MUSEUMS

Most of NYC's museums are incredibly welcoming to kids of all ages, with spacious, stroller-friendly galleries and friendly staff.

* Remind your kids that most art is to look at, not touch. See our guides to hands-on museums and interactive pop-ups for full body engagement. Note that kids under 10 aren't allowed at the Frick Museum or Neue Galerie.

* Consider a membership at your local favorite - usually around $100 and totally tax-deductible - for a climate-controlled spot to roam all year long plus perks like discounts at the fabulous gift shops and cafes.

* See upcoming hands-on museum programs for kids and current must-see-exhibits (plus public art and free museum hours free, low-pressure exploration).

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Upper West Side

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

212 West 83rd Street between Broadway & Amsterdam

Explore interactive, educational, well-designed exhibits for babies to pre-teens.

* Assemble, create, peek into, crawl under, and walk through one of a kind sculptures and installations in Inside Art.

* Cool off at splashy (outdoor) water exhibit Dynamic H2O with 800 sq. ft. of of hands-on interactives and colorful graphics.

* Cross a rainbow bridge, learn Spanish, dance in Dora’s bedroom and imaginative play in the spacious Adventures with Dora and Diego.

* Sit on your own presidential desk and learn what voting is and why it matters and the role of the president of the United States in Right to Vote.

* Step into a playful, comic book version of New York City with a lively team of pigeons, Zip, Zap, and Zoom in Superpowered Metropolis.

* Enjoy educator-led experiences and special guest artist including weekly themed art projects, art scavenger hunts, storytime, dance-time & music.

* New $100 3-month “mini membership” includes unlimited free admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children  plus nannies and caregivers, access to members-only hours and events and 15% off purchases at the CMOM Store.

🌳 Lots of chances for climbing and sliding inside the museum; for outdoor play head a few blocks west to the River Run Playground or a little north to the destination Hippo Playground.

🍽 Nearby, choose from salads, sandwiches, amazing healthy artisanal bread and not-so-healthy pastries at the UWS outpost of the 100+-year-old Orwashers Bakery  or indulge at famous French dessert cafe  Cafe Lalo.

 

American Museum of Natural History

West 81st Street & Central Park West

Lovers of dinosaurs, sea creatures, outer space and more can get their animal & nature fix at this giant (45 fascinating halls) treasure trove of wonders.

* Favorite spots: Learn about moon rocks and meteorites in the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space. A 94-foot-long blue whale hangs over an assortment of sea creatures in the Hall of Ocean Life.  Zebras, giraffes and other jungle animals surround a family of elephants in the Hall of African Mammals on the second floor. The famous dinosaur bones fill most of the fourth floor. We’ve hunted for everything from turtles to musical instruments to ‘Dora’s house’ (Mexican architecture) and aways found what we were looking for and so much more.

* Be dazzled at the sparkly new, expanded Halls of Gems and Minerals. Learn about the vast diversity of mineral species through more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries, including giant amethyst geodes and the legendary 563-carat Star of India sapphire.

* Timed tickets can be purchased in advance for special exhibits ($3.50-$5); the shows sell out well in advance.  Go inside the jaw of an megalodon, see fossils, touch models of teeth, hunt like a hammerhead and more in (touch-free) interactive Sharks . Walk through a 1,200 square foot vivarium with over 500 butterflies in the Butterfly Conservatory. Experience the most advanced planetarium projection system in the world Lupita Nyong’o-narrated, Worlds Beyond Earth. See the stunning Wings over Water in giant IMAX.

* Download the Museum’s free Explorer app. for maps, self-guided themed tours, behind-the-scenes stories about exhibits, quizzes, and more.

* Coat check, drinking fountains, Discovery Room and touchscreen/interactive elements all currently closed.

* This place is huge, so be prepared for lots of walking. Strollers are welcome everywhere (except some special exhibits where they can be left at the entrance). Elevators are very slow so take the stairs if you can.

*   NY, NJ, and CT residents admission is pay-what-you-wish (ID required on arrival). But really you should become a member ($150+/year); it takes dozens of visits to see everything plus you get lots of perks. Online advance timed ticket purchase required, even for members.

* Entrances at Central Park West (stairs at 79th Street) and 81st Street (between Columbus & Central Park West – stroller friendly) are open (plus the lower level of CPW & 79th Street for members). In warm weather, frolic in large fountains on the second floor terrace outside the planetarium  – don’t forget a bathing suit & towel.

🍽 The Food Court is open 10:30 am–5:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday, plus snacks available in vending machines and gift shops. Pick up burgers and shakes from Shake Shack across Columbus and eat on the benches surrounding the museum.

🌳 Across Central Park West, climb on shaded wooden structures at the lovely Diana Ross Playground.

* Closed most Mondays & Tuesdays. Can get very crowded on weekends and holidays, but there is always a quiet nook to explore.

New-York Historical Society

70 Central Park West at 77th Street

Learn about the layered, diverse history of NYC at this fascinating museum.

* In the interactive Children’s History Museum, explore 350 years of New York and American history through character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits and digital games, and a charming library. Try cross-stitch, see historic baseball gear, ride an Orphan Train, play a newsies video game and much more.

