Museum Guide

Many of NYC’s extraordinary museums are exceptionally kid-friendly with engaging exhibits, friendly staff and amazing kids programs and spaces. Click on a museum’s name for details on storytimes, stroller entrances and more helpful tips.

* Take advantage of pay-what-you-wish hours and free admission to many family programs. Or become members – the tax-deductible annual fee, much less than a semester of music or gym classes, is usually recouped in a few visits and includes perks like museum-store discounts, members-only viewing hours, skipping lines, and making short frequent visits.

* If your wee one has trouble not touching the art (looking at you toddlers), the American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), Jewish Museum, MoMA, MoMath and National Museum of the American Indian all have awesome hands-on opportunities.

* Not sure where to start? See our favorite current family friendly exhibits and kids programs calendar. Or warm-up with free public art & library exhibits.

* Follow our instagram for visuals of our latest museum adventures.



American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street) (Upper West Side)
Tuesday–Thursday & Saturday 11:30 am – 7 pm
Friday 12 pm – 7:30 pm
Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
Always free

The cozy, always free American Folk Art Museum features rotating family-friendly exhibits featuring Americana art that often includes engaging colors, patterns and animals.

Family Programs: The first Saturday of every month, Families and Folk Art introduces children ages 4 to 12 to folk art through interactive and discussion-based tours in the galleries followed by hands-on artmaking activities inspired by objects in the museum. Polite listeners of all ages can enjoy free jazz guitar on Wednesdays 2 - 3 pm and diverse folk musicians Fridays 5:30 - 7:30.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

John Dunkley: Neither Day Nor Night (through Feb 24)
See paintings from the 1930s and 1940s and carved wood and stone figurative sculptures by one of Jamaica’s most important artists, John Dunkley including many landscapes and animal portraits. Find a few cute bunnies.

*More info on American Folk Art Museum*

American Museum of Natural History

West 81st Street & Central Park West (Upper West Side)
Daily 10 am - 5:45 pm
suggested $22/ages 12-65, $12.50/ages 2-12, $17/students & seniors free/ages 2 & under

NYC kids are the envy of world-wide lovers of dinosaurs, sea creatures, outer space and Ben Stiller for their access to the giant (45 fascinating halls) American Museum of Natural History. The museum’s extensive collection is matched by an array of programs for budding explorers.

Favorite Spots: On the first floor, a 94-foot-long blue whale hangs over an assortment of sea creatures in the Hall of Ocean Life. Learn about moon rocks and meteorites in the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space. Zebras, giraffes and other jungle animals surround a family of elephants in the Hall of African Mammals on the second floor. The beloved dinosaur bones fill most of the fourth floor.

Family Programs: Explore artifacts and specimens, hang-out inside a giant tree, put together puzzles and conduct scientific experiments in The Discovery Room (open Monday though Thursday 1:30 - 5:10 pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:30 am - 1:30 pm & 2:15 - 5:10 pm). Free timed tickets are available at the Discovery Room entrance. 6 - 13 year-olds can participate in the popular Night At the Museum sleepovers ($129, talking Teddy Roosevelt not included).

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Unseen Oceans (through Jan 6)
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 a scale model Triton submersible, and learn about new technologies and research.

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience (through Jan 6)
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, discover why we have senses and what’s unique about human perception during an interactive session hosted by a live presenter.

Origami Holiday Tree (through Jan 13)
Volunteers begin folding in July to complete the 500 creations in the dazzling annual Origami Holiday. This year's theme is "Oceans of Origami," with models inspired by the special exhibition Unseen Oceans.  Patient volunteers are on hand to teach visitors of all ages the art of origami folding.

Brooklyn Children's Museum

145 Brooklyn Ave (Brooklyn)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10 am–5 pm
Thursday 10 am–6 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am–7 pm
$11, free/ages 12 months & under

The world’s first children’s museum, founded in 1899, has tons of hands-on exploration and engaging programming in visual arts, music and performance, natural science, and world cultures.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

TapeScape (through Jan 31)
Explore an interactive art installation made from unexpected everyday materials. Built in collaboration with artist Eric Lennartson, this tape universe sparks the imagination and encourages curiosity, creativity, and gross motor play.

