POP-UPS

Some unique interactive experiences, perfect for special occasions and out-of-town visitors.

Also see our guides to family-friendly museums, upcoming events and free public art, plus spots for memorable sweet celebrations.

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DOWNTOWN

Koneko

26 Clinton St

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.

Wednesday-Sunday 11 am –  3 pm & 4 pm – 8 pm

Color Factory

251 Spring Street

This truly interactive colorful pop-up with fun activities and sweet treats in twelve unique rooms designed by different artists and a giant blue ball pit is an all-ages adventure for babies to grown-ups.

Well designed, thoughtful and less crowded than many other pop-ups with activities, not just photo-ops (though plenty of those, and we love the strategically placed cameras with timers so parents can get in the pic). You move though rooms sequentially in small groups so it’s easy to keep track of kids and socially distance (and you can stay as long as your want – we spent over two hours in the ball pit). Rooms include a confetti party and a display on the history of 26 different colors.

Save 20% on weekdays with code SPRING22.

Sloomoo Institute

475 Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets

This interactive slime emporium is packed with sensory slime play.

* Walk & crawl through an obstacle course with a vat of slime, enter a glow-in-the-dark cove, take photos with slime-inspired art, play with a slime catapult and more.

* Make custom 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. Employees are friendly and can answer any slime questions.

* Get slimed in the Enhanced Experience ($68). Don provided waterproof poncho and goggles and enter Sloomoo Falls where it’s raining slime. It’s quite a process getting on and off the protective gear and you may have to wait, so plan extra time.

* Be prepared for a cute gift shop with slime kits, squishies and more.

* It can get crowded in the afternoons and evening; sometime’s there’s a line outside to enter the space even if you have a reserved time. Once inside, you can move back and forth among the stations to avoid wait time.

* Wear clothes that can get messy. A percentage from each ticket benefits mental health charities.

 

Museum of Ice Cream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

Explore a sweet pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors.

Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms, plus play with a three-story slide, hula hoops, a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and platforms and 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.

Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Prices vary by day and time; admission is cheaper on weekdays.

Cricket’s Candy Creations

200 Hudson Street

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.

The experience takes approximately 60 minutes.

Wednesday-Friday 12 pm–6 pm
Saturday- Sunday 11 am–6 pm

Arcadia Earth

718 Broadway at West 6th Street

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.

CHELSEA/FLATIRON

Museum of Illusions

77 Eighth Avenue @ 14th Street

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.

 

Life of a Neuron

75 9th Avenue at West 15th Street

Step into the human brain – an immersive, digital 3D model of a real human prefrontal cortex neuron — the “thinking cell” of the brain — and see it grow from birth through death.

Created by ARTECHOUSE Studio in partnership with Society for Neuroscience (SfN), this exhibition is the result of three years of ardent collaboration and research.

On weekdays, get a Family Pack (2 adults, 2 children) for $75.

Inside happening Chelsea Market.

Harry Potter New York

935 Broadway

Shop for the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in the world from pocket money items to rare collectibles. Find exclusive lines, magical photo opportunities and lots more over three floors and over 20,000 sq. ft.

* No advance reservations needed; most days you can walk right on. On crowded days scan a QR code outside the store (availble 1 hour prior to opening) to join a virtual queue. You’ll be notified to return when it’s your turn to visit.
* Lots of fun photo ops; 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
* Get one of a kind personalization including engraving a wand, embossing a journal and embroidering a house robe with your name
* Browse over 50 wands inspired by characters, locations & props – including the Golden Snitch wand, exclusive to #HarryPotterNY
* Stock up on chocolate frogs & other treats in an area inspired by Honeydukes
* Discover the House of MinaLima showcasing a gallery of graphic art of the Wizarding World
* Guests at least 48 inches tall and 10+ years old can sign up for one of two (or both) virtual reality experiences: Chaos at Hogwarts & Wizards Take Flight. Transform into a Hogwarts student, and become part of the adventure. Cast spells with your wand or fly on a broom. These experiences sell out in advance, but last minute tickets often available online ($34).

* Visit the playground in Madison Square Park while you wait and snack or dine at Eataly.