* Look for kid-friendly objects throughout the galleries – a Noah’s Ark toy and historical fire fighting equipment, dragonflies in gorgeous Tiffany Lamps, and more discoveries. In-gallery interactives include the incredible design-your-own Tiffany lamp in the gorgeous fourth floor galleries.

* Explore a detailed re-creation of the White House Oval Office and hear audio recordings of presidential musing.  In the Meet the Presidents gallery, trace the evolution of the presidency through artwork and objects like the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and a student scrapbook from 1962 chronicling JFK’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

* Pose with bronze Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass statues outside the West 77th Street and Central Park West entrances.

* Immersive multi-media films New York Story and We Rise screen alternating on the hour from 12 to 3 pm.

* Restrooms available on on each floor, with baby-changing facilities on the lower level, first floor, and fourth floor. All galleries are stroller friendly. Collapsed strollers may be left at coat check.

🍽 Sandwiches, pastries and more available at the counter-service Parliament Espresso and Coffee Bar or dine at the delicious Caffe Storico. Shake Shack is down the block, which has indoor seating or take-out for picnics on benches around the American Museum of Natural History.

🌳 Across the street from Central Park, and a short walk to the lovely Diana Ross playground and destination Hecksher Playground.

🛍 Shop for history & NYC themed educational toys, books & more at the wonderful gift shop.

Wednesday–Thursday 11 am – 5 pm
Friday 11 am–8 pm
Saturday–Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Pay-as-you-wish admission Fridays 6-8 pm.

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

70 Central Park West at 77th Street

Admission is up to you Friday evenings at this Learn about this fascinating museum.

* In the interactive Children’s History Museum, explore 350 years of New York and American history through character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits and digital games, and a charming library. Try cross-stitch, see historic baseball gear, ride an Orphan Train, play a newsies video game and much more.

* Look for kid-friendly objects throughout the galleries – a Noah’s Ark toy and historical fire fighting equipment, dragonflies in gorgeous Tiffany Lamps, and more discoveries. In-gallery interactives include the incredible design-your-own Tiffany lamp in the gorgeous fourth floor galleries.

See our guide to the New-York Historical Society.

Upper East Side

The Met

1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

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.

* Purchase online tix in advance to save time. Coat check is temporarily closed. On crowded days (or any day), enter through the accessible Uris Center for Education entrance on 81st Street for shorter lines.

* There is so much to see! From the education center, go through the lovely Greek and Roman Galleries to the must-see Van Goghs, Monets and Degas ballerinas in 19th- And Early 20th-Century European Paintings And Sculptures on the second floor.

* Try to figure out what’s happening in cinematic “freeze frames” produced in collaboration with notable American film directors in In America: An Anthology of Fashion. Personality-filled mannequins in fashions from dating from the eighteenth century to the present are featured in evocative vignettes in furnished period rooms.

* Take in stunning views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline plus get fresh air and a snack from the spacious Roof Garden.

* The new Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room is jam-packed with fascinating artworks in all sorts of media – from Bamileke beadwork and 19th-century American ceramics to contemporary art and design that celebrates rich and diverse traditions— imagining what might have been if a Seneca Village survived – amid more traditional period rooms including extravagant royal bedrooms.

* Say ni hao the koi fish in the serene Astor Chinese Garden Court on your way to walking like an Egyptian at the Temple of Dendur, with stunning Central Park views plus crocodile, feline and sphinx 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.

* And so much more…wander around and be surprised and delighted as your kid finds his or her own favorites. Ask friendly information desk workers (or search online) for whatever kids are into- we’ve discovered works with turtles, trains, chess, princesses and other current obsessions.

* Look at and perhaps print at home the engaging family guides & maps with titles like Explore Arms and Armor: Fierce or Fancy?, Animals All Around and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.  Some of these guides are available for free at the Information Desks, and from time to time we rotate the selection.

* Stream select audio content in the galleries on your phone for free. Audio guide rentals not available.

* Join excellent free family programs including art-making in the galleries.

🌳 Play before or after at the Egyptian-inspired Ancient Playground just north of the museum in Central Park.

🍽  Enjoy hot coffee, other beverages, and snacks in the gorgeous American Wing, or head downstairs to the reimagined Eatery with seasonal dishes including kid-friendly options (Thursday-Monday 11 am-4 pm).

🍽  More meal options at Bluestone Lane in (and outside) a historic church a few blocks north. Pick up classic treats including the famous black-and-white cookies at nearby William Greenberg.

Sunday-Tuesday & Thursday 10 am–5 pm
Friday & Saturday 10 am–9 pm
Closed Wednesday

Cooper Hewitt

2 East 91st Street

See gorgeous historic and contemporary design in a stunning 19th-century mansion turned into a high-tech, interactive dream for all ages.

* Go inside your design in the kid-favorite Wallpaper Immersion Room. Create digital wallpaper  – or chose from an amazing assortment in the museum’s collection – and project them onto the walls at full scale. My kids could do this all day.

* Explore iconic Floridian prints in Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Artist Behind an Iconic Fashion Brand, 1962-1985. Look for lots of colors, flowers, and creatures  in 35 original watercolor and gouache design drawings by Zuzek, alongside finished screen-printed textiles and some of the fashions that made them famous.