World Brooklyn (through Dec 31)
Play in kid-sized shops based on the real ones you find in neighborhoods across Brooklyn. Be a shopkeeper, baker, grocer, shopper, designer, performer, and builder in diverse communities. We really liked serving Italian pizza and assembling African style chairs.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway (Brooklyn)
Wednesday–Sunday 11 am–6 pm
$16, $10/students & seniors, free/ages 19 & under

A slightly hipper version of the Met features a huge, diverse permanent collection categorized by culture, as well as thoughtful visiting exhibitions from all over the world. On the edge of Prospect Park and next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden ($25 combo passes available).

Family Programs: The first Saturday evening of the month features eclectic free art and entertainment for all ages. Drop in for studio art projects the first Sunday of the month 4–5:30 pm.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Rob Wynne: FLOAT (through Jan 9)
Large-scale installations of molten hand-poured and mirrored glass and glass texts by New York–based artist Rob Wynne float within the American Art galleries in direct dialogue with selected works from the collection.

One: Do Ho Suh (through Jan 27)
Walk through a hand-sewn, translucent, full-scale fabric replica of Korean-born artist Do Ho Suh's former apartment, which includes details such as light fixtures, radiators, an intercom and a toilet. Drawing on a longing for home, feelings Suh initially experienced as an immigrant, the work highlights the important connections we make between physical places and memory.

*More info on Brooklyn Museum*

Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

212 West 83rd Street between Broadway & Amsterdam (Upper West Side)
Sunday–Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 7 pm
$11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger

The enchanting Children’s Museum of Manhattan has interactive, educational exhibits and lots of kids programming and performances.

Family Programs: Check out the packed calendar of daily workshops in design, math, science and more. Workshops are divided into ages 4 & under and 5 & over; the latter require same-day registration one hour before at the yellow Visitor Information Desk in the first floor lobby, where you can also pick up tickets to weekend performances by Broadway artists, professional dance troupes and recording artists one hour before each show.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Let’s Dance! (through Dec 31)
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 an immersive video projection dome dance portal to learn with professional, community, and student dance companies from New York and abroad. Create multi-color shadow dances on the “stage” while exploring lighting design with a child-friendly lighting box. Choreograph a series of dance patterns while learning the language of dance and using movable signs, props and costumes. Experiment with authentic percussion...

Art, Artists & You (through Dec 31)
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 media and paper.

Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA)

102 Charlton Street (Soho/Tribeca/LES)
Monday & Wednesday 12-5 pm
Thursday & Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am-5 pm
Closed Tuesday
$5.50 at this link, free/ages under 1 & 65+

This delightful, inviting space features self guided art exploration for ages 10 months-15 years. Experiment with sculpture, paints, textiles, sound design, animation, and clay in daily open workshops led by teaching artists and explore rotating exhibitions by established and emerging contemporary artist.

Family Programs: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10:45 am-12 pm, kids up to 5 years old can join WEE Arts Drop-in Session for art making at different stations and music time. $25/family

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Way With Words: The Power and Art of the Book (through Apr 29)
See artworks which draw attention to the long and remarkable history of the book. See unconventional treatments such as cutting, weaving, tearing, burning, and shredding, as artists transform books into sculptures, animation, drawings, and paintings that capture the book’s significant history and power to inform the public. Also create artworks inspired by the exhibition.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

2 East 91st Street (Upper East Side)
Daily 10 am - 6 pm
Open Saturday until 9 pm
$16, $14 online, $10/seniors, free/ages 17 & under
Free admission for 1 grown-up after storytimes

This collection of historic and contemporary design is a high-tech, interactive dream for all ages. Explore innovative design through the centuries, play designer on high resolution touchscreen tables with very cool electronic ‘pens,’ and rock around in the Spun chairs in the basement.

 

Favorite Spots: Draw your own wallpaper designs then see them projected lifesize in the Immersion Room

Family Programs: Create under the guidance of art and design professionals in weekend Design Kids workshops for ages 5-12.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (through Jan 13)
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 the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual world.  

