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

InVisible NY

InVisible NY ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Nov 25

Check out 5 immersive art rooms including an upside 1980s subway platform with functioning pay phones and a zen garden made out of phones behind a photo booth in SoHo. Hosted by Visible Mobile.

The Song of Dragon and Flowers

Doyers Street Seasonal Street ~ Lower Manhattan
Through Nov 30

A gorgeous 4800 square foot asphalt mural by Chen Dongfan highlighs the historical significance of Doyers Street and the history of Asian American immigration to the United States of America. Presented by NYCDOT, in partnership with the Chinatown Partnership as…

Color Factory

Hotel Manisses ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Nov 30

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.

Color Factory Circle Game

Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Nov 30

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Jan 1

Explore visionary artist Bodys Isek Kingelez's vibrant, ambitious sculptures created from an incredible range of everyday materials and found objects—colored paper, commercial packaging, plastic, soda cans, and bottle caps—all meticulously repurposed and arranged into imagined buildings and cities that reflected…

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922

The Jewish Museum ~ Upper East Side
Through Jan 6
$15, free/ages 18 & under

Find bold shapes, colors, surreal figures and more kid-friendly art in this exploration of Marc Chagall's revolutionary art school, open to everyone, free of charge, and with no age restrictions in Vitebsk, far from Russia’s main cities. Includes paintings and…

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

American Museum of Natural History ~ Upper West Side
Through Jan 6
suggested $22/ages 12-65, $12.50/ages 2-12, $17/students & seniors free/ages 2 & under

In a highly experiential exhibition, explore 11 funhouse-like spaces that dare you to trust your senses, then show you how what we perceive is not simply a window into the world around us but a product of our brains. Plus,…

Unseen Oceans

American Museum of Natural History ~ Upper West Side
Through Jan 6
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…

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology ~ Chelsea
Through Jan 9

Admire ensembles in pink, perhaps the most divisive of colors from the 18th century to the present, with examples by designers and brands such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Alessandro Michele of Gucci, Jeremy Scott of Moschino,…

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum ~ Upper East Side
Through Jan 13
$16, $14 online, $10/seniors, free/ages 17 & under
Free admission for 1 grown-up after storytimes

Rainbow lovers can explore the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists, and sages. Featuring over 190 objects spanning antiquity to the present from, the exhibition reveals how designers apply the theories of…

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

New-York Historical Society ~ Upper West Side
Through Jan 27
$20, $6/ages 5-13, free/ages 4 & under
50% off with this link

See century-old treasures including rare books and magical objects that capture the folklore and magic of the Harry Potter stories plus original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay. Explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts, from medieval descriptions of dragons…

One: Do Ho Suh

Brooklyn Museum ~ Brooklyn
Through Jan 27
$16, $10/students & seniors, free/ages 19 & under

Walk through a hand-sewn, translucent, full-scale fabric replica of Korean-born artist Do Ho Suh's former apartment, which includes details such as light fixtures, radiators, an intercom and a toilet. Drawing on a longing for home, feelings Suh initially experienced as an…

A Lost Future

Rubin Museum of Art ~ Chelsea/Meatpacking
Through Jan 28
$15, $10/students & seniors, free/ages 12 & under

Traverse an immersive lake via a series of tree discs in a multi-artist exhibition challenge existing histories and speculative futures across cultures and in Bengal, a culturally rich region divided between present-day India and Bangladesh. Explore neon art, painting, film,…

Escher: The Exhibition and Experience

Industry City ~ Brooklyn
Through Feb 3
$20, $15/students & seniors, $13/ages 12-17, $6/ages 5-11, free/ages 4 & under

See over 200 original mind-bending works by graphic artist M.C. Escher. Explore highlights of Escher’s journey as an artist – from his earlier works of nature and landscape in the 1920s and 1930s, to the figurative and abstract art developed…

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Feb 3
$25, $18/seniors, $14/students, free/ages 16 & under

Through live performance, film, photography, sculptural objects, musical scores, poetry, a video installation and archival materials, experience the brief period in the early 1960s when a group of choreographers, visual artists, composers, and filmmakers gathered in NYC's Judson Memorial Church…

Mickey: The True Original Exhibition

Mickey: The True Original Exhibition ~ Chelsea/Meatpacking
Through Feb 10
$38, free/ages 3 & under

Celebrate 90 years of Mickey Mouse’s influence on art and pop culture in an immersive experience is inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his consistent impact on the arts and creativity in all its forms. Explore the…

Constantin Brancusi Sculpture

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

See 11 beguiling simple sculptures by Constantin Brancusi, shown together for the first time, alongside drawings, photographs, and films. Guess what animals he's evoking with his bold geometric forms or make up your own interpretation. Check out the accompanying playlist…

Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal ~ Midtown East
Through Feb 24

Watch models of the MTA’s vintage and current trains and subway cars travel depart from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole in this small yet charming display full of delightful details. This…

Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway: in dreams awake

Broadway Malls ~ Upper West Side
Through Feb 28

Kathy Ruttenberg's large scale fantastical sculptures on Broadway malls between 64th to 157th Street combine human, animal, and plant forms in surprising ways. Touch, explore and search for what my daughter calls 'trapped princesses' in a broad mix of sculptural…

A Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games

Museum of the Moving Image ~ Queens
Through Mar 10
$15, $9/students & seniors, $7/ages 3-12, free/2 and under

See and play more than 40 sports video games spanning the last six decades, examining the complex relationships between game, sport, media, and culture. The exhibition considers what it means for full-body sports to be transposed to screens and controllers…


High Line 14th Street Passage ~ Chelsea
Through Mar 31

Striking work from nine diverse artists challenging the assumed boundaries of public space include oversized murals, neon signs, and movable sculptures.

Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again

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

Explore the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, this exhibition reveals new complexities about…

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future

Guggenheim ~ Upper East Side
Through Apr 23
$22, $18/students & seniors, free/kids under 12

Bold biomorphic and geometric forms. lots of rainbows and a fascinating back-story of an under-recognized female artist make this an excellent exhibition for all ages. She forbad her pioneering works to be displayed until 20 years after her death, ideally in a spiral…

Arlene Shechet: Full Steam Ahead

Madison Square Park ~ Gramercy & Flatiron
Through Apr 28

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…

Circle of Dance

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

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.

Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation

Pier 66 Maritime ~ Chelsea
Through May 12

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…

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

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…