* No tickets needed to lounge on high-design, kid-friendly furniture (including super-fun spinning chairs) in the tranquil garden & terrace, get pizza, panini, salads and biscotti in the museum’s cafe Tarallucci e Vino or browse the cool gift shop.

🍽 Yura on Madison a few blocks north has great savory and sweet take-out plus outdoor tables.

🌳 Across the street from the fascinating Jewish Museum and Central Park.

Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 105th Street

Explore the greatest city in the world 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.

* Favorite spots include an extravagant Gilded Age dollhouse, a dangling light installation above the stunning spiral staircase and the fascinating multimedia New York at Its Core exhibition.

* Explore diverse 1980s musical artists—from Run DMC to the Talking Heads, from Madonna to John Zorn—and the broader music and cultural scene in New York, New Music: 1980-1986. Lots of awesome videos to watch and great music to discover (bring your own headphones or pick up disposable ones at the desk).

* Learn about the drama of social activism in New York City from the 17th century right up to the present in Activist New York. Through artifacts, photographs, audio and visual presentations, as well as interactive components, learn how New Yorkers have banded together on issues as diverse as civil rights, wages, sexual orientation, Prohibition and religious freedom.

* Watch the history of New York City unfold in the 28-minute film Timescapes.

* Timed tickets required. Closed Monday-Thursday.

* Save 27-40% on admission at this link.

🍽  Pick up coffee, sandwiches, pastries, quiches, sandwiches and other goodies served fresh from Amy’s Bread at Chalsty’s Cafe on the second floor, with tables & chairs overlooking the sparkly stairwell.

🌳 Across Fifth Avenue from the magical Conservatory Gardens in Central Park.

The Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street

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

* The ongoing Scenes From the Collection features nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, a unique mix of artworks and ceremonial objects, including hundreds of stunning menorahs, presented in thematic “scenes” weaving together centuries.  Print out a Kids Gallery Guide at home and bring a pencil for interactive exploration and creative inspiration.

* Watch delicious TV clips from 1979 to 2018 in exhibition “Let’s Eat: Jews and Food on Television.”

* Admission is free on Saturdays. The shop and parts of some exhibits are closed for the Sabbath.

🍽 Yura on Madison a few blocks North has great savory and sweet take-out plus outdoor tables.

🛍 Shop for delightful toys and books as well as housewares and high-design Judaica in the gift shop.

🌳 See our guide to Central Park, across the street.

 

Guggenheim

1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street

See exciting, well-designed exhibits in the striking Frank Lloyd Wright–designed landmark modern museum.

* Experience exciting colors, shapes. lines and feelings in Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle. Follow his work in reverse chronological order, starting with his late-life paintings in France and proceeding upward along the Guggenheim’s spiral ramp through experiments in painting, poetry, and stage composition in Germany and Russia.

* See a series of solo exhibitions on the lower ramps of the Guggenheim rotunda that features the work of international contemporary artists Etel Adnan, Jennie C. Jones, and Cecilia Vicuña.

* In galleries adjacent to the rotunda find Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and modern masterpieces including works by Degas, Gauguin, Picasso and more plus smaller exhibits.

* Download an activity sheet to discover the different shapes and nature-inspired architectural details – crescent lights, triangle  stairwells, keyhole doors and a gorgeous circular skylight – and design your own museum. Kids audio guides available online foe select works. Find one shelf of children’s art books in the library through a keyhole entrance on the spiral.

* Strollers are welcome, though they can get tricky on the ramped spiral – use the break when needed.

* Advanced timed tickets required for entry. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

* Excellent family programs include Little Guggs for ages 2-4 & monthly Sunday family tours.

🍽  * Enjoy pastries and chocolates, fresh sandwiches and salads, lattés, a glass of wine, while taking in views of Central Park at Café Rebay on the third floor (open Thursday–Monday, 11 am–3:30 pm). Pick up a picnic at the Bluestone Lane cafe in a historic church one block north to eat across the street in Central Park.

🌳 The destination Ancient Playground is a few blocks south.

Midtown

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

101 Park Ave at West 41st Street

Dog-lovers can explore canine-related artwork with cutting-edge technology and interpretation, plus items from the library, archives and collection of the American Kennel Club headquarters. Interactive experiences include Discover Your Look-Alike – take an image of yourself and, through visual recognition software, see which dog breed looks most like you.

Current exhibit Top Dogs takes a closer look at the top ten breeds, examines their histories, and speculates what exactly about them captures the hearts and minds of so many Americans.

Pets welcome on Friday 6-8 pm ($5).

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)

2 Columbus Circle

Explore contemporary art and design through a craft lens in a gorgeous building with stunning Central Park views. Find artworks in clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood thoughtfully displayed.

* Celebrate the creative visions of botanical artists working at the forefront of contemporary floral design in Flower Craft. Evocative arrangements and installations change weekly; Get a Flower Craft Power Pass for $45 (a $108 value) to all six weeks of the exhibition.

* Explore the use of clothing as a medium of visual art, Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art with live performances and activations involving five of the exhibit’s artists presented on-site.

* Get 50% off admission ($9) on Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 pm.

🛍 Stop by the well curated, colorful gift shop for homeware, toys, books for all ages, jewelry and fresh bouquets by celebrated New York City florists.