El Museo Del Barrio

1230 Fifth Avenue (Upper East Side)
Tuesday–Saturday 11 am – 6 pm
Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm
$9, $5/students & seniors, free/ages 11 & under

This lively museum focuses on the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States.

Family Programs: Super Sabados on the third Saturday of every month feature free art-making workshops, storytelling, concerts, and more. The first Wednesday of every month, 1-4 year olds can participate in Coqui Club storytime and art-making.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Liliana Porter: Other Situations (through Jan 27)
See a pantheon of cultural figures such as Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley, Che Guevara, Jesus and Benito Juárez, many in miniature, in Argentinian-American artist Liliana Porters sculptures and photographs exploring representation, image dissemination, public life, reality, labor and self-awareness.

*More info on El Museo Del Barrio*

Guggenheim

1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street (Upper East Side)
Daily 10 am – 5:45 pm
Closed Thursday
Open until 7:45 pm Saturday
$22, $18/students & seniors, free/kids under 12

The striking Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda is reason enough to visit this landmark museum, and exciting, well-designed exhibits and kids’ programs make this a family-friendly setting for contemporary and modern art.

Family Programs: Sundays 1-4 pm, explore exhibition highlights through creative interactive projects in the galleries and head to the Studio Art Lab in the basement to make art inspired by themes and materials seen in the museum. Engage with fantastic art educators at the Little Guggs for ages 2-4 and Second Sunday Family Tours for ages 5 & up.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Brancusi (through Dec 31)
Try to find animals including a seal, sting ray and bird in the abstract-looking sculptures of Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957). Fun shapes and forms in a lovely space.

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future (through Apr 23)
Bold biomorphic and geometric forms. lots of rainbows and a fascinating back-story of an under-recognized female artist make this an excellent exhibition for all ages. She forbad her pioneering works to be displayed until 20 years after her death, ideally in a spiral temple similar to the current stunning setting. Talk about her ouija board like creative spiritualism, try to guess the ages protrayed in each of the monumental The Ten Largest and pick up an engaging free Family Activity Guide.

*More info on Guggenheim*

Hudson River Museum

511 Warburton Avenue (Westchester)
Wednesday–Sunday 12–5 pm
$7, $4/ages 3–18, $5/seniors & students

This multi-disciplinary cultural complex draws its identity from its gorgeous site on the banks of the Hudson River. See diverse art, tour a historic mansion, learn about the environment in a hands-on gallery and watch a space show in the Planetarium.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Maya Lin: A River Is a Drawing (through Jan 20)
Walk through more than 200 bamboo reeds in the form of a 3D drawing of the Hudson River basin in an exhibition developed in close collaboration between Presidential Medal of Freedom reciptient Maya Lin and the Hudson River Museum focuses on the theme of the Hudson River. New works and ambitious site-specific installations referencing the Museum’s architectural features and location along the banks of the river invite visitors to interact.

*More info on Hudson River Museum*

Lefferts Historic House

452 Flatbush Avenue (Brooklyn)

*More info on Lefferts Historic House*

Metropolitan Museum Of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street (Upper East Side)
Sunday–Thursday 10 am – 5:30 pm
Friday & Saturday 10 am – 9 pm
Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

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.

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.

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.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Metropolitan Museum Tree & Menorah (through Jan 6)
A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene adorns a candlelit spruce. Gorgeous 18th Century Baroque creche angels hover over an Italian village filled with animals and interesting characters. Look for a monkey, elephant and more. Everyday at 4:30 pm, recorded music accompanies a dramatic lighting ceremony. Also see one of the largest silver Hanukkah lamps in the world, an ornate late 19th-century silver Menorah from Ukraine with elaborate motifs.

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.

MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue (Queens)
Wednesday–Monday 12 pm–6 pm
Suggested $10, $5/seniors & students, free/ages 16 & under

MoMA PS1, one oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States, is an exhibition space rather than a collecting institution. MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

James Turrell: Meeting (through Dec 31)
One of artist James Turrell’s celebrated Skyspaces, thsa site-specific installation that invites viewers to gaze upwards toward an unobstructed view of the sky with a multi-colored lighting program synchronized with the sunrise and sunset.

