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:
•Armenia! (through Jan 13)
Explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries—from the fourth century, when the Armenians converted to Christianity in their homeland at the base of Mount Ararat, to the seventeenth century, when Armenian control of global trade routes first brought books printed in Armenian into the region. Lots of pretty shiny objects including opulent gilded reliquaries, richly illuminated manuscripts, rare textiles, cross stones (khachkars), precious liturgical furnishings, church models, and printed books.
•Relative Values: The Cost of Art in the Northern Renaissance (through Jun 23)
Explore the timeless question, how much is a piece of art worth, with sixty-two masterpieces of sixteenth-century northern European art and pricing data from sixteenth-century documents, including how many cows a work would cost. What did a tapestry cost in the sixteenth century? Goldsmiths' work? Stained glass? How did variables like raw materials, work hours, levels of expertise and artistry, geography, and rarity, affect this? Who assigned these values? Fun for kids interested in money and history.
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.
At This Location
- Armenia! Monday, October 22–Sunday, January 13 10:00 am–6:00 pm
- Relative Values: The Cost of Art in the Northern Renaissance Thursday, October 25–Sunday, June 23 10:00 am–5:30 pm
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Saturday, November 17 2:00 pm–2:30 pm
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Monday, November 19 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Monday, November 19 3:00 pm–3:30 pm
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Tuesday, November 20 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Tuesday, November 20 3:00 pm–3:30 pm
- Toddler Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime Wednesday, November 21 10:30 am–11:00 am
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art Storytime Wednesday, November 21 3:00 pm–3:30 pm
- Start with Art at the Met/Art Trek Wednesday, November 21 3:30 pm–4:30 pm