🍽 Dine at Robert, the chic (but kid-friendly) top-floor restaurant with amazing Central Park views.

🍽  Get delicious dessert at Italian Venchi Chocolate & Gelato (1796 Broadway) across the street. Also lots of food options at Shops at Columbus Circle and creative fun at Art Camp.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, West 46th Street & Twelfth Avenue

History/military buffs and plane lovers can examine original artifacts, view historic video footage and explore interactive exhibits aboard an actual 1943 aircraft carrier. Lots of indoor and outdoor space to roam with tons to explore.

* Climb in an actual Bell 47 helicopter, navigate through an interactive submarine and steer the wings of an airplane in fully interactive, kid-friendly Exploreum.

* See the space shuttle Enterprise plus original artifacts, photographs, audio, and films that immerse visitors in the science and history of the space age in the The Space Shuttle Pavilion.

* Explore life aboard the submarine Growler and get a close-up inspection of the once “top secret” missile command center.

* Walk among military and commercial planes and helicopters from the last 100 years aboard the Intrepid’s upper deck (with great NYC & NJ views).

* Experience flight with 4D technology in three exciting Simulators: Stories of Intrepid, G-Force Encounter and Transporter: Blue Angels ($10 each/3-Ride Combo Pass $27, min height 40″).

* Don’t miss the 22-foot, 550-pound model of Intrepid out of 250,000 LEGO® bricks (no, the set is not for sale).

🍽 Dine on burgers, fresh bread, salads, custom pizzas and more at Aviator Grill, overlooking the pier. Order online in advance. Gotham West Market, a short walk away, has a great selection of food vendors including pizza, sushi, tacos and ice cream.

🛍 Shop for unique gifts and mementos in the Museum’s two retail stores including model airplanes and space shuttles, kids-size flight suits, galaxy-print socks and other items inspired by history, science and technology.

Receive 20% off admission with code SPRING22.

MoMA

4 West 53rd Street

Always exciting and decidedly kid-friendly, the Museum of Modern Art has spacious galleries and engaging exhibits.

* Feel the joy of the rainbow Sol Lewitt murals, relax in the lovely sculpture garden, find a helicopter in a stairwell and see modern masterpieces including paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh along with works by more contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock,  Jean-Michel Basquiat and Faith Ringgold.

* The interactive Family Art Lab: Line, Shape, Color has re-opened! Work with wire, design emoji, engage in light-box play, and more in this all-ages, hands-on space.

* Lounge on Eames chairs in the Sculpture Garden and make wishes from the fountain bridges.

* Lots of resources for families including downloadable kids audio and activity guides. Look for art labels designed for kids throughout Floors 2, 4, and 5. The beloved art lab is sadly currently closed, but join virtual live and recorded programs and find lots of art-inspired activities online.

* Stroller-friendly everywhere; changing tables in most bathrooms.

* Timed tickets are released one week in advance every Friday at 10 am.

* Open only for members & guests on Mondays mornings. Annual memberships start at just $65 and include tons of perks.

🛍 The gift shop is a treasure trove of well-designed toys books and art supplies – plus cool houseware and gadgets for grown-ups.

🍽 Dine on handmade pastas, cured salumi, artisanal cheeses, panini, salads, soups, and desserts at communal tables at casual Café 2. The menu is more limited but includes mac n’ cheese in the sixth-floor Terrace Café, with  indoor and (weather-permitting) outdoor dining. To-go items available in the Sculpture Garden in the summer.

🌳 Lots of room to roam, plus fun shops, roller skating and food options at nearby Rockefeller Center. Or head seven blocks north to Central Park and the destination Heckscher Playground.

The Visionary Universe of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds & PaleyGX

25 West 52 Street

An immersive exhibition celebrates the latest incarnation of the groundbreaking Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and the many acclaimed series in the Star Trek universe, which has captivated audiences across decades. See Starfleet and Vulcan uniforms, set pieces including the USS Enterprise, artwork, video clips, and more. Have a seat in one of the Captain’s chairs and take your crew to warp speed.

See episodes from various Star Trek TV series on the big screen. Saturdays & Sundays feature episodes from the Star Trek: Prodigy animated series; and the original Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) plus Star Trek crafts for the kids and surprise guests.

In the PaleyGX Gaming Studio, play the hottest games on the latest gaming systems and PCs, and experience a virtual reality lab. Special events include playing against NBA 2K League members from Knicks Gaming and NetsGC, Minecraft Build Challenges and game-design workshops.

Wednesday-Sunday 12-6 pm

See our guide to nearby Rockefeller Center.

The Morgan Library & Museum

225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street

Explore the stunning former private library of Gilded Age financier Pierpont Morgan, joined with other historic buildings and modern steel-and-glass pavilions.

* See illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books (including some children’s favorites), and old master drawings and prints.

* Three magnificent rooms straight out of of the Beast’s castle with wall-to-ceiling books, objets d’art and a high-security vault epitomize America’s Age of Elegance.

* Download the Family Guide and meet Belle da Costa Greene, a pioneering Black female librarian who helped build the collection in the early 1900s, for info and activities. Look for a secret vault and hidden passages.

* Admire the oversize Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 552D in the light filled Gilbert Court.