*More info on MoMA PS1*

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

2 Columbus Circle (Midtown West)
Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
Open Thursday & Friday until 9 pm
$15, Free/18 and under

Explore contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art, and design in a lovely setting overlooking Central Park.

Family Programs: The first Sunday afternoon of each month drop into Studio Sunday to create art inspired by current exhibits (and a stunning Central Park/Columbus Circle view). Projects that can be adapted to any age are led by patient educators.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

4 West 53rd Street (Midtown West)
Saturday-Wednesday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday & Friday 10:30 am – 8 pm
$25, $18/seniors, $14/students, free/ages 16 & under

Always exciting and decidedly kid-friendly, MoMA has spacious galleries and elevators, engaging interactive exhibits, occasional performance art and awesome kids programs and hands-on creative spaces.

Favorite Spots: * Van Gogh's Starry Night, Henri Rousseau's The Dream and Matisse's Dance are just a few of the blockbuster masterpieces on the must-see fifth floor.
* Look out for an actual helicopter in the stairwell.
* The free-admission lobby facing West 53rd Street is a great place to chill by a giant Sol LeWitt rainbow mural.

Family Programs: Engaging, free Family Gallery Talks for ages 4 to 16 are held on most Saturday and Sunday mornings during the school year. On the first Saturday of the month, enjoy new and classic live-action and animated films. Admission is free for family programs and includes access to the museum for up to two adults.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

MoMA Art Lab: Nature (through Dec 31)
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 lots of gorgeous books, building toys and multimedia projects that appeal to all ages (including this mom - I made a cool flower-inspired chair prototype). Great play spot for bad weather days (or good weather - it's right next to the sculpture garden). All ages welcome.

The Long Run (through Dec 31)
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 kids audio guide, which we got to be part of making - listen for some familiar voices.

Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 (through Jan 1)
Explore the exceptional work of socialist Yugoslavia’s leading architects featuring modernist architecture and forward-thinking contributions still resonate today. Includes more than 400 drawings, models, photographs, and film reels and the sculptural interior of the White Mosque in rural Bosnia, the post-earthquake reconstruction of the city of Skopje based on Kenzo Tange’s Metabolist design, the new town of New Belgrade, with its expressive large-scale housing blocks and civic buildings, and other exciting designs.

Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams (through Jan 1)
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 dreams for his country (then-Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo), his continent, and the world.

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done (through Feb 3)
Through live performance, film, photography, sculptural objects, musical scores, poetry, a video installation and archival materials, experience the brief period in the early 1960s when a group of choreographers, visual artists, composers, and filmmakers gathered in NYC's Judson Memorial Church for a series of workshops that ultimately redefined what counted as dance. The performances that evolved from these workshops incorporated everyday movements—gestures drawn from the street or the home; their structures were based on games, simple tasks, and social dances. Multiple-week segment focus on the work of individual artist: Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, David Gordon, Lucinda Childs, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown.

Constantin Brancusi Sculpture (through Feb 18)
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 from Brancusi's extensive record collection.

If Everything Is Sculpture Why Make Sculpture? (through Sep 30)
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 and other cool stuff posing the questions “If everything is sculpture why make sculpture?” Yummy housemade ice cream available by the Parisian Metro Station entrance. Create and cool off in the engaging MoMA Art Lab: Nature nearby.

Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 105th Street (Upper East Side)
Daily 10 am - 6 pm
Get 2 tickets for $15

Become an informed New Yorker at this small museum with a big collection of theater artifacts, furniture, toys, paintings, sculpture and photos arranged into exhibits that entertain and educate all ages.

Family Programs: Ages 6-12 can participate in free history and art activities on weekends and school vacation days. Drop in anytime between 11 am and 2 pm. Free snacks included. All ages can go on family-friendly scavenger hunts with free themed guides designed to help families to look closely at the building and exhibitions.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

New York at Its Core (through Dec 31)
Follow the story of NYC's rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World,” and consider its future in a changing world through more than 400 objects as well as interactive digital experiences. Framed around the key themes of money, density, diversity, and creativity, New York City’s history comes alive through the stories of innovation, energy, struggle, and the vision of generations of immigrants, politicians, tycoons, dreamers, master builders, and ordinary New Yorkers.

