Family-Friendly Exhibits

When the weather’s disagreeable or you need to entertain out-of-town visitors of all age, explore these awesome NYC museum exhibits. All are climate controlled with room to roam. See our guides to kid-friendly museums for more exhibits and detailed info on kid-friendly cultural palaces (plus tips for taking kids to museums for the wary and museum family programming). Free culture can be found on our public art & library exhibits listing. And lots of exhibit photos on our Instagram. weekly events | current deals | storytimes | drop-in classes | indoor playspaces | museum guide

Arlene Shechet: Full Steam Ahead

Madison Square Park ~ Gramercy & Flatiron
Through Apr 28
FREE

Artist Arlene Shechets site-specific installation features a series of sculptures in porcelain, wood, steel, and cast iron installed around and within the emptied circular reflecting pool in the north of Madison Square Park. Intriguing forms include the outsized remnants of…


Way With Words: The Power and Art of the Book & Rachel Marks Naturae Liber Bridge Project

Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Apr 29
$5.50 at this link, free/ages under 1 & 65+

See artworks which draw attention to the long and remarkable history of the book. See unconventional treatments such as cutting, weaving, tearing, burning, and shredding, as artists transform books into sculptures, animation, drawings, and paintings. Hands on elements let you…


The Orchid Show: Singapore

New York Botanical Garden ~ Bronx
Through Apr 29
$20, $18/students & seniors, $8/ages 2-12, free/ages 1 & under

Walk among thousands of colorful orchids in every shape and size reaching up towering structures and clinging to overhead arches inspired by Singapore, where the national flower is an orchid. Developed in partnership with Gardens by the Bay and Singapore…


Circle of Dance

National Museum of the American Indian – New York ~ Lower Manhattan
Through Apr 30
FREE

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.


Dolby Soho Experience: Our Planet

Dolby Soho Experience ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Apr 30
FREE

Step into immersive multi-media installations inspired by Netflix's documentary series Our Planet. Learn about the challenges our world faces and discover how we can help it thrive today and in the future.


Bionic Me

New York Hall of Science ~ Queens
Through May 5
$15, $12/ages 2 – 17, students & seniors

With hands-on displays and full-body experiences, explore the inventive and ingenious medical and industrial breakthroughs that have helped enhance the human experience. Visitors can move a ball with their mind, manipulate a robot arm, race against a Paralympian, use night…


Trolls The Experience

Trolls The Experience ~ Midtown
Through May 12
$25/weekdays, $40/weekends, free/ages 1 & under

Enter the whimsical world of DreamWorks Trolls in a 12,000-square-foot immersive adventure. Follow the rainbow path toward Poppy’s Best Day Ever Celebration, a colorful 3-D dance party and sing-along with Poppy and friends. Explore the Trolls forest and Caterbus, get…


Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Brooklyn Museum ~ Brooklyn
Through May 12
Weekdays: $20, $12/students & seniors, $6/ages 4–12, free/ages 3 & under
Weekends: $25, $16/students & seniors, $10/ages 4–12, free/ages 3 & under

Explore Frida Kahlo's creative vision and self-crafted identity through a presentation of the artist’s clothing and other personal items, paintings and drawings by the artist, photographs, film and documentation as well as related objects from the Museum’s collection. Monkeys, nail…


Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

The Morgan Library & Museum ~ Midtown
Through May 12
$18, $12/students & seniors, free/12 and under

See an extensive display of J.R.R. Tolkien materials including Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion plus family photographs and memorabilia.


Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation

Pier 66 Maritime ~ Chelsea
Through May 12
FREE

Admire the historic Fireboat John J. Harvey, transformed by New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach transformed into a contemporary "dazzle ship," like those painted with patterns during World War I to confuse enemy submarines. On board visits and 45-60 minute boat…


Color Factory Circle Game

Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through May 31
FREE

Interact with colorful dots by following painted prompts such as 'leap up' and 'reach for the sun.' Right outside the Children's Museum of the Arts, which has a jelly bean dispenser (bring quarters) encouraging more color exploration. Both can be…


Melissa x Fila Foam Pit

Galleria Melissa NY ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through May 31
FREE

Jump into a giant foam pit of lettered cubes and create your own statement words in this shoe-store pop-up in honor of  Melissa's collaboration with Fila. Also see a fun LED display at the store's entrance.  


