Explore interesting free indoor art at shows in chic galleries in cool neighborhoods (just don't touch). The art on display is always changing; here are some current family-friendly favorites.
154 Ludlow Street Soho/Tribeca/LES
Look for bunnies, faces, planets, floral arrangements, and caryatids that morph into portals or openings to other realms in world-renowned Japanese artist Aki Kuroda whimiscal paintings and 1 NFT. Compare works in vivid blues and yellows to those in deep blacks and subdued whites.
Tuesday–Sunday 11 am-7 pm
40 Wooster Street
Meet all sorts of interesting characters in Japanese-born, New York-based artist Chié Shimizu’s sculptures. Look for women standing in their hair, men with piles of rocks on their head, demons hiding in elaborate headdresses and more statues with stories in a serene exhibit evoking a roji, a garden surrounds and leads to the room in which the Japanese tea ceremony occurs.
Wednesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
127 Henry Street
See animals, children and crowds gathering to celebrate weddings or other rituals that reflect the life and customs that surround Georgian artist Elene Chantladze in works rendered using both traditional media—gouache and pens—and the unconventional—elderberry juice, charcoal, kerosene—on old chocolate boxes or plastic lids. Find evocative faces from the sea, birds from the sky, flowers from the forest – plus moments of social critique dotting her painterly landscape. Distraught brides, monstrous bridegrooms, and bereaved mothers are found across her work and refer to the patriarchal demands on women, especially through marriage and caregiving.
Look for references to literature, including the nascent feminism of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, or current events, including the Covid pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing Russian occupation of regions in Georgia.
Wednesday-Sunday, 12 – 6 pm
39 Lispenard Street
Enter an underwater garden with reefs, fungi and other oceanic, organic forms, reimagined in ceramics, weaving, cut paper and paintings. Guy Michael Davis and Katie Parker collaborate together under the name Future Retrieval, mining archives and museums to digitally collect and make objects that re-examine the history of decorative arts. Much of this exhibit is based on early illustrated instructionals on sustaining aquatic life in a domestic setting. Lots to to look for in this art aquarium.
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm
124 Forsyth Street
Lines caress, pierce, and bump up against one another in Colin Thomson’s paintings, resembling a type of excavation, like digging into the earth, something he did in his twenties as a heavy equipment operator. Look for layers of colorful shapes and allusions to body parts like eyes and feet. Sometimes the artist creates under hypnosis, entering the painting and kinesthetically experienced an enormous dimensional field of lines moving through space — imagine what that would feel like.
Wednesday-Sunday 12 – 7 pm
183 Stanton Street
Explore legendary downtown painter Kenny Scharf’s “intuitive derangements of the regime of senses” in an exhibit of colorful, surreal paintings. Anthropomorphic elements of nature like red trees with big eyes interact with mesmerizing patterns and vibrant colors.
Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 6 pm
136 Eldridge Street
Look for oversized body parts and surfers in works by Brooklyn-based Evan Mazellan, who says ‘I paint water like ripped strips of collaged paper and I paint figures like clothes crammed into a suitcase. I start each work by drawing the toes and work my way up. I try to fit things in – whatever works. By the time I reach the top, my figures are hunched and skewed as if viewed from the bottom of a massive swell.”
Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm
299 Grand Street
See Clive Smith’s paintings of new species of birds: owls, ducks, spoonbills, pelicans, kingfishers, and pigeons, plus occasionally an insect or a mammal makes an appearance as well. Look for new feathers and fur patterns, based on canonical masters like Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Hilma of Klimt, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Kenneth Noland, Josef Albers, and Mark Rothko.
Tuesday-Saturday 11 am – 6 pm
874 Washington Street
See Ashley Longshore’s paintings of inspirational women including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jackie Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich, Cleopatra, Oprah, Gloria Steinem, Nina Simone, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks and Jane Goodall in a photogenic gallery at the Diane von Furstenberg store. Good stop for International Women’s Month.
507 West 27th Street
Explore a collection of sky-lit galleries with a rotating cross-section of culture. Watch resident artists create (behind glass) and see finished work in a variety of mediums.
Imagine the stories of the diverse women portrayed in REWA and Megan Gabrielle Harris’s “Ladies of Leisure” and Nicolas V. Sanchez’s “belongings,” two of many intriguing exhibits.
555 West 21st Street
Go inside Doug Aitken’s multi-screen video installation. A series of song cycles, sung in AI-generated digital voices, narrate and capture the modern landscape as it moves from day into night. The artwork flows from person to person, following a subconscious thread where sound and language create the connective tissue. The piece was filmed over two and a half years on the same stretch of urban beach, within a one-mile radius of the artist’s home.
Also see twilight (triptych), a group of three payphones recast as translucent forms and filled with light. This generative light sculpture glows and pulses with color.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm
35 E 67th Street
See a joint exhibition addressing the subject of the great American West with wildly different, yet related takes on the problem of how to best represent femininity. Caitlin Cherry paintings’ evoke glitched and chaotic LCD laptop’s desktop screen, with overlapping tabs and browser tabs of research, memes, Tiktoks and porn open simultaneously with Youtube music videos. Dana Hoey’s photographs uses herself, her karate coach and her longtime collaborator Mary C. Greening to embody icons of American masculinity typically pictured using white men: the cowboy, the flag-waver, the gun-toter and the bodybuilder.
