Here are NYC's best unique interactive experiences, perfect for special occasions, bad-weather days and out-of-town visitors.
Our kids' current faves include Color Factory, Museum of Ice Cream, Cricket's Candy Creations, Sloomoo and Spyscape but we've had intergenerational fun at all of these. Favorite free spots include Showfields.
Also see our guides to hands-on museums, family-friendly shows and other upcoming events, plus spots for memorable sweet celebrations.
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Play with roaming (adoptable) cats in three cat-centric spaces: the sunlit Upper Cattery, the warm and cozy Lower Cattery, and a first-of-its-kind outdoor Catio. Food from a Japanese- influenced menu, house-made desserts, plus beer, wine, and sake available for purchase.
* Explore a sensory playground centered around slime. Walk & crawl through an obstacle course with a vat of slime, take photos with slime-inspired art, play with a slime catapult and more. Turn into slime in an augmented reality glow-in-the-dark cove, smell dozens of scents and chill in ASMR booths.
* Make a custom 8 oz. slime at a 150-yard-long DIY bar. Choose from a variety of bases, scents, colors & so many charms. Squish all sorts of slime in communal slime vats.
* Get slimed in the Enhanced Experience ($80). Don provided waterproof poncho and goggles (it’s a process, so plan for extra time) and be rained on in Sloomoo Falls.
* Move freely back & forth between themed areas; there’s no time limit. Staff is friendly and able to answer slime questions.
🛍 Be prepare to exit through a cute gift shop with tempting slime packs and squishies.
Wizard Tea & Potion Making
A two-floor, wizard-themed bar and restaurant with indoor dining and outdoor terrace seating on the cobblestones of historic Stone Street hosts interactive experiences perfect for Harry Potter fans. Don a provided robe and use a hi-tech magic wand to cast a pouring spell to receive a welcome drink from the maw of a magical creature.
During Wizard Tea, use working magic wands to brew interactive teas and taste a curated selection of “sand-witches”, scone and desserts (Tuesday-Friday 2-5:30 pm Saturday 11:30 am -2:30 pm, Sunday 12- 4:30pm).
In immersive Potion Making classes, use the wand and molecular mixology to brew two molecular cocktails or mocktails from a selection of options, each of which have different properties and effects. (Sunday-Thursday 4 pm – 7 pm).
Experiences lasts 1 hour 45 minutes. Also drink and dine on chicken tenders, pizza, burgers, fish & chips, cheesecake and more among fantasy-inspired decor (Tuesday-Friday 4-9 pm, Saturday & Sunday 1-9 pm).
Museum of Ice Cream
Explore a colorful pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors (plus a 3 story slide) that’s fun for sweet lovers of all ages.
Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms. Play in a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, jump or slide into a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and try more interactive experiences. All very colorful and photogenic with lots of pink. Look for prompts in each room for discussion and connection – and learn a lot about ice cream.
🎟 Prices vary by day and time.
🎟 Get free admission during your birthday month.
Cricket’s Candy Creations
Craft edible candy art while immersed in a variety of candy-themed activities including Edible Slime Studio, Candy Kitchen, Lickable Fingerpaint Gallery, Chocolate Chamber and Accessories Arcade. Come home with five creative candy creations. Lots of fun for lovers of crafts and sweets.
The experience takes approximately 60 minutes. In a large space with cute decor and photo-ops throughout.
No ticket needed to shop in candy gift shop with a side selection of creative treats.
Wednesday-Friday 12 pm–6 pm
Saturday- Sunday 11 am–6 pm
Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion
Take a multi-sensory journey through the golden, sensuous and revolutionary art of the Viennese painter Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. Be immersed in his iconic works, projected on marble walls, towering columns, stained glass skylights and coved ceilings of a historic former bank using unique, cutting-edge mapping technology, synchronized to an original soundtrack.
The first exhibit of a new permanent digital art center. Only two rooms, but also includes shorter, complementary digital experiences: Friedensreich Hundertwasser: In the Wake of the Vienna Secession featuring a successor of Klimt, 5 Movements following five dancers across five musical movements and Recoding Entropia, an immersive film experience reflecting on the vastness of the mind’s possibilities.