Color Factory

Hotel Manisses ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through May 31
$38, free/ages 2 & under

Explore and experience color at this truly interactive pop-up with fun activities and sweet treats in sixteen unique rooms  designed by different artists. Lots of bright fun for all ages including a conveyor belt of rainbow colored macarons, a high-tech room for disco dancing, colorful drumming and a giant blue ball pit. An all-ages adventure for babies to grown-ups. More well designed, thoughtful and less crowded than many other pop-ups with activities, not just photo-ops (though plenty of those, and we love the strategically placed cameras with timers.


Joan Miró Birth of the World

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Jun 15
FREE

Share what you see in Joan Miró's radiant, surreal paintings, works on paper, prints, illustrated books, and objects—made primarily between 1920, the year of Miró’s first, catalytic trip to Paris, and the early 1950s, when his unique visual language became…


A City for Corduroy

Museum of the City of New York ~ Upper East Side
Through Jun 23
Get 2 tickets for $15

Explore the artistic career of New Yorker Don Freeman, the creator of the beloved stuffed bear Corduroy. Se his lively and humane depictions of ordinary New Yorkers and the city in the 1930s, illustrated scenes of the Broadway backstage and…


Color STORY at Macy's

Macy’s Herald Square ~ Midtown West
Through Jun 30
FREE

Play in the world's largest Lite Brite, walk through an illuminated rainbow tunnel and explore color with MAC Cosmetics, Crayola, Levi’s and over 80 small business vendors in a rainbow David Stark designed 'narrative driven retail concept' within Macy's. Try…


Celebrating the Year of the Pig

Metropolitan Museum Of Art ~ Upper East Side
Through Jul 28
Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

See depictions of pigs created by Chinese artists within the last 2,000 years including a sixth-century pottery figure of a stout pig in recumbent position and two sets of Chinese zodiac animals, which illustrate both the universal appeal of pigs…



Unseen Oceans

American Museum of Natural History ~ Upper West Side
Through Aug 18
suggested $22/ages 12-65, $12.50/ages 2-12, $17/students & seniors free/ages 2 & under

Explore the alien world lies hidden beneath the sunlit surface of the ocean in a fascinating, interactive exhibition. Encounter giant sea creatures on a life-size screen, go on on a vertical journey through marine environments at different depths, sit inside…


Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s

Whitney Museum of American Art ~ Chelsea/Meatpacking
Through Aug 31
$22, $18/students & seniors, free/ages 17 & under

See paintings from the 1960s and early 1970s that inventively use bold, saturated, and even hallucinatory color to activate perception. Includes the poured paint of the Color Field painters, Op art patterns, Frank Stellas geometric rainbows and more kid-favorite favorites.


Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything

The Jewish Museum ~ Upper East Side
Through Sep 8
$15, free/ages 18 & under

Explore beloved musician/poet/cultural icon Leonard Cohen through the lens of contemporary art with large-scale installations, interactive artworks, and a multimedia sound gallery that pay tribute to Cohen’s vibrant creativity/


Justin Favela: Recuérdame

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling ~ Harlem/Upper Manhattan
Through Sep 8
$7; $4/ages 9-17, seniors & students; free/ages 8 & under

A new mural by Las Vegas-based artist Justin Favela, commissioned by Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, celebratesMexican history and culture through the lens of landscape. Explore the Mexican landscape in phantasmagoric piñata-cut tissue paper. From the imagery…


If Everything Is Sculpture Why Make Sculpture?