* Engaging rotating exhibits explore art and popular culture. Currently, see Hans Holbein the Younger’s captivating portraits of courtiers, merchants, scholars, and statesmen in Holbein: Capturing Character and musical instruments, handwritten lyrics, manuscripts, photographs, books, art, and audiovisual media in Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song.

* There is a lot kids will want to be touch but won’t be able to, so make sure yours is prepared to keep his or her hands in pockets and off the old stuff.

* Closed Monday & Tuesday.

* Admission is free 5 to 7 pm every Friday, advance reservations required. Free tickets available one week in advance.

* Beverages and snacks available in the Morgan Café  (open 11 am to 4 pm, Friday 11am to 6:30 pm.

* Dining Room, Café and coat check are currently closed.

CHELSEA/FLATIRON

Rubin Museum

150 West 17 Street

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.

* Don’t miss the interactive, multi-sensory Mandala Lab.

* Museum admission is free every Friday night from 6 to 10 pm and and during the wonderful weekly Family Sundays.

🌳  Head a few blocks west to play on the High Line and Little Island.

🍽  Café Serai is currently closed, but there are lots of great food options in the neighborhood including giant cookies at Citycakes Bakery.

Thursday 11 am–5 pm
Friday 11 am –10 pm
Saturday-Sunday 11 am–5 pm

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 East 26th Street

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.

See nine rare works by renowned artist M.C. Escher in new art exhibition, Alternative Perspectives along with three-dimensional sculptures by Anton Bakker grouped into several mathematical themes, inspired in part by the work of Escher.

See our guide to Flatiron for nearby fun & food.

Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort Street

See bold modern and contemporary American art in a very cool building.

* Find works by American icons Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, Edward Hopper and the charming Calder’s Circus in The Whitney’s Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965.

* Enjoy stunning Hudson River & city views from the multi-floor terrace, which also has some cool sculptures as part of the expansive. eclectic Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept.

* The galleries are spacious and stroller-friendly; the elevators are slow but have fun art inside.

* All visitors, including members, must book timed tickets in advance. Annual memberships start at $81 and include perks like member-only hours Mon & Thurs 6 pm–7 pm and Sat & Sun 10:30 am–1 pm.

🍽 Pick up sandwiches, salads, snacks, pastries, coffee, wine and excellent chocolate chip cookies at grab-and-go cafe in the ground floor with some outdoor seating. Eat from a sit-down menu of refreshing drinks and summer snacks new indoor/outdoor Studio Bar on the eighth floor.

🍽 More eating options and outdoor tables at nearby Chelsea Market or dine (and play ping pong) at The Standard Biergarten down the block.

🌳  The southern entrance to the High Line is next door or head west to Hudson River Park and Little Island.

🛍 Find well-designed books and toys at the small gift shop.

Monday–Thursday 10:30 am–6 pm
Friday 10:30 am–10 pm (pay-what-you-wish 7-10 pm)
Saturday & Sunday 11 am–6 pm

Poster House

119 W. 23rd Street

Explore the impact, culture, and design of posters, both as historical documents and methods of contemporary visual communication through temporary exhibitions, a growing permanent collection, and educational event. The first poster museum in the United States provides a space for inquiry for all those interested in design, advertising, and public interventions.

Current exhibitions include The Utopian Avant-Garde: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920s and Ethel Reed: I Am My Own Property.

Pick up a scavenger hunt and find interesting items throughout the museum to get a cool prize in the Shop. Each exhibition is accompanied by an Activity Card, developed with visitors ages 4–10 in mind, available at the Info Desk or inside each exhibition free of charge. Help color in a detailed wall poster of an NYC neighborhood.

Strollers welcome; bathrooms on every floor. Small but packed with lots of color and great design.

🍽 The museum’s café offers coffee, tea, other beverages, baked goods, and snacks with indoor seating Friday-Sunday, 11am-5pm. Lots of yummy options at nearby Eataly.

🌳 Down the block from Madison Square Park and lots of cool stores – see our guide to Flatiron.

UPTOWN

The Met Cloisters

99 Margaret Corbin Drive

Explore a castle-like museum overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tyron Park.

* This branch of the Met dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe has secret passages, peaceful gardens, stunning terraces with river views, golden treasure and lots of depictions of animals including intricate unicorn tapestries (warning, the unicorn…

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum

898 St. Nicholas Ave at 155th street

Explore a range of art that is accessible and thought-provoking, from historically significant to important contemporary works at this community-driven children’s museum inspired by the rich cultural history of Sugar Hill and the artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

Look for special programs that allow kids engage with working artists and to explore and experiment in…

Downtown

The Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

Step inside history and explore an icon of New York City resilience. Learn the story of the grand 19th-century Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Jewish immigrants who built it. Look for elements from different eras in the building’s storied history, such as Kiki Smith’s monumental stained glass window replacing an earlier intervention from the mid-19th century.

In self-guided tours, experience life through the eyes of a newly arrived immigrant to New York’s Lower East Side. Sunday – Friday at 11 am and 2 pm and Sunday and Monday at 1 pm, join free public guided tours are available. Knowledgeable docents guide you through the sweeping history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue – from its time as a cultural hotspot in the bustling Jewish Lower East Side, to its decades of decay, to its miraculous rebirth as a 21st-century museum.