Rebel Women: Defying Victorianism (through Jan 6)
Explores the lives of female 19th century activists in NYC through photographs, garments, paintings, and prints. Learn about Elizabeth Jennings Graham, an African-American New Yorker who refused to get off a segregated trolley; professionals like Hetty Green, a wealthy businesswoman and broker branded "the witch of Wall Street"; and working women like Helen Jewett, New York's most prominent courtesan—all of whom challenged the Victorian ideal.

Museum of the Moving Image

36-01 35 Avenue at 37 Street (Queens)
Wednesday–Thursday 10:30 am–5:00 pm
Friday 10:30 am–8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am–6:00 pm
$15, $9/students & seniors, $7/ages 3-12, free/2 and under

Explore film, TV and video games from nineteenth century optical toys to the latest in digital art with lots of hand-on exhibits in a spacious, modern building.

Favorite Spots: Play classic arcade games and see Star Wars paraphernalia (including a Chewbacca mask used in filming) on the second floor.

Family Programs: See classics on the big screen and learn about filmmaking at family matinees & workshops held most weekends and during school vacations.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Jim Henson’s World (through Dec 31)
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 Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Among the nearly 300 objects on view are 47 puppets—including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Big Bird, Elmo, Cantus Fraggle, and other popular favorites—character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and iconic costumes. See film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage and try interactive experiences puppeteering on screen and...

A Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games (through Mar 10)
See and play more than 40 sports video games spanning the last six decades, examining the complex relationships between game, sport, media, and culture. The exhibition considers what it means for full-body sports to be transposed to screens and controllers in the service of realism, who is or isn’t represented in sports video games, the ways broadcast sports and video games reflect one another, and the primacy of statistics in professional sports and sports simulators.

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 East 26th Street (Gramercy & Flatiron)
Daily 10 am - 5 pm
$15; $9/children, students& seniors; free/toddlers & babies

Dynamic exhibits and programs stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of mathematics. Learn about the math in patterns and structures all around us – and try to ride a bike with square wheels.

National Museum of the American Indian - New York

One Bowling Green (Lower Manhattan)
Daily 10 am – 5 pm
Open Thursday until 8 pm

All ages can learn about the culture and contributions of Native Americans at the engaging New York branch of this DC museum. Lots of opportunities for hands-on exploration in multiple rooms. Touch a buffalo hide, match animal drawings, learn about Mayan math, play in a teepee and more.

Pick up a fantastic family guide and find featured items among the galleries including wood and stone carvings, exquisite clothing, feather bonnets and lots of animal representations.

Family Programs: Every Monday 2–4 pm, learn more about the Taíno Indians, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean through cultural materials and live demonstrations in the galleries.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound (through Jan 6)
Ten artists use light, digital projection, and experimental media to reflect on their place in and between traditional and dominant cultures. Through innovative sound art, digital media, and installation, the exhibition demonstrates the continuity of Indigenous cultures and creativity in the digital age.

Circle of Dance (through Apr 30)
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.

New Museum

235 Bowery (West Village/East Village)
Wednesday - Sunday 11 am - 6pm, open until 9 pm on Fridays
$16, $14/seniors, free/ages 17 & under

Always something interesting to see – or interact with – in the rotating exhibits at Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum.

Favorite Spots: Check out a great view from the top floor Sky Room (open Saturdays & Sundays)

Family Programs: Join museum educators for creative free family programs the first Saturday of every month.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Asli Çavusoglu: The Place of Stone (through Jan 13)
Turkish artist Asli Çavusoglus' research-driven practice takes up questions of history and belief by examining objects, images, and cultural symbols that have endured over time. For her New Museum exhibition and residency, Çavusogluwill expand her ongoing research into the origins and trade history of lapis lazuli, a blue stone exported primarily from Afghan mines since the seventh century BC. The artist will create a fresco that traces the history of the color blue across centuries and diverse geographies—from Central Asia to Africa to Europe—following its transitions and shifting associations, which span the sacred, the political, and the emotional.