The experience lasts about one hour; guests can stay as long as they like.
🖼 Find IRL Klimt portraits at MoMA and the Met. More at the Neue Gallerie, but they allow age 12+ in its galleries.
🌳 Run around non-digital trees and find giant comb sculptures at nearby City Hall Park.
🍽 Keep the Austrian vibe going with schnitzel & strudel at nearby Schilling Restaurant & Bar.
📚 Get a pets-eye view of the artist in Klimt and His Cat, featuring dazzling mixed-media illustrations in the artist’s unique style.
Explore a large scale, multi-sensorial journey through underwater worlds, fantasy lands, and inspirational art installations. Powered by augmented reality, virtual reality, projection mapping, and interactive environments, learn how small lifestyle changes can have a massive impact on the future of our planet. Interact with holograms in every room with HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.
For every ticket sold, Arcadia Earth plants one tree and donate to charity partner Oceanic Global.
Small Is Beautiful: Miniature Art Exhibition
See the biggest international exhibition entirely devoted to mini art with +130 exclusive pieces from +30 artists. Look for several pieces created exclusively for the event and hidden in unusual corners. Watch videos of behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the art.
Join Creative Workshops for Kids every Sunday, ($38, includes admission) to make shadow drawings, mini dioramas and more under the guidance of local art school teachers.
Destination Cosmos: The Immersive Space Experience
Go on a gripping digital, immersive voyage across the universe through a maze of stars, planets, nebulae, and supernovae. Composed of 13 sequences and a prologue, the unique journey of discovery begins at Cape Canaveral and ends in the universe’s outer reaches. After departing from Earth, travel over Martian canyons alongside rovers, dive into the heart of Jupiter, glide across the rings of Saturn, and explore beyond the frontiers of our solar system to experience the immensity of our universe.
A multi-sensory journey with projections on marble walls, towering columns, stained glass skylights and coved ceilings of a historic former bank. Created with participation from NASA and in partnership with CNES.
Come back weekday mornings for Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion, a multi-sensory journey through the golden, sensuous and revolutionary art of the Viennese painter Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.
Malibu Barbie Cafe
Travel to 1970s Malibu California at an immersive dining experience with a sea of poptimistic Barbie colors, laid-back beachy motifs, and lots of retro glam. Pose in an iconic life-size Barbie Box, play in a Malibu beach scene, lounge on pink swings and chairs and shop exclusive Barbie merchandise
The menu by Master Chef Finalist Becky Brown features an array of classics with a unique Barbie-inspired twist including Pacific Paradise Pancakes, West Coast Wedge Salad, a California Dreamin’ Club Sandwich and Anything is Possible Sundae
Ticket include choice of entree and side item. Additional sides, drinks, and more available to purchase a la carte. Automatic 20% gratuity added. Prices vary by date/time.
Unity In The Community
Recognize Gun Violence Awareness Month at basketball pop-up The Court for a series of exhibition games and musical performances. Hear from families who have been impacted by gun violence in local communities. Resources will be available onsite to support those impacted and to educate the community on what it can do to work toward a solution for gun violence.
Also see photos of hip-hop legends, take free tours of historic tall ship Wavertree and more free fun. See our guide to Seaport.
The Court at the Seaport
Enjoy open court time, exhibition games and at an outdoor pop-up basketball court between Piers 16 & 17.
When The Court isn’t being programmed, it will be open for the public to play on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own basketball and practice ball handling skills at this one-of-a-kind location.
Also see photos of hip-hop legends, take free tours of historic tall ship Wavertree and more free fun. See our guide to Seaport.
Harry Potter New York
Find magical photo opportunities over three spacious floors while shopping for the largest collection of Harry Potter products in the world, from pocket money items to rare collectibles.
Strike a pose inside a London phone box as if transporting yourself to the Ministry of Magic or step into Hagrid’s boots. Scan Enchanted Keys around the store to bring the magic to life. Browse over 50 wands inspired by characters.
