Experiences

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 and the Galeria Melissa ball pit.

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

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DOWNTOWN

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.

Monday–Friday 2 pm – 6:45 pm
Saturdays, Sundays &  Holidays 10 am – 6:45 pm

Sloomoo Institute

475 Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets

* 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 a augmented reality glow-in-the-dark cove, smell dozens of scents and chill in ASMR booths.

* Make an included 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.

🎟 Save 15% on tickets with code ‘SPREADJOY’

Thursday-Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday–Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Open on most school holidays

Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion

49 Chambers St

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.

Sunday-Wednesday 10 am – 7 pm
Thursday-Saturday 10 am – 10 pm

Color Factory: WINTER COLORLAND

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 (now with a slide) is an all-ages adventure for babies to grown-ups.

Currently for the holidays with winter whimsy. Enjoy seasonal treats, festive  photo opportunities and installations, plus a ski lift through a confetti snow storm.

Well designed, thoughtful and, at over 20,000 square feet,  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 twelve sequential rooms 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, drawing activities and a display on the history of 26 different colors.

Sunday-Wednesday 9 am – 7 pm
Thursday-Saturday 9 am – 8 pm

Admission is $7 less onWednesdays & Thursdays

Wizard Tea & Potion Making

47 Stone St

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

558 Broadway at Prince Street

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. Through Feb 12, get 2-for-1 tickets with promo code MSW23 on Mondays after 6 pm as part of NYC Must-See Week

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. 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

Monet’s Garden

20 Wall Street

Take an immersive 360-degree journey through the history and works of one of the greatest artists of the past century. Through state-of-the-art multimedia technology, enter the world famous artworks of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

Elaborate installations and projections, combined with music, create rushing worlds of color and make the paintings come alive. Explore Monet’s studio, his famous garden in Givernyand a water lily pond. Color lilies and then see them float in the (digital) water and dance around to activate the art.

Note you can find over 30 stunning, non-digital Monet paintings on view at the Met and a room-sized water lilies triptych at MoMA.

📚 Prep with pretty picture books showing a kids’s view of the garden include Linnea in Monet’s Garden and The Magical Garden of Claude Monet.

🎟 Save 10% with code MTAAWAY

Monday–Wednesday 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday 10 am – 8 pm
Friday–Saturday 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday 10 am – 7 pm

Ball Pit at Galeria Melissa

500 Broadway

Jump into a white ball pit with a mirrored ceiling at a fun Soho shoe shop. Small but deep enough for some memorable free entertainment.

Near lots of fun (not-free) multi-room interactive pop-ups.

The Golden Girls Kitchen NYC

Fulton & Front Streets

Pull up a chair to a custom, detailed dining experience inspired by the Golden Girls’ favorite iconic Miami hangouts, as well as other memorable moments from the beloved franchise. Be completely immersed in the world of The Golden Girls: snap a photo in Blanche’s Boudoir, complete with shag carpet and a palm print bedspread, or pretend to chat with the ladies through the girls’ yellow kitchen phone.

Each ticket includes a 90-minute reservation as well as your choice of a Golden Main + slice of cheesecake in a variety of flavors including chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin, and Oreo. Menu includes Sophia’s Lasagna Al Forno (meat or vegan), The Lanai: A “Miami style” Cuban Sandwich, Blanche’s Georgia Style Cookie, and the Bacon Lettuce Potato Sandwich (Say It Fast). Additional sides, desserts and beverages available for purchase. Sidle up to the Rusty Anchor Bar and select from an assortment of specialty cocktails and mocktails centered around the beloved series. Shop exclusive The Golden Girls Kitchen merchandise.

Wed–Fri 2 pm–10 pm
Sat-Sun 10 am–10:30 pm

INTER_ Interactive Art Experience

415 Broadway at Canal St

Go on an artistic, interactive journey over two stories of luminous and immersive environments and a series of generative digital art. INTER_ is designed to playfully evoke mindfulness as we embrace interconnections within ourselves and the world around us. Let go of what’s outside,—relax, be curious, and have fun.

Wed-Thurs 3 pm – 9 pm
Fri 3 pm – 10 pm
Sat 12 pm – 10 pm
Sun 12 pm – 8 pm

CHELSEA/FLATIRON

Harry Potter New York

935 Broadway

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, locations & props .

