Kid On The Town
Culture For City Kids
Museum Guide
Many of NYC’s extraordinary museums are exceptionally kid-friendly with engaging exhibits, friendly staff and amazing kids programs and spaces. Click on a museum’s name for details on storytimes, stroller entrances and more helpful tips.

Take advantage of pay-what-you-wish hours and free admission to family programs. Or become members – the tax-deductible annual fee, much less than a semester of music or gym classes, is usually recouped in a few visits and includes perks like museum-store discounts, members-only viewing hours, skipping lines, and making short frequent visits.

Not sure where to start? See our favorite current family friendly exhibits and kids programs calendar. Or warm-up with free public art & library exhibits. And see our instagram for photos.



museum map | kids programs calendar | exhibits & free hours calendar | public art & library exhibits

American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street)
Upper West Side

Tuesday–Thursday & Saturday 11:30 am – 7 pm
Friday 12 pm – 7:30 pm
Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm

The cozy, always free American Folk Art Museum features rotating family-friendly exhibits featuring Americana art that often includes engaging colors, patterns and animals.

Admission: Always free

Family Programs: The first Saturday of every month, Families and Folk Art introduces children ages 4 to 12 to folk art through interactive and discussion-based tours in the galleries followed by hands-on artmaking activities inspired by objects in the museum. Polite listeners of all ages can enjoy free jazz guitar on Wednesdays 2 - 3 pm and diverse folk musicians Fridays 5:30 - 7:30.

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Eugen Gabritschevsky: Theater of the Imperceptible (through Aug 20)

This first in-depth exhibition of Eugen Gabritschevsky’s relatively unknown artistic contribution is composed of more than eighty artworks, a film, publications, and archival documents. A scientist before he was admitted into a psychiatric hospital, Gabritschevsky produced gouaches, drawings, and watercolors on paper imbued with his early scientific interests, observation skills, and a propensity for experimentation.


Carlo Zinelli (1916–1974) (through Aug 20)

See four distinct phases in the oeuvre of canonical art brut figure Carlo Zinelli through a selection of fifty-five paintings (many displayed double-sided), audio recordings of Zinelli, a film, and images by Life magazine photographer John Phillips. Bright, colorful multiples of crazy characters make this small exhibit interesting for all. And the museum’s gift shop is a gem.


American Museum of Natural History

West 81st Street & Central Park West
Upper West Side

Daily 10 am - 5:45 pm

NYC kids are the envy of world-wide lovers of dinosaurs, sea creatures, outer space and Ben Stiller for their access to the giant (45 fascinating halls) American Museum of Natural History. The museum’s extensive collection is matched by an array of programs for budding explorers.

Admission: suggested $22/ages 12-65, $12.50/ages 2-12, $17/students & seniors free/ages 2 & under Membership: $125+ Free hours: Admission always pay-what-you-wish, no tickets needed after 5pm.

Favorite Spots: On the first floor, a 94-foot-long blue whale hangs over an assortment of sea creatures in the Hall of Ocean Life. Learn about moon rocks and meteorites in the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space. Zebras, giraffes and other jungle animals surround a family of elephants in the Hall of African Mammals on the second floor. The beloved dinosaur bones fill most of the fourth floor.

Family Programs: Explore artifacts and specimens, hang-out inside a giant tree, put together puzzles and conduct scientific experiments in The Discovery Room (open Monday though Thursday 1:30 - 5:10 pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:30 am - 1:30 pm & 2:15 - 5:10 pm). Free timed tickets are available at the Discovery Room entrance. 6 - 13 year-olds can participate in the popular Night At the Museum sleepovers ($129, talking Teddy Roosevelt not included).

Treat Alert: Go casual at Shake Shack (Columbus @ 77th Street), home of delicious cheeseburgers and decadent frozen concretes (including a 'Natural History Crunch-stellation'), or cross the street for a refined sit-down meal of market-fresh salads and pastas at Isabella's.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Mummies (through Jan 7)

Come face to face with ancient mummified individuals and learn how scientists are using modern technology to glean stunning details about them and their cultures. Discover when, how, and why ancient Egyptians and Peruvians were mummified and find out who they were in life. This show features an up-close look at rarely-exhibited mummies as well as interactive touch tables, rare artifacts, and cutting-edge imaging.


Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

212 West 83rd Street between Broadway & Amsterdam
Upper West Side

Sunday–Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 7 pm

The enchanting Children’s Museum of Manhattan has interactive, educational exhibits and lots of kids programming and performances.

Admission: $11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger Membership: $210 ($125 is tax deductible) for two adults, all children in their household, and up to two additional adult caregivers. Free hours: First Friday of each month 5-8pm.

Family Programs: Check out the packed calendar of daily workshops in design, math, science and more. Workshops are divided into ages 4 & under and 5 & over; the latter require same-day registration one hour before at the yellow Visitor Information Desk in the first floor lobby, where you can also pick up tickets to weekend performances by Broadway artists, professional dance troupes and recording artists one hour before each show.

Treat Alert: Choose from salads, sandwiches, amazing healthy artisanal bread and not-so-healthy pastries at the new UWS outpost of the 100-year-old Orwasher's Bakery at Amsterdam & 81st Street. The extensive cheesecake-heavy dessert menu and charming decor lure locals to cash-only tourist trap Cafe Lalo across the street.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Dynamic H2O (through Sep 30)

Cool off at a splashy new water exhibit with ith 800 sq. ft. of of hands-on interactives and colorful graphics. Children can trace the path of New York City’s water as they play and explore. Learn about the water cycle up, pretend to fish, pump water to the top of a skyscraper, create a 92 mile aqueduct and construct a city at the water’s edge.


America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far (through Dec 31)

Enjoy innovative hands-on experiences and discover fascinating objects, images and information from over 50 countries. Explore ancient trade routes on a two story Indian Ocean dhow (boat) or on a camel. Pretend to buy, sell and trade fruit, fish, spice, ceramic, textiles, and rugs in a global market place. Experience art, architecture and design elements from across the globe including a digital 3D exploration of mosque architecture from the Maldives to China, original works by emerging American Muslim artists, traditional art forms such as intricately designed tiles, ornate ceramics, and complex patterned rugs and an interactive replica/interpretation of a Pakistani truck, recognized as a “moving work of art” for children to decorate.


Collage Collaborations (through Dec 31)

See the work of New York City’s up and coming professional artists who work with collage and join in workshops to explore each artist’s creative process, the practice of collage, and collage’s impact on early childhood development through collaborative art-making. Featured artists include Naomi Reis in April, Tai Hwa Goh in August and Alexandria Smith in December. Children will work with each artist on a large-scale collaborative artwork which will be on view at the Museum alongside existing works by each artist.


Let’s Dance! (through Dec 31)

Bounce, glide or leap in an exciting exhibition/dance space designed to introduce children and families to the delights of dance. Celebrate the beauty, spirit, and diversity of the form while learning about the important role dance can play in a child’s world. Discover dance from a variety of entry points: as an art form, as an expression of diverse cultures and traditions, and as a healthy physical activity. Interact with the immersive video projection dome dance portal to watch, learn and dance along with professional, community, and student dance companies from New York and abroad. Create multi-color shadow dances on the “stage” while exploring lighting design with a child-friendly lighting box. Choreograph a series of dance patterns while learning the language of dance and using movable signs, engaging props and fun costumes. Experiment with authentic percussion instruments, drumming unique beats and rhythms. Lots of related workshops and performances, including daily dance and movement programs at 10:30 am, 11:30 am & 2 pm.


Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA)

102 Charlton Street
West & East Village

Monday & Wednesday 12-5 pm
Thursday & Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am-5 pm
Closed Tuesday

This delightful, inviting space features self guided art exploration for ages 10 months-15 years. Experiment with sculpture, paints, textiles, sound design, animation, and clay in daily open workshops led by teaching artists and explore rotating exhibitions by established and emerging contemporary artist.

Admission: $5.50 at this link, free/ages under 1 & 65+ Membership: $175+ Free hours: Thursdays 4-6pm

Family Programs: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10:45 am-12 pm, kids up to 5 years old can join WEE Arts Drop-in Session for art making at different stations and music time. $25/family

Treat Alert: Nurture creativity with seasonal, farm-to-table delicious food at Dig Inn (350 Hudson Street between King & Charlton). Through July 30, visit Jacques Torre's nearby chocolate museum.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Maker, Maker (through Sep 10)

This group exhibition explores the recent explosion of D.I.Y. Maker culture and the expanding relationship between fine art and craft.
Showcasing 10 contemporary artists and artist teams, the exhibition features handmade works that employ artisanal processes and materials such as ceramics, crochet, casting, papier-mâché, collage, macramé, woodworking, assemblage and quilting to create lively works of art. Part innovator, creator, and recycler, the artists in the exhibition embrace the inventive, D.I.Y. mindset that arose from punk culture and is now embraced by artisans, Etsy crafters, and hackers alike.