Reserve online to transform into a Hogwarts student and cast spells with your wand or fly on a broom in two (fun but very short) VR adventures (ages 10+, $34).
🍽 Stock up on chocolate frogs and try Butterbeer ice cream other treats in an area inspired by Honeyduke.
See our complete guide to Harry Potter experiences in New York.
Museum of Illusions
Walk on walls, put your head on a platter and play with size and perspective in over a dozen interactive illusions. A small museum that can be explored in less than an hour. Blows most young minds.
Special $62 family ticket covers 2 adults & 2 children. Free kids under 2.
Disney Encanto x CAMP
Explore La Familia Madrigal’s real-life Casita, complete with secret passages, interactive magic, live music, and surprises behind every magic door in the world’s first immersive Disney Encanto experience.
A CAMP Counselor guides families through a narrative-driven adventure with games, live music, and a treasure hunt. Climb, slide, bounce, and dance through Antonio’s rainforest, Isabela’s floral wonderland and Luisa’s happy place. We don’t talk about this, but you might see Bruno’s room, too. Interact with favorite characters through digital animation.
Shop custom-made, exclusive goods inspired by the world of Disney Encanto, from chain-stitched apparel to handmade flower crowns
Tickets are for one hour time slots. Prices vary by time and day.
Titanic. The Exhibition
Embark on a narrative experience describing the events aboard the famous ship on that fateful day in 1912. See a selection of personal artifacts never before seen in America that tell touching stories of the doomed ship’s passengers and crew. Unravel the true story of the ship through old photographs, personal belongings and other relics from the passengers. Witness a recreation of the ship’s interior—from a first-class suite to a humble third-class cabin.
An audio guide in multiple languages narrate the stories of the passengers with testimonies from survivors, music and sound effects.
Rock Center Shops
FAO SCHWARZ (10am-9pm)
Salute the live toy soldier as you enter this iconic three-story toy store with high-end toys, life-sized stuffed animals, giant Transformers, lots of demos and crazy candy. Dance on the giant piano made famous in the movie Big on the mezzanine.
AMERICAN GIRL (11am-7pm)
Explore immersive environments for historical and contemporary high-end dolls including a 1970s pod chair, 1980s arcade and a surfboard on waves. Shop tons of dolls and accessories, design you own doll or visit the salon for girl & doll hair styling, manicures & ear piercings. Reserve tea at the cafe for a special experience.
NINTENDO (Mon-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm)
Explore two-levels of everything Nintendo. Say hi to life-size Mario, Luigi and Bowser, try the newest Switch games, shop games, accessories, apparel, and other items featuring everyone’s favorite Nintendo characters and see historical items including original systems and game boys and cute figurines.
Also visit the LEGO store around the corner.
The LEGO Store Fifth Avenue
Take photos with taxis, subway stations, the Statue of Liberty and other NYC icons built out of LEGOS. Make mosaics, create a custom Minifigure, look for hidden treasures in the enormous Tree of Discovery and shop for exclusive sets, hard-to-find bricks and elements that you can select by hand at the rainbow Pick A Brick wall. Don’t miss the detailed replica of Rockefeller Center with lots of whimsical vignettes.
Go on a 20-minute interactive, immersive journey into the LEGO Brick Lab with innovative technology that brings walls, floors and ceilings to life with light, sound and music. Build a creation with an exclusive set of bricks, scan and watch it become a living part of the Brick Lab ($15, includes brick set, reserve online). Choose from outer space or NYC themes for a trippy digital experience.
Find more brick-inspired fun at Legoland Discovery Center in nearby Yonkers and Legoland New York, about a 1 hour drive north.
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog101 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.
🐶 See canine-related paintings, ceramics and other fine art & artifacts
🐕🦺 Explore AKC registered breeds at an interactive table
🐩 Discover which dog breed looks most like you through visual recognition software
🐕 The AKC Museum of the Dog at 40: And the Collectors Who Made It
✏️ Pick up activities and worksheets in the library, including a Breed of the Month craft.
