exhibits especially for kids (though accompanying grown-ups will probably learn something too). Weekly and special occasion family learning programs range from weekly storytimes to historical chocolate tastings, with frequent visits from living historians portraying Americans of the past.

$: $20, $6/ages 5-13, free/ages 4 & under
50% off with this link

Annual Memberships: $75+.

Free Hours: Fridays 6-8 pm

Favorite Spots: Ride an orphan train or play a newsies video game in the awesome DiMenna Children's History Museum. Hands-on exhibits tell the life stories of diverse youngsters who lived in New York City from the late seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Immersive video projection, moving scenic elements, theatrical lighting and surround sound explore the history of New York during the eighteen-minute New York Story shown throughout the day.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife (through Jul 13)
Explore the history of the ground-breaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and its early environmentalist champions—many of them women and New Yorkers- through clothing and accessories, books, ephemera, photographs, and original watercolor models by John James Audubon for The Birds of America, accompanied by recorded bird songs from The Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms (through Sep 2)
Explores how Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want—gave visual voice to Roosevelt’s call to the defense of freedom worldwide and took their place among the most enduring images in the history of American art. See paintings, illustrations, and other works by Rockwell and a broad range of his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs, videos, and artifacts; interactive digital displays; and immersive settings, some using virtual-reality technology.

Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection (through Sep 16)
Displays evoking old-fashioned New York magic shops explore the careers of legendary magicians from the Golden Age of Magic and showcase iconic objects used by Harry Houdini in his famous escape stunts plus illusionistDavid Copperfields’ Death Saw. Artifcacts from the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts and Copperfields private collection of David include the Metamorphosis Trunk, used by Harry and Bess Houdini, that allowed the couple to magically trade places; handcuffs from the 1904 London Daily Mirror challenge, from which Houdini struggled to escape for more than 70 minutes; and Houdini’s Milk Can, an act that premiered in 1908 in which he attempted to escape from this colossal, locked can filled to the brim with water.

Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes (through Oct 8)
See over 100 highlights from shoe designer Stuart Weitzman’s extensive private collection that tell the story of the shoe from the perspectives of collection, consumption, presentation, and production and explores larger trends in American economic history, from industrialization to the rise of consumer culture, with a focus on women’s contributions as makers, designers, and entrepreneurs.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (through Jan 27)
See century-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society that capture the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories plus original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. Explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts, from medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone, and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay as well as costumes and set models from Broadways Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Timed tickets sold in advance and expected to sell out, so buy soon.

Storytimes: Hear tales of New York City past and present in a cozy library with a great selection of history-themed books, maps, and 'History Hunt' drawers. Sundays 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Family Programs: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 3:30pm, 3 - 5 year olds can hear NY-themed stories, do related craft projects and play with historic toys in Little New-Yorkers. There are always different interesting events related to holidays and current exhibits; check the family programs calendar to see what's coming up.

Strollers/Diapers: Strollers can enter on 77th Street and can get pretty much everywhere in the museum (though they have to be left outside some exhibits). Diaper changing tables are found on every floor.

Eat & Treats: Feast on antipasti, artisanal pastas and paninis ar Caffe Storico, the museum's classy but kid-friendly eatery. Get burgers and shakes at Shake Shack down the block (Columbus @ 77th Street).

Other Tips: Pick up 'Scavenger Hunt' guides on different themes from one of the friendly staff members. Find unique gifts and educational toys in the museum gift shop.

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