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

2 East 91st Street
Upper East Side

Daily 10 am - 6 pm
Open Saturday until 9 pm

This newly renovated collection of historic and contemporary design is a high-tech, interactive dream for all ages. Explore innovative design – including blocks, cars and other kid favorites – through the centuries, play designer on high resolution touchscreen tables, pretend to talk on old-fashioned princess phones, and “collect” favorite objects that can be accessed online later with very cool electronic ‘Pens.’

Admission: $16, $14 online, $10/seniors, free/ages 17 & under
Free admission for 1 grown-up after storytimes Membership: $75+ Free hours: Saturdays 6 - 9 pm

Favorite Spots: Draw your own wallpaper designs then see them projected lifesize in the Immersion Room

Family Programs: Create under the guidance of art and design professionals in weekend Design Kids workshops for ages 5-12.

Treat Alert: The excellent cupcakes and other sweet treats are the main lure at Yura on Madison (between 91st & 92nd Street) but delicious healthier entrees, sides & sandwiches are also available.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s (through Aug 20)

Explore the the diverse and dynamic 1920s in a multi-media experience of more than 400 examples of interior design, industrial design, decorative art, jewelry, fashion, and architecture, as well as related music and film. Classy, gltizy, plus check out jazz recordings and rare video footage provided by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (and the always there and always awesome design-your-own wallpaper Immersion Room).


Guggenheim

1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street
Upper East Side

Daily 10 am – 5:45 pm
Closed Thursday
Open until 7:45 pm Saturday

The striking Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda is reason enough to visit this landmark museum, and exciting, well-designed exhibits and kids’ programs make this a family-friendly setting for contemporary and modern art.

Admission: $22, $18/students & seniors, free/kids under 12 Membership: $75+ Free hours: Saturday 5:45 - 7:45 pm

Family Programs: Sundays 1-4 pm, explore exhibition highlights through creative interactive projects in the galleries and head to the Studio Art Lab in the basement to make art inspired by themes and materials seen in the museum.

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim (through Sep 10)

Explores the collections of six early patrons of the museum who brought to light some of the most significant artists of their day, from Camille Pissarro to Jackson Pollock. Includes stunning works by modern giants Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vasily Kandinsky.


Metropolitan Museum Of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
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 and you’ll definitely discover fascinating art that appeals all ages. Check out the awesome family guides & maps.

Admission: Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under Membership: $80+

Favorite Spots: Where do we start? Walk like an Egyptian inside the 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. The Van Goghs, Monets and Degas in 19th- And Early 20th -Century European Paintings And Sculptures are must for all ages. Wander around and be surprised and delighted as your kid finds his or her own favorites.

Family Programs: We are huge fans of the free Start with Art at the Met & Art Trek programs for ages 3 to 11, hour-long guided walks and art activities.

Treat Alert: Inside the museum, 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 more selection - pasta, sushi, hot entrees, a frozen yogurt sundae bar and kids' meals that come in cardboard taxis. The Roof Garden has some snacks (and you can bring your own and nosh with a view). Or head to Shake Shack (86th between Lexington & Third) or the chill Pizza Beach (81st & Third. Pick up one of the city's best black-and-white cookies at William Greenberg (1100 Madison between 82nd & 83rd).

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (through Sep 4)

Kids love the crazy clothes by Tokyo-based designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of ground-breaking fashion line Comme des Garçons (“like some boys”). The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition features approximately 140 examples of her clothing, organized thematically, that resists definition and confound interpretation.


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. Wacky sculptures and objects lounge, revel and kiss across crowded banquet tables with a stunning view of Central Park. Snacks allowed (and available for purchase – we like the popcorn).


MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue
Queens

Wednesday–Monday 12 pm–6 pm

MoMA PS1, one oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States, is an exhibition space rather than a collecting institution. MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world.

