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


Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation

Brooklyn Bridge Park ~ Brooklyn
Through Sep 23
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…


Dynamic H2O

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) ~ Upper West Side
Through Sep 30
$11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger

Cool off at a splashy water exhibit with 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, pretend to…


Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Metropolitan Museum Of Art ~ Upper East Side
Through Oct 8
FREE

Explore fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism through papal robes and accessories on loan from the Vatican and Catholic-inspired fashions from the early twentieth century to the present juxtaposed with and medieval art. Also at…


Daniel Arsham 3018

Galerie Perrotin ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Oct 21
FREE

Travel to a dystopian future where a Delorean, Ferrari and other objects have becoe eroded relics covered in Volcanic ash, pyrite crystal, selenite, and quartz.


The Met Roof Garden: Huma Bhabha's We Come In Peace

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

Two haunting monumental sculptures of intriguing figures by Pakistani-born artist Huma Bhabha are now on the roof of the Met. The commentary on colonialism, war and displacement is thought-provoking and the view of Central Park stunning. Snacks allowed (and available…


The Senses: Design Beyond Vision

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum ~ Upper East Side
Through Oct 28
$16, $14 online, $10/seniors, free/ages 17 & under
Free admission for 1 grown-up after storytimes

Explore experimental works and practical solutions designed to inspire wonder and new ways of accessing our world. Wander through a scented snowstorm, play a furry instrument in a Tactile Orchestra, investigate the sonic properties of glass, and experience many more…


Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii

New York Botanical Garden ~ Bronx
Through Oct 28
$20, $18/students & seniors, $8/ages 2-12, free/ages 1 & under

Pretend you're in Hawai‘i at this exhibit of 17 paintings by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s created on commission for a Hawaiian Pineapple Company promotional campaign plus lush Hawaiian flora in the Conservatory. Visit the Children's Garden to create art inspired…


Fur East Far Tokyo

Special Special ~ West Village/East Village
Through Oct 31
FREE

Japanese artist, Sebastian Masuda adorns walls and cute teddy bears with layers of vividly colored fake fur, some of which are for sale along with wearable art.


Spooky Pumpkin Garden

New York Botanical Garden ~ Bronx
Through Oct 31
$28, $25/students & seniors, $12/ages 2-12, free/under 2

Explore more than 100 pumpkin-headed scarecrows set among giant and unusual pumpkins and gourds in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Put on a festive fall puppet show and have a spooky tea party in the Victorian playhouse. Guided activities on…


Jacob Hashimoto on Governors Island

Governors Island ~ Lower Manhattan
Through Oct 31
FREE

Walk under Jacob Hashimoto's monumental work of thousands of delicate rice paper kites creating an ever shifting fog in the newly reopened St. Cornelius Chapel. Also see a colorful, whimsical overhead outdoor installation adapted for Governors Island’s landmark Liggett Hall…


The Long Run

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ Midtown West
Through Nov 4
$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…


Wonder World Pop-up

The wonderworld ~ Soho/Tribeca/LES
Through Nov 4
$26, free/ages 3 & under

Enter a realm of fantasy at the historic studio of Andy Warhol. Wander through six exquisitely well-designed installation spaces by New York based artists.


Visionaire’s Viktor&Rolf Masterclass

The Gallery at Cadillac House ~ Tribeca/Soho
Through Nov 4
FREE

See a short film and interactive installation by luxury fashion house Viktor&Rolf and Visionaire. Join the Viktor&Rolf's runway by sticking your head through life-size cutouts of avant-garde fashion.


Human’s Best Friend

Human’s Best Friend ~ West Village/East Village
Through Nov 12
$29, $39/1 human & 1 dog, free/ages 2 & under

Dogs and dog lovers travel through a series of interactive technicolor canine-centric environments. Petless people can play with adoptable dogs from local rescue organizations. 10% of profits benefit the participating rescue organizations.


The Song of Dragon and Flowers

Doyers Street Seasonal Street ~ Lower Manhattan
Through Nov 30
FREE

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…


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…


100 Gates Project

Lower East Side, East Harlem & Staten Island ~ Harlem/Upper Manhattan
Through Dec 31
FREE

The 100 Gates Project connects artists and merchants to create original murals on roll-down security gates on the Lower East Side, East Harlem & Staten Island, creating an open-air galleries that are open when your kids wake up too early…


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…


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…


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).


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
FREE

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…


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…


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,…


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

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

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…


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…


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…


Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway: in dreams awake

Broadway Malls ~ Upper West Side
Through Feb 28
FREE

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…


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.


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…