MUSEUMS

Most of NYC's museums are incredibly welcoming to kids of all ages (as long as they understand what they can't touch - for more hands-on adventures stick with CMOM, Brooklyn Children's Museum, New-York Historical Society or check our interactive pop-ups guide).

Limited capacity means advance timed tickets sometime sell out, so book in advance. More flexibility for members so considering supporting your favorite spots.

Also see our upcoming fabulous museum programs for kids, finally back in-person, and current must-see-exhibits (plus public art for 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 exhibits for babies to pre-teens in two-hour sessions. * Cross a rainbow bridge, learn Spanish, dance in Dora’s bedroom and imaginative play in the spacious Adventures with Dora and Diego. * Explore what voting is and why it matters, how people effect change by working together, and the role of the president…

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. Zebras, giraffes and other jungle animals surround a family of elephants in…

American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds

2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street)

Find witches and other spooky creatures plus  animals, trains,, cars and more delightful sculptures in American Folk Art Museum’s small exhibition highlighting the beauty, historical significance, and technical virtuosity of American vanes fashioned between the late seventeenth and early twentieth centuries.

Also shop for unique toys, books, affordable art and gifts for all ages at…

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…

Upper East Side

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.…

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.

* Advance timed tickets required. On crowded days (or any day), enter through the accessible Uris Center for Education entrance on 81st Street to avoid longer lines.

* Walk like an Egyptian inside the Temple of Dendur…

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…

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,…

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…

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum

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

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…

Midtown

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Flatiron/Gramercy

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…

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Midtown-40s

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…

MoMA

Midtown-50s

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…

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)

Midtown-50s

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.

* Discuss justice, equality and knowledge in  Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times, a site-specific installation that reimagines the religious tradition…

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

Midtown-40s

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 expereinces 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…

Whitney Museum of American Art

Chelsea

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.

* Crafty kids can get inspiration from striking oversized works using weaving, sewing, textiles, thread, clay,…

Rubin Museum

Chelsea

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.

Café Serai…

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 Harlem/Upper Manhattan

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

National Museum of the American Indian–New York

Fidi

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…

The Skyscraper Museum

Fidi

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.

Tall Ship Wavetree

Seaport

Visit the 130-year-old tall ship Wavertree. Self-guided tours along a set route include access to the main deck and quarter deck. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop the viewing platform…

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,…

Brooklyn Museum

This encyclopedic, community focused museum on the edge of Prospect Park hosts a huge, diverse permanent collection categorized by culture, as well as thoughtful visiting exhibitions from all over the world.

* Through October 24, see Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former First Lady as part…

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.

In 90-minute Play Sessions, explore BCM’s signature exhibits including World Brooklyn, Neighborhood Nature, Totally Tots, Collections Central and The (outdoor) Nest. Space is limited…

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…

QUEENS

Noguchi Museum

See works founded and designed by internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi in a specially-designed, serene building and garden.
Housed in a repurposed 1920s red brick industrial building, with an attached concrete pavilion designed and built in the 1980s by Noguchi himself in collaboration with Shoji Sadao (1927–2019). The two-story Museum contains approximately 27,000…

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,

See the city 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…

MoMA PS1

* See more 100 works by 47 diverse local artists in all sorts of mediums in Greater New York 2021

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

* The Artbook bookstore is treasure trove of art…

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, from mind-bending optical toys to a real Chewbacca mask from the Star Wars films, footage of…

BRONX

Kusama: Cosmic Nature at NYBG

Bronx

Experience a multisensory presentation of the work of internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Explore the artist’s profound engagement with nature throughout the changing seasons from spring into fall.

* Multiple installations across NYBG’s 250-acre landmark landscape and buildings include Kusama’s signature mirrored environments and organic forms – find polka-dotted sculptures of colossal flora, mesmerizing nature-based paintings, biomorphic collages, giant mirrored cubes, a pumpkin infinity room and  a spectacular horticultural showcase in the  Conservatory. New works created by the legendary, 90-year-old artist, include a monumental site-specific ‘Dancing Pumpkin’ sculpture and her first-ever participatory greenhouse installation, where visitors place Daisies and transform a greenhouse.

* A new immersive Infinity Mirrored Room—Illusion Inside the Heart, responds to varying natural light through colored glass throughout the day and seasons. Separate tickets required for interior access; tickets are highly limited and expected to sell out. Up to four people can enter the at once.

* Themed activities in the  interactive Children’s Garden include a Scavenger Hunt pamphlet with, self-guided activities including searching for plants with the dot patterns that inspired Kusama. Join readings of  Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity!, one of our favorite art books, weekends at 11 am, 1 pm & 3pm.

Beyond NYC

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 (about a 1-hour drive from Manhattan).

* Currently an outdoor-only experience with limited amenities (bathrooms available).

* Prepare for lots of open air walking. Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate layers.

* Some roads are paved…

Fall Fest at Liberty Science Center

Jersey City

Celebrate the spooky season with indoor and outdoor adventures. Pick out the perfect pumpkin in NJ’s largest indoor Pumpkin Patch and use an endoscope to see what’s inside a pumpkin. Encounter spiders, bats, skeletons, and other not-so-scary souls. Spooky Pathway.  Discover the fascinating lives of cockroaches, tarantulas, scorpions, and millipedes at the Creepy Crawler Corner.…

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.

* Look for cool patterns in Wall Power: Spectacular Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum. Monumental compositions in color, geometry and representation made (mostly) by women over more than three centuries are colorful…

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…

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Bronx

The Greek Revival period rooms of this splendid 19th century home close to the bay are currently only open 12 – 3 pm Saturdays & Sundays ($15/adults, $10/seniors & students), but the gorgeous grounds including specular formal, terraced gardens can be explored any day. Situated within a 60-acre New York City Landmark Historic District and is surrounded by a “forever wild” zoned forest. Look for a circa 1840 Carriage House, a Children’s Organic Garden, climbable sculptures, a colonial graveyard, an authentically fabricated Lenape wigwam and lots of nature.

Enjoy outdoor music the first Friday evening of each month and other interesting programming for all ages.