Wednesday-Sunday 10 am–6 pm
Pets welcome Friday 6–8 pm ($5)
Take a spectacular soaring ride for a unique bird’s-eye view tour of the Big Apple. Hang suspended 30 feet in the air and glide over NYC’s iconic skyline and landmarks while inside a 180-degree, 40-foot projection dome featuring 8K aerial footage that creates the sensation of flight.
Also see a film by award-winning documentarians Ric Burns and James Sanders, narrated by Jeff Goldblum, showcasing NYC’s history and its global impact. Enter a re-creation of the city’s first subway station at City Hall circa 1904, a fully immersive theater with visual and special effects.
Journey through NYC’s vibrant pop-cultural evolution in seven distinctly themed galleries – Finance, Skyline, TV/Radio, Fashion, Music, Broadway and Film – featuring historic artifacts, memorabilia and engaging educational displays.
The ride has a 40 inch height requirement, but the film and galleries are open to all.
Experiential toy store Camp’s new floor features interactive and immersive art experiences. Free to enter – no tickets necessary – just pay as you go for art projects.
A $40 CAMP Craft Pass ticket includes 2 craft activities or 1 Splatter Room experience go full Jackson Pollock (smocks provided) and take home a 16-inch canvas masterpiece. Also make slime, paint a ceramic, create spin-art, tie-dye anything and other crafts with all-you-can-dream buffet of supplies including pom poms, googly eyes, glues, glitters, pipe cleaners of every color, pretty patterned washi tapes, stick-on gemstones and more.
Advance reservations recommended, but drop-ins welcome as space permits.
Also play and shop on the 2nd floor with a slide, scooter track, sequin disco cabin, giant truck, and a curated selection of toys, books, and clothing.
Tuesday-Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Spyscape & Batman Experience
Learn a variety of spy skills in an interactive museum and experience for all ages.
* Test code-making and code-breaking skills in digital Encryption Challenge, lying and lie-detection skills in a Deception Challenge, observation skills in 360° degree Surveillance Challenge and strategy and agility in a cool laser tunnel Special Ops Challenge. Scores are recorded in an online spy profile, resulting in an assignment to a spy role like Hacker or Special Ops.
* Also explore the history of spying with artifacts like Edward Snowden’s telepresence robot, a U2 spy plane camera and flight suit, micro bugging devices and lots more. Learn about the FBI Double Agent who sold secrets to the Russians for 22 years, and the young Spycatcher who brought him down. Encounter an original Enigma from WWII and tap out messages on a replica. Learn about the fascinating world of hacking (including a deceptively cute rainbow kitty).
*In the new Batman experience, become a key actor in a real-time interactive adventure featuring iconic DC characters in a Gotham City mystery that plays out in the real world around you ($29/adult, $32/ages 6-14 or $58/adult, $44/ages 6-14 for both experiences)
* All ages are welcome and there is lots to touch and explore, though younger kids won’t understand much of it.
Buy online to avoid $5 onsite fee.
Enter the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland through whimsical painted art installations that play with perspectives of art and reality. Fall down the rabbit-hole into a world of giant playing cards, secret rose gardens, and multicolored mushrooms. Sit on the Queen of Hearts’ throne. Ride a rocking horse in a golden field as giant magical flowers bloom. Bask in the light of glowing lanterns and become the Mad Hatter at a Tea Time with painted cakes of all shapes and sizes.
Every inch of the massive, multi-floor 26,000 square foot exhibit is hand-painted, from the floors to the ceilings, using Alexa Meade’s signature 3D painting style which makes the world appear to be a 2D work of art. Tickets include a complimentary deck of limited edition playing cards designed by Alexa Meade, and special surprises.
On Sunday mornings from 10 am – 1pm, join Mad Hatter’s Family Adventure, with music, magic and Alice photo-ops.
🍽 Stay for themed drinks and snacks at the painted Wine Bar and Café (no ticket needed).
🛍 Take home parts of the immersive experience at the gift shop, from roses painted red, to clothes covered in paint, to one-of-a-kind works of art by Alexa Meade.