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Sep 30
FREE

See what frozen things do in a summer in this Peter Fischli’s Artist’s Choice in MoMA's Sculpture Garden which features an actual snowman (encased in a glass-door freezer), a white dome that subtly moves, giant geometric forms perfect for hide-and-seek…


Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll

Metropolitan Museum Of Art ~ Upper East Side
Through Oct 1
Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

See approximately 130 instruments of rock legends (including Prince, Lady Gaga and Jimi Hendrix) alongside posters and costumes in a ground-breaking exhibition is co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Prep by rocking out with the online audio-video…


The Met Roof Garden: Alicja Kwade's ParaPivot

Metropolitan Museum Of Art ~ Upper East Side
Through Oct 27
Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

Walk through-and touch-a miniature solar system by Berlin-based artist by Alicja Kwade, this years installation on the gorgeous Met Roof Garden, one of our favorite spots in the city. The view of Central Park is stunning and snacks allowed (and…


Dinosaur Safari

The Bronx Zoo ~ Bronx
Through Nov 3
$39.95/ages 13 & over, $34.95/ages 65 & over, $29.95/ages 3-12, free/ ages 2 & under
Includes admission to all zoo exhibits

Visit the biggest, most realistic Dinosaur Safari ride in America. Travel back in time in a wagon on a guided tour to learn about dinos of the past and animals of the present. Spot the connections between animals at the…


Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant

The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) ~ Brooklyn
Through Dec 31
$14, $10/students & seniors, $7/ages 6-17, free/ages 5 & under

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…


MoMA Art Lab: Nature

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Dec 31
Free with museum admission ($25, $18/seniors, $14/students, free/ages 16 & under)
$85/year ($38 tax deductible)

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…


Let's Dance!

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) ~ Upper West Side
Through Dec 31
$11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger

Bounce, glide or leap in an exciting exhibition/dance space designed to introduce children and families to the delights of dance as an art form, as an expression of diverse cultures and traditions, and as a healthy physical activity. Interact with…


Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

New York Aquarium ~ Brooklyn
Through Dec 31
$14.95, $11.95/ages 3-12 & 65+

See over 115 marine species including 18 different kinds of sharks and rays in an new immersive exhibition with hands-on educational features (though the sharks are safely behind glass).


The Long Run

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Dec 31
$25, $18/seniors, $14/students, free/ages 16 & under

This diverse collection of the continued experimentation of artists long after their breakthrough moments includes blokbuster painting, sculptures, video art and more by Louise Bourgeois, Gego, Joan Jonas, Ellsworth Kelly, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Stella, and many others. Check out the…


Connected Worlds

New York Hall of Science ~ Queens
Through Dec 31
$15, $12/ages 2 – 17, students & seniors

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,…


Jim Henson's World

Museum of the Moving Image ~ Queens
Through Dec 31
$15, $9/students & seniors, $7/ages 3-12, free/2 and under

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…


Art, Artists & You

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) ~ Upper West Side
Through Dec 31
$11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger

In a dynamic, hands-on environment, watch, follow, collaborate with, and take inspiration from working contemporary artists in studio workspaces. Explore the work of a diverse set of artists who work with materials and techniques such as assemblage/collage, fiber arts, technology/new…


The Winky Lux Experience

The Winky Lux Experience ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Dec 31
$10, can be used as a credit towards a product purchase

Enter seven transportive rooms celebrating Winky Lux magical beauty moments including an infinity room, tea party table, life-size zen gardens and a tiny yellow ball pit. Very small but fun and the staff is super friendly. Redeem your admission fee…


En Plein Air

High Line 14th Street Passage ~ Chelsea
Through Mar 24
FREE

See freestanding, outdoor paintings by eight international artists that can be viewed in the round and in dialogue with the surrounding natural and industrial landscapes, expanding the tradition of outdoor painting .


T. rex: The Ultimate Predator

American Museum of Natural History ~ Upper West Side
Through Aug 9
$28/adult, $16.50/ages 2-12, $22.50/senior & student

Learn about entire tyrannosaur superfamily and the amazing story of the iconic dinosaur through stunning life-sized models, fossils and casts, and engaging interactives. Visitors ages 12 and up can enjoy an immersive multiplayer virtual reality experience developed exclusively for this…