Family Museum Programs

Fill every day this week with fabulous free or low-cost family programming from NYC’s fabulous museums (which always have fantastic air conditioning). Note the insides of these museums are totally worth the price of admission (and we are big believers in tax-deductible memberships for flexibility and perks), click on the museum names for more info and tips or check out our thorough museum guide.

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All Events This Week | Public Art | All Museum Programs


Jewish Museum Studio Art Sessions

Monday 1:00 pm–4:00 pm
The Jewish Museum ~1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
$15, free/ages 18 & under
Explore a variety of materials and ideas in drop-in art sessions inspired by the design objects, unique furniture, colorful wallpapers, and collage in exhibition Marc Camille Chaimowicz and the expressive paintings of Chaim Soutine.

Treat Alert:  Nosh on bagels, bialys, knishes, smoked fish, surprising salads, babka french toast and more Jewish-American classic foods at in-museum outpost of iconic appetizing shop Russ & Daughters.


Little New-Yorkers

New-York Historical Society ~ 70 Central Park West at 77th Street
$20, $6/ages 5-13, free/ages 4 & under
50% off with this link
This bi-weekly program in the library of the engaging children’s center includes the reading of a NY-themed book, a related craft project, playtime with historic toys and a special Little New-Yorkers hello song.

Treat Alert: Feast on antipasti, artisanal pastas and paninis ar Caffe Storico, the museum’s classy but kid-friendly eatery or grab burgers and shakes at Shake Shack down the block.


Imagination Playground at Cooper Hewitt

Wednesday, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum ~ 2 East 91st Street
Find your block on the rainbow Manhattan Color Walk then build in the engaging, moveable Imagination Playground and lounge on high-design furniture in the very cool terrace and garden of the Cooper Hewitt.

Treat Alert: Pick up pizza, panini, salads and biscotti in the museum’s cafe and gorgeous Compartes chocolate bars in the gift shop. Or head to the appetizing Russ & Daughters Cafe in the Jewish Museum across the street.


Drawing in the Sculpture Garden

Thursday, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ~ 4 West 53rd Street
Drop in to an all ages drawing sessions in the MoMA Sculpture Garden. Explore movement, form, space, and surface as you draw what you see. Stools and drawing supplies provided. Make sure to say hi to the snowman.

Start with Art at the Met/Art Trek

Thursday, 3:30 pm–4:30 pm
Metropolitan Museum Of Art ~ 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
Pay-what-you-wish with New York ID
Fabulous museum educators engage children in conversations and activities related to a few works in the vast collection. Share ideas and enjoy stories, sketching, singing, and other gallery activities that bring works of art to life. Also visit the lovely roof garden.

Treat Alert: My kids are obsessed with the popcorn from the roof garden, or enjoy a California vibe and delicious, healthy-ish salads, apps and pizza (and not so healthy nutella pizza) at nearby Pizza Beach.


New-York Historical Society Pay-What-You-Wish Hours

Friday, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm
New-York Historical Society70 Central Park West at 77th Street
Explore the engaging Summer of Magic exhibition, play in the hands-on Children’s Museum in the basement, admire vintage shoes and design your own Tiffany lamp on the gorgeous fourth floor. Use this deal for $31 family admission to come earlier for storytime & crafts.

Treat Alert: Feast on antipasti, artisanal pastas and paninis ar Caffe Storico, the museum’s classy but kid-friendly eatery or grab burgers and shakes at Shake Shack down the block.


The Skyscraper Museum Family Program: Parks in NYC

Saturday, 10:30 am–11:45 am
The Skyscraper Museum ~ Lower Manhattan
Learn the importance of public parks in dense cities such as New York. After exploring Battery Park (right next door), talk about the wide range of activities encountered in public spaces. Then design an original own public space for NYC.

Treat Alert: Walk along the riverfront to French emporium Le District in Brookfield Place to mangez on croissants, crepes, frites and more. Take your treat to the terrace for a view of the French-in-origin Lady Liberty.


Rubin Family Sundays: Inner Voyages

Rubin Museum of Art ~ 150 West 17 Street 
1:00 pm–4:00 pm
Zen out at this free weekly program in a gorgeous museum. Explore video artworks depicting long pilgrimages in Asia then design a map that symbolizes a voyage you’d like to take. Also check out the neon demon in the lobby and clever posters in the basement.

Treat Alert: Try seasonal specialties inspired by the Himalayas like handmade traditional momo dumplings in peaceful Cafe Serai.


Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Artist Maira Kalman’s exuberant illustrations and humorous commentary bring design history to life in this inspired ABC book that celebrates thirty-one objects from the Cooper Hewitt, in time for its long-awaited reopening. A delight for all ages.

When Pigasso Met Mootisse
Animal versions of two famous artists become fierce rivals, calling each other names and building a fence between their (lavishly painted) houses until they creatively solve their conflict. My kids became familiar with Picasso and Matisse’s unique styles through Nina Laden’s wacky illustrations and love recognizing their works at local museums.