📕 Continue the experience a home (or under a tree) with the a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Artwork by Yayoi Kusama.
Candy Land comes to life in a 24,000 square feet interactive art installation made of candy. Find favorite sugarcoated delights throughout over 17 colorful environments including a confetti room with candy-farting pigs, a zipline, New York-inspired candy artwork, an infinity mirror room, Sugar High Theater and a marshmallow pit. Remind your kids the marshmallows are not edible, but lots of samples throughout the experience.
Summit One Vanderbilt
Visit the highest viewing point in midtown Manhattan at am immersive observatory experience featuring multiple unique experiences.
Experience a trippy mix of transparency and reflectivity in mirrored observatory ‘Air,’ an immersive art experience designed by Kenzo Digital. Sort of like an infinity room with cityscapes. See yourself above the clouds – literally and figuratively in ‘Unity,’ an immersive cloud projected room. Step out onto transparent glass 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue in ‘Levitation’ sky boxes. Take an all-glass elevator with a transparent glass floor (‘Ascent’)for $20 extra.
Bring sunglasses; the reflective materials used throughout can blind. Wear comfortable shoes (stiletto heels, steel toe boots, sports cleats, etc not permitted) and pants or shorts (the floor is mirrored).
Eat and drink at Après, a sky-high lounge and cafe with globally-inspired fare and innovative cocktails and mocktails. Choose from an indoor seating area with a fireplace and a stunning outdoor terrace with an open-air bar.
Wed-Mon 9 am–10:30 pm
Harry Potter The Exhibition
This touring exhibition celebrates the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts as seen in the Harry Potter film series and the Wizarding World through immersive design and technology. This unique in-depth exhibition features powerful storytelling, innovative, interactive technology and original props and costumes.
Experiences include the Hogwarts Castle Gallery, featuring an immersive multimedia experience with dementors, the use of a Marauder’s map, the whomping willow and more; Hagrid’s Hut and The Forbidden Forest with an interactive Patronus charm; a Hogwarts Houses gallery that will prompt you to select your own house complete with the iconic Sorting Hat and photo opportunities; Quidditch drills; wand battles and actual classroom galleries that will be filled with costumes, creatures and props.
Strollers not permitted.
See our guide to more NYC Harry Potter experiences.
Beat The Bomb
Suit up in hazmat gear, dodge lasers, and crack codes in a 1 hour video game escape room with a signature paint bomb ending. Take on Hack Attack, Laser Maze, Echo Chamber and Floor Grid, before reaching the bomb room game Cyberbot where you must drive a bomb-disposal robot through a maze to acquire the…
Play an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course and go on an adventure through four pirate-themed areas complete with theatrical scenery, lights, and sound. Use a bag of gold tokens ($5) to bring the story to life through animatronics, video, and special effects as you make your way through the course. The course is ADA compliant…
Frying Pan Brooklyn Game Room
Play Ping Pong, Skeeball, air hockey and arcade style games in a colorful retro-style game room.
Eat lobster rolls, poke tacos at the New England-inspired seafood-focused Frying Pan next door or check out diverse food options throughout Industry City.
Area 53 Laser Tag
Dive and dodge through the shadowy dual-level factory basement in a next-level laser tag experience. Aim at opponents between rustic columns while weaving around obstacles. Choose from two game options, gunless z-tag and long range laser guns.
Each booking takes around an hour and a half and allows for three 10-15 minute games. Between games,…
Area 53 Adventure Park
Try ropes courses, multiple rock climbing walls, roller skating, laser mazes, zip lines, ninja courses, slides and more at an indoor adventure park. Booking a 3-hour time slot to divide among your choice of activities.
48 inch minimum height limit for the Sky Trail (Ropes Course) and Sky Rail (Zip Line).
Food, drink and arcade…
Play an 18-hole golf course on a Williamsburg waterfront deck showcasing problems and solutions for climate change issues facing our planet. Find polar bears, whales, windmills and more while learning about green and blue infrastructure, animal habitat, energy, emissions and more.
Each hole has been designed by a community partner, including artists and designers, community…