See witty cartoons about hot dogs and the neighborhood in Steve Marcus: Top Dog of Kosher Pop Art.

Sunday-Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Pay What You Wish Mondays & Fridays

New Museum

235 Bowery

Always something interesting to see – or interact with – at Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum in a geometric building in a cool neighborhood.

* See richly textured paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts by an artist, author, educator, organizer and Black American icon in Faith Ringgold: American People.

* Check out a great view from the top floor Sky Room.

* Note not everything is kid-friendly (we once saw some x-rated drawings of Superman), so chat with the friendly staff before you enter the galleries.

🍽 Tons of great food options in the happening  neighborhood – dine on tasty avocado toast, couscous and the all-day waffles at nearby French-Moroccan Cafe Gitane or treat yourself at Stick With Me Sweets or Supermoon Bakehouse.

🌳 Lots of cool street art and galleries to explore nearby, plus visit the colorful Desalvio Playground.

Thursday 11 am–9 pm (pay-what-you-wish 7-9 pm)
Friday–Sunday 11 am–6 pm

Tenement Museum

103 Orchard Street

Join educator-led apartment tours inside two historic tenement buildings and walking tours within the Lower East Side neighborhood to learn about immigrant experience in the United States.

Explore historically restored apartments and discover how immigrants and migrants lived on the Lower East Side in the 19th and 20th centuries. Glean insights from educators who offer historical perspectives that relate to current conversations about immigration. Choose from themes like ‘Parlors and Saloons: 1870s’ and ‘Day in the Life: 1911’ featuring families from Russia, Italy, Puerto Rico, China and elsewhere.

Outdoor walking tours focus on different themes like ‘Building on the Lower East Side’ and’Reclaiming Black Spaces.’

Live virtual experiences and online educational resources also available.

National Museum of the American Indian–New York

One Bowling Green

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 plus works by contemporary Indigenous artists.

Located in the grand Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, with its own commerce-based art.

As a safety precaution, some areas of the museum in New York are temporarily closed, including the Mili Kàpi Cafe  and the imagiNATIONS Activity Center and classroom.

🍽 Dine on excellent thin-crust square pizza at nearby Adrienne’s Pizza Bar.

🌳 Visit new destination playground Battery Playscape and the enchanting Seaglass Carousel.

Fire Museum

278 Spring Street

Learn all about fire fighting at the official FDNY museum, located in a renovated 1904 firehouse.

* Two floors trace the development of firefighting in New York from the early bucket brigades to the present day. See objects that document the history of the volunteer and paid departments, from painted leather buckets to early motorized apparatus.

* See a horse-drawn ladder wagon, early rescue gear and breathing equipment, alarm boxes from various eras, and motorized vehicles, such as a 1921 American La France engine, all of which give a sense of what firefighting was like at different times in the city’s paid department era.

* Tools and clothing used by modern firefighters are also on display (plus some bunker gear and helmets in adult and kid sizes to try on). The transition from turnout coats to all-encompassing bunker gear is shown on a series of mannequins.

* “Firefighting on Parade” features striking examples of elaborate hand-drawn and hand-pumped engines, including a piano box style engine, a goose neck pumper, and a double-decker Philadelphia style engine.

* Learn life-saving lessons about fire prevention, home fire safety devices, fire risks in the home, and how to escape a fire in the interactive Fire Safety Learning Center. Note that touching artifacts is not allowed in the rest of the museum.

* A separate memorial exhibit honors the 343 members of FDNY-EMS who made the supreme sacrifice on September 11, 2001.

* Retired firefighter docents are available during the morning and early afternoon to answer questions and provide colorful and personal insight into the FNYD.

* Strollers allowed, with elevator access to second floor and third floor bathrooms.

🛍 The museum gift shop sells a large variety of FDNY memorabilia and museum exclusive items.

The Skyscraper Museum

39 Battery Place

Celebrate NYC’s rich vertical architectural heritage in a small but very cool stainless-steel space. See mini-Manhattan models, dramatic photographs, scale models of the tallest buildings throughout world and history and rotating exhibits. Explore tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.

Reserved free timed tickets in advance; tickets at the door may be available.

🍽 Sit down for Sicilian style pizzas, hand made pastas and a seasonal specials at nearby Inatteso pizza bar.

🌳 Walk along the harborfront to new destination playground Battery Playscape and the enchanting Seaglass Carousel.

Thursday–Sunday 12 pm–6 pm

BROOKLYN

J.J. Byrne Playground & Old Stone House

Enjoy lots of modern climbing equipment juxtaposed with colonial themes inspired by the adjacent Old Stone House, site of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn. Explore a submarine periscope and interactive panels depicting the historic battle among natural stone and rustic pavement, then attack your enemies with water cannons.

A gated toddler area features bucket swings, farm animal cutouts, and a tot size climbing structure. The park also hosts a multipurpose synthetic turf field, a skate park, two new basketball courts, eight handball courts, and a dog run.

See a beautiful, interactive exhibit about the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War and what it was like to live in Brooklyn from 1776 – 1783 as well as contemporary exhibits featuring work by emerging artists at the historic Old Stone House (open by appointment Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from Noon-3 pm). Discover gardens vibrant with native and useful plants and shop at Farmers’ Market (Sunday 10 am – 4 pm year round). Any day, get quality fresh frozen yogurt combined with artisanal toppings as well as hot chocolate, coffee and baked goods from nearby Culture NY.