Tuesday–Saturday 10 am-6 pm
980 Madison Avenue at East 76th Street
See new works by Takashi Murakam in three simultaneous presentations spanning two of Gagosian’s New York galleries, at 976 and 980 Madison Avenue, and bridging the physical and digital realms. Look for distinctive personalities in walls of pixelated flowers with faces. See digitally modeled NFT avatars in meticulously detailed, hand-painted portraits and full-scale figurative sculptures
A virtual reality digital rendering of the 976 and 980 Madison Avenue gallerie is accessible online via gagosian.com or through a VR headset and allows access to the entire exhibition from anywhere in the world. Visitors on-site can activate numerous custom Snapchat Lenses to view augmented-reality animations in each gallery and on the building’s exterior.
Expect long lines; ones for art, and one to purchase NFTs/clothes. Queue for entry to 980 Madison is on the corner of 77th street, queue for entry to 976 Madison is on the corer of 76th street.
Tuesday-Saturday 10 am–6 pm
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List of Events
Wednesday, January 1
Join hosts Guy Raz and the hilarious Mindy Thomas on a journey into the wonders of the world. Go inside brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology - with lots of wacky fun along the way. One of our family's faves.
Hear sound- and music-rich radio plays based on folktales from around the world. Explore important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity with guest stage and screen stars. Each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups. My daughter's favorite at bedtime.
Find great books recommendations for all ages in all sorts of diverse & inclusive categories, from Harlem Renaissance picture books to graphic novels talking about race. Includes themed collections like Halloween, Weddings,, Kids with Disabilities and RBG. Find links to buy at bookshop.org, an alternative to amazon that supports independent bookstores.
Humanitarians Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi Brazilian are depicted facing each other in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.
Albert Einstein is a NY-loving graffitist in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.
Thursday, January 2
Watch short, well-written animated films on a variety of topics including antiracism & Black history, STEM, arts, math and much more starring a very funny robot. Take quizzes and play games to test what you learned. Two editions, for ages K-3 or 4th -12th Grade (which can thoughtfully address some weighty topics, so monitor…
Wednesday, April 1
Follow along step by step as a professional artist and his kid draw animals, emojis, people, vehicles and more. Clear, simple steps turn anyone into an illustrator.
Children's Museum of the Arts' blog features how-to videos and detailed instructions for art projects like Paper Chains of Kindness and Collaborative Drawing Games. Projects can be adapted for different ages and made with materials around the house.
Find hundreds of free audio books handpicked by Audible editors. Choose from a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18. Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian selections also available.
Find a trove of educational, easy-to-set up creative and sensory activities from a K-1 teacher turned SAHM. So many great ideas, quick & easy to messy messy, babies to tweens plus links to useful art supplies. Follow their great instagram account for daily inspiration.
An educator and mom to 3 shares daily 'Breakfast Invitations,' easy-to-set-up sensory and art activities for preschoolers and toddlers.
Take virtual journeys to over 1,200 museums around the world via Google Arts & Culture. See collections and gallery views of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Mexico City's Museum of Anthropology, Paris's Musée d'Orsay and more (plus NYC faves like the Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA).
This fascinating historic museum (now partially open for visits) hosts engaging live educational programs for all ages, audio and video resources (including the inspirational We Rise) and interactive 360 degree tours drawing on its world-renowned collections. Excellent educator resources including videos, remote lesson plans, and media-rich curriculum website Women…
Find tutorials and interactive ways to collaborate and make media art with Astoria's Museum of Moving Image educators. Create Jim Henson-inspired puppets, learn about film editing and apply to have your media art shared on their YouTube channel.
MoMA provides resources and ideas—from art-making activities to books and films—to spark creativity and fun at home. Explore artworks in MoMA’s collection through activities (available in English and Spanish), watch favorite kid-friendly short films with prompts to spark discussion, dig deeper into Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, find favorite Children’s Books about Art, listen…
The acclaimed Alvin Ailey dance company shares full length videos of past performances. Also see videos of company members dancing the landmark Revelations and other pieces together from home, join free online dance classes and check out the great Resource Guide for Educators. Find free live and on-demand classes for all ages in a variety of dance…
Learn about musical culture and tradition around the world - African-American Freedom Songs, South African Zulu songs and many more - with lessons plans, music and video featuring global artists. The well-designed site features a world map to explore. Also Learn about symphony orchestras in an animated adventure in Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures.
Watch curated educated videos on the from Jazz at Lincoln Center's educational programs and learn about it's roots in African-American traditions and communities. WeBop instructors demonstrate fun activities to get families swinging and singing, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra share performance secrets, and Middle School Jazz Academy instructors break down jazz techniques.…
Learn about African American art history with curated lists from Culture Type, a website exploring art by and about people of African descent. Find gorgeous books about Jean-Michel Basquiat, fashion designer Ann Cole Lowe, Jacob Lawrence and other great black artists on posts Black Art History: 10 Children’s Books Illuminate the…
Learn about a range of subjects for grades K-12 though catchy, educational hip-hop songs. Watch videos about math, history, science and more, learn new words, take quizzes then (this is the coolest part) write short raps/songs using your new words and knowledge.
