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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Stranger Things at Galeria Melissa

500 Broadway

Explore the Upside Down as you walk towards a (digital) portal in a dark creepy forest.

Also check out Melissa’s line of Stranger-Things inspired shoes & bags. Visit the Sour Patch Kids Store a few blocks north for more Stranger Things collab merch and sweets.

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

Stranger Things at Galeria Melissa

500 Broadway

Explore the Upside Down as you walk towards a (digital) portal in a dark creepy forest.

Also check out Melissa’s line of Stranger-Things inspired shoes & bags. Visit the Sour Patch Kids Store a few blocks north for more Stranger Things collab merch and sweets.

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.

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 (now with a slide) 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.

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

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.

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

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

Disney’s Mickey & Friends x CAMP

110 5th Ave Gramercy/Flatiron

Climb, zip, slide, bounce, dance, and work together to save the day in an immersive world celebrating Disney’s Mickey Mouse & Friends. Kids will be been ‘shrunk’ to about the size of a crayon and need to collaborate with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Goofy to get things back to normal in time for Mickey’s big birthday party.

Slide down the ribbon of a huge birthday present, explore a tall field of grass, mix a new song on a massive DJ turntable, play inside a human-sized kaleidoscope, climb a giant wall of extra-huge hot dogs, fling enormous popcorn kernels the size of basketballs and bust your funkiest moves in a dance party. Note that interaction is with digital animated, not live characters.

Tickets are for one hour time slots. Prices vary by time and day.

Edge

30 Hudson Yards

Look 100 stories down from the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere with with 360-degree views of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and beyond. Lean out over the city on angled glass walls and relax in a large lounge with food and drinks available for purchase.

Brave teens & adults can scale the outside of the building, more than 1,200 feet above the ground with City Climb (ages 13+, $185).

See our guide to Hudson Yards.

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.

BROOKLYN

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…

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…

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…

Frying Pan Brooklyn Game Room

220 36th Street

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

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