New York Transit Museum

Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, this train-lover’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.

* Look for a subway station entrance on the Northwest corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street. The stairway will lead you down to the Museum.

* There is no cell phone service in the Museum. If you plan to visit with others, coordinate in advance and enter together.

* This historic site does not have an elevator; travel light or be prepared to carry strollers down multiple flights of stairs. If someone in the groups needs to use the accessible entrance, email [email protected] in advance.

* While a few of the exhibits on the mezzanine have air conditioning and heat, most of the Museum (including the entire platform level with the historic trains), does not have climate control.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Inspired by Brooklyn’s energy and diversity, this beloved children’s museum (the first in the world when in opened in 1899) creates experiences that ignite curiosity, celebrate identity and cultivate joyful learning.

Learn about world cultures, visual arts, nature, animals and more in well-designed, interactive exhibits including World Brooklyn, Neighborhood Nature, Totally Tots, Collections Central and The (outdoor) Nest.

In the ColorLab, try print-making, collage and sculpture projects inspired by artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, Richard Hunt, Faith Ringgold and Kehinde Wiley, among others

Pay-What-You-Wish Play Sessions available Thursdays 2pm-5pm.

QUEENS

MoMA PS1

This Queens outpost of MoMA, built in a former school building, is devoted to today’s most experimental, thought-provoking contemporary art.

* See Deana Lawson’s photographs of Black life in living rooms, kitchens, and backyards from Brooklyn to New Orleans, Haiti to Ethiopia, and Brazil to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The artist meticulously poses her subjects in highly staged photographs that weave together narratives of family, love, and desire, creating what she describes as “a mirror of everyday life.”

* Find other work throughout the former public school including a soundscape in the courtyard, activist posters in the ‘Homeroom’ and silhouettes in the stairwell.

* Admission fees are suggested; free for all NYC residents and MoMA members.

🚊 Close to the 7 train and other subways.
🚙 Lots of free street parking available.

🍽 Counter-service available at Mediterranean-inspired Mina’s in the front courtyard of the museum with Spanakopita, Greek cheese plates, soups and a delicious vegan chocolate chip cookie (Friday & Sunday 12-6 pm, Saturday 12-8 pm) or visit neon-lit, retro Court Square Diner for American classics. Pick up sandwiches, soups and beverages including lattes, smoothies and blue lemonade from nearby Beanstalk Cafe with some indoor seating.

🛍 The Artbook bookstore is treasure trove of art books and magazines with a whole wall of gorgeous board and picture books, cute cards and some puzzles and toys.

🌳 Take a walk to the waterfront to play and relax at Gantry Plaza State Park  & Hunter’s Point Playground.

Thursday–Monday 12 – 6 pm
Saturday 12 – 8 pm

Queens Museum

An expansive open light-filled space (formerly home to two world fairs) on the edge of Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosts ambitious exhibitions, educational initiatives, and community-minded programming,

* Look for favorite NYC spots in miniature at the famous Panorama of the City of New York, created by urban mastermind and World’s Fair President Robert Moses and more than 100 architectural model makers for the 1964 Fair.

* Admire a collection of gorgeous Tiffany Glass, be inspired by works by local activists, add to a community art project and see other permanent and temporary exhibitions related to Queens. Also catch a great view of the iconic Unisphere from second floor gallery.

🛍 The small gift shop has a fantastic selection of kids books and a few tots.

🍽 The cafe is currently closed, but fresh healthy food available from a ‘Farmer’s Fridge’ vending machine (plus non-healthy snacks & drinks from traditional vending machines).

🌳 Lots to explore in surrounding Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Wednesday-Friday 12 pm – 5 pm
Saturday-Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

New York Hall of Science

Founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair, this center for interactive science has reopened after fixing up extensive damage from Hurricane Ida. Find lots of fun hands-on learning opportunities in a gorgeous, spacious building

* Explore outer space, animals, light, physics and more in over 450 interactive displays.

* In new exhibit The Happiness Experiment, learn about the culture and science behind how and why we experience happiness. Dance and create in the The Happiness Habits Lab.

* Gestures, movements, and decisions impact how well fantastical animated ecosystems are kept in balance in immersive digital wonderland Connected Worlds.

* Check the schedule for Daily Demos where NYSCI Explainers showcase science and engineering based activities and demonstrations engaging with the properties of chemistry, physics, design thinking, and more in interactive presentations.

* Use real tools to make real things and re-use everyday materials in exciting ways in the Maker Space, featuring woodworking and plaster casting to electronics and 3D printing (Friday–Sunday 11 am – 4 pm).

* Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the all-white spirit bear in screenings of 3D film Great Bear Rainforest ($5, daily every 30 Minutes from 10:30am to 4 pm).

*  In warmer months, explore key science concepts such as propulsion, gravity, escape velocity, launch window, gravitational assist, and more in Rocket Park Mini Golf.

🍽 Choose from a wide range of food and beverage options including coffee and hot and cold menu options, plus a wide range of sweet, savory and healthy snacks at Butter Beans Cafe. Order from your phone to pick up anytime. Yummy nearby options include Sripraphai Thai restaurant and the New World Mall food court.