The Fans Strike Back

526 Sixth Avenue at W 14th Street

Explore the world’s largest private Star Wars collection made by fans, for fans, with more than 600 collectibles and figurines, life-size figures and famous costumes, more than 50 one-of-a-kind sculptures, armor, lightsabers, blasters, helmets, masks, and more in a immersive space. Use a green chroma to take pictures with selected backgrounds and visit the merchandise shop.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure

601 West 26th Street (entrance on 27th Street)

Explore Jean-Michel Basquiat’s contributions to the history of art and his explorations of multifaceted cultural phenomena––including music, the Black experience, pop culture, Black American sports figures, literature, and other sources–– in immersive environments providing a unique insight into the late artist’s creative life and his singular voice.

Organized and curated by the family of Jean-Michel Basquiat, this exhibition of over 200 never-before-seen and rarely shown paintings, drawings, multimedia presentations, ephemera, and artifacts tell the story of Jean-Michel from an intimate perspective, intertwining his artistic endeavors with his personal life, influences, and the times in which he lived.

Tickets are $10 cheaper on weekdays.

MIDTOWN

Rock Center Shops

45 Rockefeller Plaza

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.

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 (11am- 6pm)
Explore two-levels of everything Nintendo. Say hi to life-size Mario, Luigi and Bowser, see 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. See our guide to Rockefeller Center.

Camp Hudson Yards

30 Hudson Yards

Past a secret magic door in a toy and clothing store find an immersive retail experience that celebrates the wonders of nature and evokes the feeling of summer camp with hands-on installations.

Sign up for free daily free activities plus singalongs, performances, classes and art workshops ($25-$35).

See our guide to Hudson Yards.

The LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

45 Rockefeller Plaza

Take photos with taxis, subway stations, the Statue of Liberty and other NYC icons built out of LEGOS and the recently relocated, multi-floor LEGO Store (630 Fifth Avenue at 51st Street). Engage in hands-on, minds-on play. 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 in a trippy digital experience with signature LEGO wit.

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 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).

Disney Store – Times Square

1540 Broadway @ 46th Street Midtown

The largest Disney store ever has in Times Square has character toys, clothes, collectibles & more over two floors. Ride the tall escalator under Rapunzel Floating Lantern to a princess castle, life-size Storm Troopers and more mouse magic.

Sunday-Thursday 10 am – 8 pm
Friday-Saturday 10 am – 9 pm

RiseNY

160 West 45th Street

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.

Candytopia

111 W 32rd Street at Sixth Avenut

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. The marshmallows are not edible, but lots of samples throughout the experience.

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.

Spyscape

928 Eighth Ave at 55th Street

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).

* Several rooms are dedicated to James Bond with close looks at gadgets and filming secrets.

*All ages are welcome and there is lots to touch and explore, though younger kids won’t understand much of it. Lots of sanitizing going on throughout the museum, space for social distancing and new disposable touch pens make it a safer indoor option.

* On Wednesday – Friday & get four tickets for $99 or two-for-one admission with code DOUBLEAGENT. Kids go free any day with code ‘SPYKIDS.’

BROOKLYN

Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh Exhibit

73 West Street

In anticipation of the release nine iterations of the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 sneaker in June, see a free immersive exhibition showcasing 47 iterations of the collaborative sneakers.

Also look for a giant orange skateboarder in Brooklyn Bridge Park and large glass boxes of graphic globe sculptures placed around New York…

Beat The Bomb

255 Water Street

Kids and adults play together in a 1 hour video game escape room with a signature paint bomb ending. With hazmat suits, paint, lasers and smoke machines, 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…

Shipwrecked Brooklyn

621 Court St

Play an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course and go on an adventure through 4 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 and…

Putting Green

River Street & North 1st Street

Play an 18-hole golf course on the Williamsburg waterfront showcasing problems and solutions for climate change issues facing our planet.

Each of the 18 holes has been designed by a community partner, including artists and designers, community and school groups, environmental advocacy organizations and public agencies. The designs focus on a broad range of climate…

Cosmic Camp

445 Albee Square

Jump across lava fields, drive rovers, participate in intergalactic trivia, decode ice crystals, collect coins, and shoot through three slides at an intergalactic adventure for all ages at an experiential toy store.

At experiential toy store CAMP, with free hands-on fun for all behind a secret bookcase. Inside a shopping complex with lots of food…

Frying Pan Brooklyn Game Room

220 36th Street

Play Ping Pong, Skeeball, a 9-hole mini golf course featuring iconic Brooklyn landmarks such as the Gowanus Canal and Brooklyn Bridge in an outdoor courtyard. Play arcade style games in a colorful vintage-style room.

Eat lobster rolls, poke tacos at the New England-inspired seafood-focused Frying Pan next door or check out diverse food options (and…