Sign up in advance 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

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.

 

Disney Encanto x CAMP

110 5th Ave at E 17th St

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.

Monday & Thursday 10 am – 4 pm
Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Titanic. The Exhibition

526 6th Ave at W 14th St

A selection of personal artifacts never before seen in America that tell touching stories of the doomed ship’s passengers and crew. Embark on a narrative experience describing the events aboard the famous ship on that fateful day in 1912. 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.

Tuesday–Thursday 10 am – 7 pm
Friday 10 am – 8 pm
Saturday 9 am – 8 pm
Sunday 9 am – 7 pm

Louis Vuitton X Yayoi Kusama Pop-up Store

70 Gansevoort St

Explore a spacious store covered in artist Yayoi Kusama’s signature black and yellow polka dots and mirrored spheres. Lots of fun photo-ops among a colorful collaboration featuring the dots on iconic LV bags, shoes and more. There’s a claw machine, but purchase is required for a token.

Another pop-up in Soho (102 Prince St) features rainbow dots. Find more dots and a lifelike Kusama robot at the Louis Vuitton flagship store at Fifth Avenue & 57th St.

Mon-Sat 11 am–7 pm
Sun 11 am–6 pm

MAGENTAVERSE

75 9th Avenue at West 15th Street

Explore the sights, sounds, feelings and inspirations of the Pantone Color of the Year 2023, Viva Magenta. Step into an immersive cinematic journey through a color universe. Explore digital installations inspired by earth and space. Features content and explorations of space and technology from NASA.

Presented by Artechouse.  Inside Chelsea Market, also home many delicious food options. Lots of cool gallery shows to explore in the neighborhood.

🎟 Through Jan 22, preview tickets are $19. Through Feb 12, get 2-for-1 tickets with promo code MSW23 as part of NYC Must-See Week. These offers can be combined for a less than $10 experience.

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.

HIGHLIGHTS:
🐶 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

CURRENT EXHIBITS:
🐕 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)

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.

Art CAMP

10 Columbus Circle

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

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).

*‍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.

🎟 Through Feb 12, get 2-for-1 tickets with promo code MSW23 as part of NYC Must-See Week.

🎟 Buy online to avoid $5 onsite fee

Monday, Tuesday & Friday 12 pm – 8 pm
Saturday 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 7 pm

Wonderland Dreams

529 5th Avenue at 44th St

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.

🍽 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.

Wednesday–Monday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Holidays at 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. Remind your kids the marshmallows are not edible, but lots of samples throughout the experience.

For December, find employees dressed as Santa Elves and holiday-themed treats and surprises throughout.

🎟 Save 15% on tickets with code ‘HOLIDAYS’

Friday-Saturday 10 am–9:30 pm
Sunday 11 am-8pm
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 10 am–8 pm

Creating Infinity: The Worlds of Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama

1 E 57th Street

Find a giant portrait of Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama with her iconic multi-colored dots on the towering facade of NYC’s flagship Louis Vuitton store – plus a lifelike robot version of Kusama in the store window, painting polka dots.  If you get close she makes eye contact and waves back.

Go inside for more rainbow polka dots, reflective silver spheres and the artist’s signature dots on iconic LV bags, shoes clothes and more.

Find more of Kusama polka-dots at the Louis Vuitton X Yayoi Kusama Pop-up Store in Meatpacking.

 Summit One Vanderbilt

87 East 42nd Street Midtown

Closed through Feb 1

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
Closed Tue

Bumper Cars on Ice

42nd Street & Fifth Avenue
Glide, bump and spin on inflatable bumper cars on a portion of the Rink at Winter Village. Can be a high speed dizzy thrill depending on how you use your joysticks. Rides are only 10 minutes but still lots of fun.
Riders must be 7 years old and 42” or taller. One rider per car.
Tickets are released two weeks in advance and often sell out; walk-in slots usually available.
Mon-Thu 2 pm–8 pm
Fri-Sun 12 pm–6 pm

BROOKLYN

Beat The Bomb

255 Water Street

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…

Shipwrecked Brooklyn

621 Court St

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

220 36th Street

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.

Friday- Sunday 12–2:30 pm & 3-5:30 pm