Admission: Suggested $10, $5/seniors & students, free/ages 16 & under

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Lumen by Jenny Sabin Studio (through Sep 4)

An immersive, interactive installation by Jenny Sabin Studio, winner of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program, evolves over the course of the day, with responsive textiles that display subtle color in sunlight and emit glowing light after sundown. Made of over 1 million yards of digitally knitted fiber, Lumen’s large-scale cellular canopies feature 250 hanging tubular structures, 100 robotically woven recycled spool stools, and a misting system that responds to visitors’ proximity. Lumen serves as the setting for the 20th season of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series.


Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

2 Columbus Circle
Midtown West

Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
Open Thursday & Friday until 9 pm

Explore contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art, and design in a lovely setting overlooking Central Park.

Admission: $15, Free/18 and under Membership: $75+ Free hours: Thursdays & Fridays 6 - 9 pm

Family Programs: The first Sunday afternoon of each month drop into Studio Sunday to create art inspired by current exhibits (and a stunning Central Park/Columbus Circle view). Projects that can be adapted to any age are led by patient educators.

Treat Alert: Stroll across Broadway for delicious French pastries and bread from Maison Kayser and Italian gelato from Grom.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture (through Aug 20)

Celebrate the handmade fashion and style of the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. See garments, jewelry, and accessories by American makers who crafted the very reality that they craved through sewing, embroidering, quilting and patch-working. Lots of kid-friendly rainbows and tie-dye.


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

4 West 53rd Street
Midtown West

Saturday-Wednesday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday & Friday 10:30 am – 8 pm

Always exciting and decidedly kid-friendly, MoMA has spacious galleries and elevators, engaging interactive exhibits, occasional performance art and awesome kids programs and hands-on creative spaces.

Admission: $25, $18/seniors, $14/students, free/ages 16 & under Membership: $85+ Free hours: Friday from 4 - 8 pm, line is often around the block. Up to two adults get in free with kids participating in the weekend Family Gallery Talks.

Family Programs: Engaging, free Family Gallery Talks are held on most Saturday and Sunday mornings for ages 4 to 16. On the first Saturday of the month, enjoy new and classic live-action and animated films. Admission is free for family programs and includes access to the museum for up to two adults.

Treat Alert: Casual Cafe 2 on the second floor has yummy Italian food and high chairs. In the summer snack on small plates and gelato in the peaceful Sculpture Garden. Stop by the midtown outpost of the inventive bakery Momofuku Milk Bar two blocks north (15 West 56th Street) for aptly-named crack pie and soft serve cereal milk ice cream.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends (through Sep 17)

Explore over six decades of Robert Rauschenberg’s widely celebrated career through over 250 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and sound and video recordings. Acclaimed artist and filmmaker Charles Atlas collaborated on the exhibition’s design to foreground Rauschenberg’s work with dance and performance. As other artists came into Rauschenberg’s creative life, they come into the exhibition, mapping the exchange of ideas. These figures include John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Sari Dienes, Jasper Johns, Billy Klüver, Yvonne Rainer, Paul Taylor, David Tudor, Cy Twombly, Susan Weil, and many others.


Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (through Oct 1)

Marking the 150th anniversary of the prolific and renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, MoMA presentsmajor exhibition of approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited.


The People’s Studio: Design, Experiment, Build (through Oct 1)

In conjunction with the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, the People’s Studio invites visitors to think like designers and explore architecture through themes connected to community, nature, and the integration of art and daily life. browse resources, try drawing and drafting techniques, create with building and design materials, and participate in scheduled workshops, conversations, and other experiences developed in collaboration with artists, architects, and designers.


MoMA Art Lab: Nature (through Dec 31)

Visitors of all ages can discover how artists and designers are inspired by the natural world in a new multisensory installation. Beautiful discovery boxes contain creative activities related to seashells, grass, butterflies, etc. inspired by works in the galleries. Also lots of gorgeous books, building toys and multimedia projects that appeal to all ages (including this mom – I made a cool flower-inspired chair prototype). Great play spot for bad weather days (or good weather – it’s right next to the sculpture garden). All ages welcome.


Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 105th Street
Upper East Side

Daily 10 am - 6 pm

Become an informed New Yorker at this small museum with a big collection of theater artifacts, furniture, toys, paintings, sculpture and photos arranged into exhibits that entertain and educate all ages.

Admission: Get 2 tickets for $15 Membership: $75+

Family Programs: Ages 6-12 can participate in free history and art activities on weekends and school vacation days. Drop in anytime between 11 am and 2 pm. Free snacks included. All ages can go on family-friendly scavenger hunts with free themed guides designed to help families to look closely at the building and exhibitions.

