New York, New York
Upper East Side
Sunday–Thursday 10 am – 5:30 pm
Friday & Saturday 10 am – 9 pm
NYC’s largest museum is also one of the most welcoming to young visitors. Explore a vast collection that spans millennia and continents. You might get lost searching for iconic favorites in the grand halls and you’ll definitely discover fascinating art that appeals all ages. Check out the awesome family guides & maps.
$: Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under
Annual Memberships: $80+. Includes museum store discounts (great for gifts), members-only classes, parties & previews, and admission to the lovely medieval Cloisters and Gardens in Inwood and the modern Met Breuer a few blocks south.
Favorite Spots: Where do we start? Walk like an Egyptian inside the Temple of Dendur and say hello to nearby crocodile and feline statues. Admire enchanting sculptures, fountains and Central Park in the American Wing Courtyard. Compare the chain mail of European knights on horseback with elaborate Japanese samurai gear in Arms and Armor. Be amused and frightened by the oversized carvings of realistic and fantastical creatures in Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. The Van Goghs, Monets and Degas in 19th- And Early 20th-Century European Paintings And Sculptures are a must for all ages. Wander around and be surprised and delighted as your kid finds his or her own favorites.
Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:
Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence (through Jul 29)
Pretend you’re in a pretty French park among gorgeous paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, illustrated books, and objects that explore French horticultural developments that reshaped the landscape of France and grounded innovative movements—artistic and green—in an era that gave rise to Naturalism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau. See the works of artists extending from Camille Corot to Henri Matisse, many of whom were gardeners themselves Then go play in Central Park, which was designed in the spirit of Parisian public parks of the same period.
Visitors To Versailles (through Jul 29)
Pretend your a princess at this gorgeous exhibition bringing together works from The Met, the Château de Versailles, and over fifty lenders. Learn about the experiences of travelers from 1682, when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, to 1789, when the royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to Paris. Through paintings, portraits, furniture, tapestries, carpets, costumes, porcelain, sculpture, arms and armor, and guidebooks, the exhibition illustrates what visitors encountered at court, what kind of welcome and access to the palace they received, and what impressions, gifts, and souvenirs they took home with them.
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (through Oct 8)
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 The Met Cloisters.
The Met Roof Garden: Huma Bhabha’s We Come In Peace (through Oct 28)
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 for purchase – we like the popcorn).
Storytimes: Daily storytimes in the the lovely art-themed Nolen Library (which can be accessed without paying admission via the southern entrance at 81st Street) come with a list of related artworks to hunt down in the galleries.
Family Programs: We are huge fans of the free Start with Art at the Met & Art Trek programs for ages 3 to 11, hour-long guided walks and art activities.
Strollers/Diapers: Enter south of the prohibitive giant staircase through the Uris Center for Education at 81st street, which has an open space filled with soft benches and large bathrooms with changing tables. Changing tables are also in some of bathrooms throughout the galleries, including outside the Temple of Dendur and north of the American Wing Courtyard. Strollers can be checked at the coat check or taken to the galleries (excluding some special exhibits).
Eat & Treats: Inside the museum, the American Wing Cafe has soups, salads, sandwiches and a gorgeous view of Central Park. 'the cafeteria' in the basement is less scenic but has more selection - pasta, sushi, hot entrees, a frozen yogurt sundae bar and kids' meals that come in cardboard taxis. The Roof Garden has some snacks (and you can bring your own and nosh with a view). Or head to Shake Shack (86th between Lexington & Third) or the chill Pizza Beach (81st & Third). Pick up one of the city's best black-and-white cookies at William Greenberg (1100 Madison between 82nd & 83rd).
Other Tips: Pick up a free Family Map at an information desk; it folds out into an awesome poster you can take home. Prepare for your visit (or reminisce after) by reading You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum which pairs the adventures of a balloon flying around NYC with artwork from the Met.
On crowded days (or any day), enter through the Uris Center for Education entrance on 81st Street to avoid ticket lines.
- Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence Sunday, April 1–Sunday, July 29 10:00 am–5:30 pm
- The Met Roof Garden: Huma Bhabha’s We Come In Peace Tuesday, April 17–Sunday, October 28 10:00 am–6:00 pm
- Visitors To Versailles Thursday, April 26–Sunday, July 29 10:00 am–6:00 pm
- Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Thursday, May 10–Monday, October 8 10:00 am–5:30 pm
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Sunday, June 24 2:00 pm–2:30 pm
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Monday, June 25 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Tuesday, June 26 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Tuesday, June 26 3:00 pm–3:30 pm
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Wednesday, June 27 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Wednesday, June 27 3:00 pm–3:30 pm