Watch short videos taught by excellent instructors with an electronic whiteboard in just about any subject for preschool through college. The free Khan Academy Kids app (for ages 2-7) teaches reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, and more through open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring guided by adorable animal characters. Also…
The educational arm of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science offers online kids science courses, videos, games, puzzles, quizzes and science experiments in fun topics like the science of soccer and (safe) homemade explosives.
Watch short #concertsforkids recorded (at home) by world-class artists including musician Etienne Charles celebrating a cross-section of cultures from the African Diaspora, Soul Science Kids weaving soul, funk, hip-hop and educational themes and many more diverse voices. Learn puppetry, dance, songwriting and other art forms with simple materials found at home with Lincoln Center Pop-up…
Join a former Disney duo on a musical adventure for the whole family. A cast of quirky characters navigate timely challenges to help kids save the world. Explore topics like honeybees and pollinators, plastic in the oceans, germs and our immune system, inclusion and kindness vs. bullying (as expressed by a T-Rex!) and…
Get creative and have fun with the creator of cult favorites Dog Man and Captain Upderpants. Watch short videos of Pilkey drawing and reading aloud and download printable activity sheets, drawing guides, comic book creators, games and more.
Explore music, dance, theater, opera, visual and media arts through informative and engaging Kennedy Center Education interactive lessons with music videos. Learn about African-American History, US President's Favorite Music, all sorts of dance, popular American songs and more. Designed for grades K-12.
Play art-inspired games, take cheeky quizzes, find art activities, and share your art on a fun website from British museums Tate and Tate Modern. Find detailed instructions for activities such as "think like the artist Alberto Giacometti" and create interesting portraits and landscapes.
Find tons of games, activities, experiments and projects from Queen's New York Hall of Science. At-Home STEM resources encourage open-ended exploration and imaginative learning. Learn about physics, engineering, design, biology, math, chemistry and more with videos, instructions for experiments and art projects, interactive graphic novels, engaging apps and more.
Learn that history can be amazing, inspiring and relevant to anyone in a podcast featuring stories of Spies, funny foods, George Washington's foibles, early advancements in cartooning and ballooning and much more. A professional music…
This absurdist sketch comedy show based on stories written by kids features original music and celebrity special guests. Young listeners are invited to submit their own stories that might be brought to live in the podcast or a future live show. Find comprehensive activity guides for each episode online with recipes, poetry lessons, and more.…
Kindie musicians Andrew & Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled family-friendly podcast enjoyable for kids and grown-ups. Developmentally appropriate & absurdist but never untrue.
Learn about extraordinary, inspiring women women in a podcast based on global best-selling book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (a great purchase for all ages). Features famous leaders like Harriet Tubman and RBG as well as lesser known heroes from around the world.
Explore music in an interactive podcast and video series born from the brain of a music education teacher and his goofball kids. Each approx. 10 minute episode features inventive sing-alongs and activities. Geared for kids 3-9 years old but all ages get into it.
Follow along with design activities (with clear, well-designed instructions) to create protoypes, chairs, zines, posters and more. Also explore design case studies, remarkable female and LBGQT+ creators, the digital mansion, and museum exhibitions. Great graphics, video and easy-to-understand text for all ages.
Hear kid-friendly retelling of classic ancient Greek myths as featured in the Nat Geo Kids book Zeus the Mighty. Zippy and fun retellings with all the inappropriate parts glossed over.
Find family-friendly content from Radiolab, one of the most beloved podcasts in the world. From “What do dogs see when they look at the rainbow?” to “Do animals laugh?” the topics are squeaky clean (mostly) and all about science and curiosity.
Help kids in need have a loving bedtime and restful good night by collecting new pajamas and/or books to donate. Here’s info on starting a drive. A great solution for birthday or holiday presents for the kid who already has too much. Party guests still get to shop and have something fun to bring to…
Search for in-person and virtual family-friendly volunteering opportunities at New York Cares, Volunteer New York (includes Westchester & Long Island) and Doing Good Together. Find opportunities for specific dates/times or ongoing with a range of non-profits including city parks and senior centers.
Tuesday, November 3
In a win/win for all, refresh your library/playroom at expertly curated online shops of local museums. Find great toys, books, crafts and games for at-home entertainment and consider becoming a member of your faves - so many perks all year round (including store discounts and the ability to visit in person whenever). Some favorite…
Friday, January 1
Get hot, fresh addictively delicious doughnuts 24/7 at Krispy Kreme's Times Square Flagship store. The 4,500 square-foot shop features a doughnut-making theater, a Glazed Waterfall with digital projection, a giant conveyor belt that runs throughout the store and and a doughnut themed seating area. Choose from a variety of flavors, including an exclusive Big Apple…