Treat Alert: Choose from different size and type of patties and an array of homemade sauces to make your own burger at Joy Burger Bar with a side of excellent sweet potato or zucchini fries.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Rhythm & Power Salsa in New York (through Nov 26)

This exhibition illuminates salsa as a social movement from the 1960s to the present, exploring how immigrant and migrant communities in New York City—most notably from Cuba and Puerto Rico—nurtured and developed salsa, growing it from a local movement playing out in the city’s streets and clubs into a global phenomenon. Features dance costumes and musical instruments from some of salsa’s leading figures, as well as audio and video that bring the sounds and movement of salsa to life.


Gilded New York (through Dec 31)

See scenes from a late 19th century fancy-dress ball and admire lavish dresses and jewelry along with photos of the original owners including decked out kids.


New York at Its Core (through Dec 31)

Follow the story of NYC’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World,” and consider its future in a changing world through more than 400 objects as well as interactive digital experiences. Framed around the key themes of money, density, diversity, and creativity, New York City’s history comes alive through the stories of innovation, energy, struggle, and the vision of generations of immigrants, politicians, tycoons, dreamers, master builders, and ordinary New Yorkers.


Museum of the Moving Image

36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street)
Queens


Admission: $12/adults, $9/students & seniors, $6/ages 3-12, free/2 and under

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Jim Henson’s World (through Dec 31)

Explore Jim Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television and his transformative impact on popular culture and learn how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Among the nearly 300 objects on view are 47 puppets—including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Big Bird, Elmo, Cantus Fraggle, and other popular favorites—character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and iconic costumes. See film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage and try interactive experiences puppeteering on screen and designing a puppet character.


Video Arcade (through Jan 15)

Visit a functioning arcade and play 23 beloved games from the 1980s in their original form. Games on view include Arkanoid, Centipede, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Q*Bert, Tron and more. Tokens are required for play and may be purchased in the gallery at token machines or in the Museum store.


National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 East 26th Street
Gramercy & Flatiron

Daily 10 am - 5 pm

Dynamic exhibits and programs stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of mathematics. Learn about the math in patterns and structures all around us – and try to ride a bike with square wheels.

Admission: $15; $9/children, students& seniors; free/toddlers & babies Membership: $70+

Treat Alert: The delicious possibilities seem infinite at Italian marketplace Eataly at fifth avenue at 24th. On nice days we like to get some gelato to enjoy in nearby Madison Square Park. And there's a Nutella Bar...

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Twisted Thruway (through Sep 1)

Get behind the wheel while exploring two unique tracks: the surface of a Möbius strip and the surface created by a trefoil knot. Enjoy a “driver’s eye” view as the cars wind their way around these unusual mathematical paths.


Hoop Curves (through Dec 31)

Recreating a regulation-size free throw space within the Museum, Hoop Curves invites you to take your best shot and then to do so again, this time with the aid of a robotic ball-shooter. Using cutting edge technology to record the components of every ball launch, this exhibit combines America’s love of sports with data visualization techniques that will help you improve your throw.


National Museum of the American Indian - New York

One Bowling Green
Lower Manhattan

Daily 10 am – 5 pm
Open Thursday until 8 pm

All ages can learn about the culture and contributions of Native Americans at the engaging New York branch of this DC museum. Lots of opportunities for hands-on exploration in multiple rooms. Touch a buffalo hide, match animal drawings, learn about Mayan math, play in a teepee and more.

Pick up a fantastic family guide and find featured items among the galleries including wood and stone carvings, exquisite clothing, feather bonnets and lots of animal representations.

Family Programs: Daily screenings of films for kids.

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Native Fashion Now (through Sep 4)

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, Native Fashion Now celebrates the visual range, creative expression, and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today’s world of fashion.


Circle of Dance (through Oct 8)

This awesome five-year exhibit featuring videos and gorgeous costumes of ten Native American social and ceremonial dances from throughout the Americas with plenty of floor space to dance along.


New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx

Daily 10 am - 6 pm

The Holiday Train Show is an annual must, and the sprawling grounds of this 124-year-old Bronx institution are a gorgeous respite from urban living all year round.

Admission: $28, $25/students & seniors, $12/ages 2-12, free/under 2 Membership: $80+ Free hours: Wednesdays all day, Saturday 9 - 10 am. Does not include the Conservatory, Special Exhibitions, Everett Children's Adventure Garden, or Tram Tour.

