10! Museums for Kids in New York City (NYC)

By Katrina Oliver

Where to go with kids in NYC?

Here’s a shortlist of interesting museums that are fun for parents and children alike.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is an exciting, hands-on experience for kids of all ages.

Centrally located in the Tisch Building, children have a chance to play, learn and explore through a variety of interactive exhibits.

Featured exhibits and activities are rotated regularly, so there’s always new and exciting things to do at the museum.

Exhibits have included such exciting features as an interactive city engineering exhibit, outdoor water table features, and interactive activities that teach young children about the history of voting rights in America.

American Museum of Natural History

To spend some time learning about the natural world, bring the family to the American Museum of Natural History.

With a full planetarium, a large screen movie theater, and plenty of fascinating exhibits to explore, kids can spend the whole day here enraptured.

Learn about everything from the origins of humanity, the life of dinosaurs and ancient megafauna, and all about earth and planetary sciences.

Kids will especially love exploring the interactive space activities in the planetarium and seeing the life-size fully articulated skeleton of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex.

Children’s Museum of the Arts

With a combination of interactive exhibits, classes, and workshop offerings, the Children’s Museum of the Arts is an experimental and interdisciplinary institution that seeks to foster the artist in each child.

Rotating exhibits feature art in various mediums and styles, with interactive elements and participatory art activities to encourage children to find their own artistic skill.

Take a visit through the museum, or sign your child up for one of their many private lessons, after school classes, or summer camps.

Museum of the Moving Image

Any screen-loving kiddo will love the Museum of the Moving Image, where they can learn all about movies and television.

The kid favorite is bound to be the Jim Henson Exhibit, where kids can see their favorite characters from shows and movies such as the Muppets, Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, and more.

Throughout the museum kids can learn about how their favorite cartoons are animated, see how movies are filmed, and practice making their own short films at the Drop-In Moving Image Studio.

DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the New York Historical Society

The DiMenna Children’s History Museum provides children with a chance to learn about the history of America and the city of New York through character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits, digital games, and a vast children’s history library.

Visitors will even get a chance to interact with living history educators, who present pieces of American history to young visitors through reenactments of moments throughout history.

Kids will get to meet a famous leader from history, witness a craftsperson practicing their historical trade, or practice a military drill with soldiers throughout time. Grab one of their digital family guides to help focus your visit around a single topic and provide your kids with activities and scavenger hunts to augment their visit with exciting games.

New York Hall of Science

The New York Hall of Science is “more than a museum” – it’s designed to be touched, moved, and experienced. Daily demonstrations of the scientific principles of chemistry, physics, design thinking, and more offer kids and adults alike an up-close look at the exciting world of science.

Learn about the laws of motion and gravity through a spaceship-themed minigolf course or learn about engineering and design in the Maker Space, where you can build and create with hands-on tools and materials. For the museum’s youngest visitors, there’s even a designated Preschool Place, where kids can participate in sensory-engaging activities in a kid-friendly space.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling gives kids an opportunity to design, create, and tell their own story.

The museum focuses on engaging kids with stories as a means to share history, culture, values, and imagination.

Kids can learn about the ideas of the museum through hands-on projects where they can sculpt, draw, and create their own works of art, or tour the exhibits to have a chance to experience a kid-friendly art museum with rotating pieces created by the museum’s artists in residence.

Queens County Farm Museum

Any farm-obsessed kiddo will be absolutely giddy to visit the Queens County Farm Museum.

A real working farm that dates back to the 17th century, city kids will get a chance to see how food and livestock are grown and raised.

Take a tour of the Historic Adriance Farmhouse, take a hayride, or just pick up some fresh eggs and produce at the farmstand.

Visit with the family on one of their Discover Days to experience special programming and learn all about the farm, its animals, and their role in sustainable farming systems.

Jewish Children’s Museum

Regardless of your family’s background, the Jewish Children’s Museum has plenty to offer for anyone coming through their doors.

The museum features educational and entertaining exhibits that are technologically supplements and hands-on, with exhibits featuring Jewish cultural and religious customs, history, and values.

Explore the Holiday Village, where kids can learn all about the different holidays celebrated in the Jewish calendar and how they’re celebrated, or simply visit the Kosher Supermarket, where kids can engage in some imaginative pretend play at the grocery store while learning about the dietary laws of Judaism.

The museum even has a “toybrary,” a library of educational toys that kids can check out and take up for several weeks.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

There is so much for kids to do at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, it’s hard to know where to start!

Kids can explore the NEST, an outdoor installation that kids can climb and play on while learning about nature in urban environments.

Visitors can play pretend in the World Brooklyn exhibit in the storefronts of a miniature Brooklyn, engage in wild and exciting activity in the Sensory Room, or observe the natural world of New York City in the Neighborhood Nature exhibit.

The entire museum is interactive, hands-on, and sure to thrill and delight kids of all ages.

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