*More info on New Museum*

New York Aquarium

Surf Avenue & West 8th Street (Brooklyn)
Monday–Thursday 10 am-6 pm
Friday–Sunday 10 am–7 pm
$14.95, $11.95/ages 3-12 & 65+

The oldest continually operating aquarium in the US (opened 1896. moved to the Coney Island boardwalk in 1957) is building back from the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy with exciting new exhibitions like the spectacular Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! (through Dec 31)
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).

*More info on New York Aquarium*

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard (Bronx)
Daily 10 am - 6 pm
$28, $25/students & seniors, $12/ages 2-12, free/under 2

The Holiday Train Show is an annual must, the Orchid show dazzles every spring,
and the sprawling grounds of this 124-year-old Bronx institution are a gorgeous respite from urban living all year round.

Favorite Spots: Enjoy music, mazes, guided nature explorations and more in the delightful Everett Children's Adventure Garden. Escape crowds in the conservatory during the train and other shows with a trek through indoor jungles and deserts.

*More info on New York Botanical Garden*

New York Hall of Science

Flushing Meadow-Corona Park (Queens)
Monday–Friday 9:30 am–5 pm
Saturday–Sunday 10 am–6 pm
$15, $12/ages 2 – 17, students & seniors

Founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair, this center for interactive science features lots of fun hands-on learning opportunities, intriguing exhibits, awesome 4D films, an engineering-themed outdoor playground and interesting family programs that make it worth the trip to Queens.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Connected Worlds (through Dec 31)
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, plants, and animals, but they share a common supply of water. The habitats are fed by a central waterfall that is projected 38-ft high in the exhibitions and flows out across an interactive floor that spans 2,300 square feet. As visitors explore and play, their actions – gestures, movements, decisions – have both short and long-term effects on the digital...

Gingerbread Lane (through Jan 21)
Marvel at the largest gingerbread village in the world. Lots of fun details to discover including cable cars and subway stations, all made from only edible ingredients: gingerbread, royal icing and candy. Make your own gingerbread houses or trains weekend GingerBread Lane Workshops ($15, reserve in advance). A great excuse to visit the entertaining, interactive science exhibits at the museum.

*More info on New York Hall of Science*

New York Transit Museum

Corner of Boerum Place & Schermerhorn Street (Brooklyn)
Tuesday-Friday 10 am–4 pm
Saturday & Sunday 11 am–5 pm
$10 $5/ages 2-17 & 62+

Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, this toddler’s dream hosts a working platform level spanning a full city block and a rotating selection of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907. Board vintage cars, sit at the wheel of a city bus, step through a time tunnel of turnstiles, and explore changing exhibits that highlight the cultural, social and technological history – and future – of mass transit.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

On the Streets: New York’s Trolleys and Buses (through Dec 31)
Learn about ground mobility and surface transit from the early 1800s to the present by exploring a real life city bus, “fishbowl” bus cab, walk-don’t walk signs, parking meters, fire hydrants, traffic lights, and an array of other interactive "street furniture."

*More info on New York Transit Museum*

New-York Historical Society

70 Central Park West at 77th Street (Upper West Side)
Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday 10am-6pm
Friday 10am-8pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
$20, $6/ages 5-13, free/ages 4 & under
50% off with this link

This fascinating museum features an entire floor to interactive exhibits especially for kids (though accompanying grown-ups will probably learn something too). Weekly and special occasion family learning programs range from weekly storytimes to historical chocolate tastings, with frequent visits from living historians portraying Americans of the past.

Favorite Spots: Ride an orphan train or play a newsies video game in the awesome hands-onDiMenna Children's History Museum then browse books about NYC in the intimate library. Immersive video projection, moving scenic elements, theatrical lighting and surround sound explore the history of New York during the eighteen-minute New York Story shown throughout the day. Don't miss the digital design-your-own Tiffany lamp on the gorgeous fourth floor.

Family Programs: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 3:30pm, 3 - 5 year olds can hear NY-themed stories, do related craft projects and play with historic toys in Little New-Yorkers. There are always different interesting events related to holidays and current exhibits; check the family programs calendar to see what's coming up.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (through Jan 27)
See century-old treasures including rare books and magical objects that capture the folklore and magic of the Harry Potter stories plus original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay. Explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts, from medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone. Purchase timed tickets in advance - they're selling out quickly.