🛍 The sizable gift shop also offers a wide selection of fun, STEM-oriented items.

🌳 See our guide to surrounding Flushing Corona Meadow Park.

Friday 2pm – 5pm
Saturday-Sunday 10am – 5pm

Free Friday Afternoons tickets are available for online reservation each Friday morning.

Museum of the Moving Image

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.

* The hands-on core exhibition Behind the Screen features over 1,400 artifacts including early cameras, a real Chewbacca mask from the Star Wars films, footage of silent adventure classic The Great Train Robbery as well as chances to make stop-motion animations, add sound effects and music to famous movie scenes, and star in a personalized flipbook.

* Visit Miss Piggy, Elmo and other favorites in Jim Henson’s World. See 47 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and iconic costumes plus film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage.

* See continuous screenings of old Muppet Shows and more inside Red Groom’s whimsical Tut’s Fever Movie Palace.

* On Saturday & Sunday mornings, join MoMI educators for Green Screen, Stop Motion Animation, and Pixel Art activities in a new Media Game Lab.

* Screenings in a gorgeous, raked-seats theater must be purchased separately. Look out for family friendly classics from the Muppets to Studio Ghibli .

* Strollers and backpacks are not permitted in the galleries; free coat check is available. Baby-changing stations located in the Education Center restrooms on the first floor.

🍽 Gift shop and café are currently closed. Visit local restaurants nearby offering a diverse range of dining options – we love Venezuelan Arepas Cafe.

🚊 Closest subway stations are the R/M at Steinway Street and N/W at 36 Ave. Street parking is easy to find.

Friday 2–8 pm
Saturday–Sunday 12–6 pm

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BRONX

Dinosaur Safari

2300 Southern Blvd Bronx

Travel back in time and get up close with 52 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and pterosaurs in the Bronx Zoo’s a ¼ mile-long walk-through Dinosaur Safari.

Look for the new-this-year 110-foot Argentinosaurus, the 40 foot long Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest known pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.

At the ADA-accessible dig site, dig up ancient fossils, compare them to moving dinosaurs, and hear from the dino guides about the important lessons fossils can tell us.

Spot the connections between live animals at the zoo and ancient dinosaurs. See our guide to the Bronx Zoo.

Beyond NYC

Stepping Stones

Norwalk

This recently re-opened award-winning children’s museum features exciting interactive exhibits and STEAM-infused programming in beautifully-renovated spaces.

* Play with giant games, make noise with household objects, test your balance and get fresh air in a giant open-air tent in Celebration Courtyard.

* Be mesmerized by ColorCoaster is a 27-foot kinetic sculpture and a non-stop giant…

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Stamford

Try a variety of seasonal indoor and outdoor activities at this large museum & nature center.

* Walk over 80 acres of walking nature trails – including a universally accessible Wheels in the Woods Trail. Follow  a brook with pretty waterfalls, look for abundant wildlife (including an otter pond), and learn with interpretive educational signs.…

Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah

A distinctly modernist building in the scenic hamlet of Katonah hosts three to four exhibitions annually, covering a broad range of art and humanities topics. Explore the peaceful sculpture garden and surrounding Norway spruce trees.

Current exhibitions include ARRIVALS, featuring some 50 works spanning the 16th century to the present, exploring arrivals to America –…

Storm King Art Center

New Windsor

Experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky at a gorgeous 500-acre outdoor museum in New York’s Hudson Valley.

* Currently an outdoor-only experience with limited amenities. Bathrooms available via a separate entrance behind the Museum Building and Porta Johns are located throughout. A warming station is located under the picnic pavilion near South…

Neuberger Museum

Purchase

See American art of the 20th century, traditional African art and contemporary art in the tree-filled campus of Purchase College.

In Then and Now: Modern and Contemporary Selections from the Permanent Collection, the museum celebrates the return of some of its most precious treasures after being on national tour across the country for…

Hudson River Museum

Yonkers

Learn about the connections between arts, sciences, and history on a family-friendly museum situated on the banks of the Hudson River.

* Celebrate the culture, style, and persona of visionary Mexican painter in The World of Frida.

* Join weekend family art projects as well as other special events for all ages.

* Choose…

Westchester Children’s Museum

Rye

Visit a vibrant, interactive learning and play space for kids toddler to teen. Creative, energizing, unique STEAM programs and exhibits, wide open, sunny space, and a welcoming environment enable kids to make connections with ideas and each other; take risks and problem solve, and have fun.

Exhibits include Toddler Beach, Wind Tunnel Design Challenge, Build…

Dia Beacon

Beacon

See site-specific  art from the 1960s to the present as well as special exhibitions and new commissions in a former Nabisco box-printing factory on the banks of the Hudson River.

* Each gallery of the 300,000-square-foot sunlit space was designed specifically for the installation of one artist’s work, making for striking, unique installations. like Dan…

Liberty Science Center

Jersey City

Lots to explore throughout this large, interactive museum.

* Step inside a giant microscope lens, create your own engineering challenge using foam blocks and wooden shapes, get creative with a giant wall installation made of 952 pixel dials and try more hands=on science.

* Explore multiple routes in the massive suspended Infinity Climber (surrounded by…