Favorite Spots: Enjoy music, mazes, guided nature explorations and more in the delightful Everett Children's Adventure Garden.

Treat Alert: The family-friendly menu at the counter-service Pine Tree Café offers fresh panini, pizza, salads and snacks. Shop for artisanal caramels, infused olive oils and other tasty treats at the charming gift shop.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


CHIHULY (through Oct 29)

The New York Botnical Garden’s landmark landscape and buildings showcase world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s signature organic shapes in brilliant colors. In a reimagination of his storied 1975 Artpark installation, three new works will enliven the water features of the Native Plant Garden and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool, reflecting the interplay and movement of color and light.


New York Hall of Science

Flushing Meadow-Corona Park
Queens


The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) was founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and evolved into a center for interactive science. Sometimes it’s age shows, but fun hands-on learning opportunities, intriguing new exhibits, awesome 4D films, an engineering-themed outdoor playground and interesting family programs make it worth the trip to Queens.

Admission: $15, $12/ages 2 – 17, students & seniors Membership: $85+ Free hours: Friday 2 – 5 pm & Sundays10 – 11 am.

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Angry Birds Universe (through Aug 27)

Use giant slingshots to launch Angry Birds, testing structures built by propelling balls adorned with the images of characters from the famous Angry Birds video game. Also build and race handheld vehicles in a live version of the new game Angry Birds Go!, learn about the creation of the Angry Birds games, and discover real bird characteristics such as egg sizes and wingspan lengths. Other activities include a stop animation and music studio, and vehicle racetrack stations, and gaming stations.


Connected Worlds (through Dec 31)

Explore a fantastical animated world where your actions – gestures, movements, and decisions – impact how well the world is kept in balance. Six magical, computer generated habitats: jungle, desert, wetlands, river valley, reservoir, and grasslands -have their own trees, plants, and animals, but they share a common supply of water. The habitats are fed by a central waterfall that is projected 38-ft high in the exhibitions and flows out across an interactive floor that spans 2,300 square feet. As visitors explore and play, their actions – gestures, movements, decisions – have both short and long-term effects on the digital habitats.


New-York Historical Society

70 Central Park West at 77th Street
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.

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

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.

Treat Alert: 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).

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Eloise at the Museum (through Oct 9)

Celebrates the feisty charm and audacious spirit of Eloise, who continues to be a picture book superstar more than 60 years after her debut. Learn about the creative collaboration between cabaret star Kay Thompson and the young illustrator Hilary Knight that brought the precocious character to life. The exhibition showcases more than 75 objects, ranging from original manuscript pages to sketchbooks, portraits, photographs, and vintage dolls. Be immersed into Eloise’s world with evocations of the grand lobby of the Plaza Hotel, her bedroom, complete with a storytelling corner, and her bubbly “bawthroom,” where she often made mischief. A host of family activities bring the Plaza’s most famous resident to life throughout the exhibition’s run including storytimes featuring Eloise at the Plaza.


Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17 Street
Chelsea

Monday 11 am – 5 pm
Wednesday 11 am – 9 pm
Thursday 11 am – 5 pm
Friday 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

This serene museum connects the arts and cultures of the Himalayas to contemporary life, exploring universal themes like happiness, consciousness, and the cosmos. Lots of vivid paintings and statues of animals and interesting demons (and maybe your kids will pick up some zen vibes).

Admission: $15, $10/students & seniors, free/ ages 12 & under Membership: $65+ Free hours: Friday 6 - 10 pm

Family Programs: Enjoy family-friendly activities every Sunday from 1-4 pm. At family art labs the second Saturday of every month, kids 5 and up are invited to explore intriguing paintings, sculptures, and objects in the museum's exhibitions with a related creative workshop.

Treat Alert: Try seasonal specialties inspired by the Himalayas, including Thali plates and handmade traditional momo dumplings in peaceful Cafe Serai in the lobby. Kids menu available.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


The World Is Sound (through Dec 31)

Learn to listen with your whole body. Explore how sound and our sense of hearing shape our daily lives, our traditions, our history, and all of existence. Organized cyclically—from creation to death to rebirth—the exhibition explores different dimensions of sound and listening and its many functions in Tibetan Buddhism. Featuring work by more than 20 artists, The World Is Sound juxtaposes new site-specific commissions and works by prominent contemporary sound artists with historical objects from the museum’s collection of Tibetan Buddhist art to encourage reflection on how we listen and to challenge entrenched ways of thinking.


Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

898 St. Nicholas Ave at 155th street
Harlem


Admission: $7; $4/ages 9-17, seniors & students; Free/ages 8 & under

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


PARADE: Derek Fordjour (through Jan 14)

Take a journey through the sense-memory of childhood and the process offorging an identity through Derek Fordjour refelctions on growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. Enter through a tunnel reminiscent of the marquees at an amusement park, then explore highly textured collages of newsprint and a procession of vignettes, small sculptures, found objects, interventions, and music, which leads to a non-place entered by stooping through an opening in the back of a closet.


The Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
Upper East Side

11 am - 5:45 pm, closed Wednesdays

Explore the global Jewish experience through works of fine art, Judaica, antiquities, folk art, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media intelligently organized in gorgeous galleries and play in the small but engaging Archaeology Zone.

Admission: $15, free/ages 18 & under Membership: $75+ Free hours: Thursdays 5-8 pm

Favorite Spots: In the fascinating and friendly Archaeology Zone, children learn what happens after archaeologists unearth artifacts. Search for clues about objects dating from ancient times to the present day, dress up and play in a Moroccan home, create works of art inspired by unique objects in the Museum’s collection and more.

Family Programs: Sunday family programs include drop-in art workshops, storytimes and occasional family concerts.

Treat Alert: Nosh on smoked fish platters, bagels and bialys, knishes, egg creams, babka and more Jewish-Amreican classic foods and the new in-museum outpost of iconic Lower East Side appetizing shop Russ & Daughters.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry (through Sep 24)

Through over 50 vibrant paintings and drawings, this exhibition offers an important survey of the work of the modernist painter, designer, poet and Jazz Age icon Florine Stettheimer.


The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)

62 Bayard Street
Brooklyn

Friday–Sunday 12 pm–6 pm

A nonprofit dedicated to advancing public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink showcases exhibit concepts as it works toward opening a full-scale museum.

Admission: $14, $10/students & seniors, $7/ages 6-17, free/ages 5 & under

Treat Alert:

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant (through Aug 31)

This exhibit celebrates the birth and evolution of Chinese American restaurants, tracing their nearly 170-year history and sparking conversation about food culture, immigration, and what it means to be American. See a timeline of Chinese menus from 1910 to the present, enjoy tastings created by the country’s most talented Chinese American chefs, and try a treat from a continuously operating 1,500-pound fortune cookie machine.


Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort Street
Chelsea

Sunday, Monday & Wednesday 10:30 am - 6 pm
Thursday - Saturday 10:30 am - 10 pm
Closed Tuesday

Bold modern contemporary art that engages all ages, now in a gorgeous new building with a stunning view of the Hudson River.

Admission: $22, $18/students & seniors, free/kids under 18 Membership: $85+ Free hours: Friday 7-10 pm

Favorite Spots: Ramble up and down the outdoor stairs on the terrace with a view.

Treat Alert: The lobby restaurant Untitled is delicious, surprisingly kid-friendly and has one of the best chocolate chip cookies in the city.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:


Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium (through Oct 1)

One of the most original artists of the twentieth century, Brazilian Hélio Oiticica art that awakens us to our bodies, our senses, our feelings about being in the world. Beginning with geometric investigations in painting and drawing, Oiticica soon shifted to sculpture, architectural installations, writing, film, and large-scale environments of an increasingly immersive nature, works that transformed the viewer from a spectator into an active participant. The exhibition includes some of his large-scale installations, including Tropicalia and Eden, and examines the artist’s involvement with music and literature, as well as his response to politics and the social environment.


Calder: Hypermobility (through Oct 23)

See a rich constellation of key kinetic sculptures by Alexander Calder and experience the works as the artist intended—in motion. Regular activations will occur in the galleries, revealing the inherent kinetic nature of Calder’s work, as well as its relationship to performance and the theatrical stage. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, the exhibition will feature an expansive series of performances and events, including a number of episodic, one-time demonstrations of rarely seen works, as well as new commissions, which will bring contemporary artists into dialogue with Calder’s innovations.


Note: Don’t visit The Frick or Neue Galerie with kids, they’re not allowed inside.

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