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (through Mar 3)
Explore the struggle for full citizenship and racial equality from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I and the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights through art, artifacts, media and photographs, including striking portraits that engage all ages.

Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17 Street (Chelsea/Meatpacking)
Monday 11 am – 5 pm
Wednesday 11 am – 9 pm
Thursday 11 am – 5 pm
Friday 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
$15, $10/students & seniors, free/ages 12 & under

This serene museum connects the arts and cultures of the Himalayas to contemporary life, exploring universal themes like happiness, consciousness, and the cosmos. Lots of vivid paintings and statues of animals and interesting demons (and maybe your kid will pick up some zen vibes).

Family Programs: Enjoy family-friendly activities (and free admission) every Sunday from 1-4 pm.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

A Lost Future (through Jan 28)
Traverse an immersive lake via a series of tree discs in a multi-artist exhibition challenge existing histories and speculative futures across cultures and in Bengal, a culturally rich region divided between present-day India and Bangladesh. Explore neon art, painting, film, sculpture and photography by three contemporary artists–Shezad Dawood, the Otolith Group, and Matti Braun.

*More info on Rubin Museum of Art*

Self-Taught Genius Gallery in Queens

47-29 32nd Place (Queens)

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

898 St. Nicholas Ave at 155th street (Harlem/Upper Manhattan)

$7; $4/ages 9-17, seniors & students; free/ages 8 & under

This welcominf museum, part of a community revitalization project merging housing, education and art, offers art exhibitions, storytelling series, workshops, performances, and other interactive programs specifically designed to nurture the curiosity, creativity and cognition of children ages 3 to 8. The artists, art and stories found are rooted in the rich cultural heritage of the surrounding communities.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Justin Favela: Recuérdame (through Sep 8)
A new mural by Las Vegas-based artist Justin Favela, commissioned by Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, celebratesMexican history and culture through the lens of landscape. Explore the Mexican landscape in phantasmagoric piñata-cut tissue paper. From the imagery found in Jose Maria Velasco’s expansive 19th-century canvases, to Walt Disney’s 1944 live-action animation film The Three Caballeros and 2017 Pixar animated film Coco, Favela covers over 1,000 square feet of the Museum in a full array of chromatic hues in a larger-than-life immersive environment

The Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street (Upper East Side)
11 am - 5:45 pm, closed Wednesdays
$15, free/ages 18 & under

Explore the global Jewish experience through works of fine art, Judaica, antiquities, folk art, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media intelligently organized in gorgeous galleries and play in the small but engaging Archaeology Zone.

Favorite Spots: In the fascinating and friendly Archaeology Zone, children learn what happens after archaeologists unearth artifacts. Search for clues about objects dating from ancient times to the present day, dress up and play in a Moroccan home, create works of art inspired by unique objects in the Museum’s collection and more.

Family Programs: Sunday family programs include drop-in art workshops, storytimes and occasional family concerts.

Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922 (through Jan 6)
Find bold shapes, colors, surreal figures and more kid-friendly art in this exploration of Marc Chagall's revolutionary art school, open to everyone, free of charge, and with no age restrictions in Vitebsk, far from Russia’s main cities. Includes paintings and sculptures by Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky, and Kazimir Malevich, as well as works by students and teachers of the Vitebsk school loaned by museums in Vitebsk and Minsk and major American and European collections plus video and photographs from the post-revolutionary Soviet Union.

Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps (through Feb 28)
See over 80 Hanukah lamps representing four continents and six centuries of artistic production from the largest collection of Hanukkah lamps in the world, amassed over the 114 years of the Museum's existence. Also join a faux archeological dig in the interactive Kids Zone and see striking modern art in Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922.

*More info on The Jewish Museum*

The Met Breuer

945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street (Upper East Side)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday & Friday 10 am – 9 pm
Pay-what-you-wish, suggested $25, free/ages 12 & under

The Met’s outpost in a striking Marcel Breuer building explores the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with expansive exhibitions that incorporate all centuries. Gorgeous open space with diverse art that appeals to all.

*More info on The Met Breuer*


Note: Don’t visit The Frick or Neue Galerie with kids, they’re not allowed inside.

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