NYC’s Children’s Museums: A Tour Through the Five Boroughs
New York City boasts a proud collection of children’s museums that will take you to all five boroughs and back again. Littered with venues for kids to hang out and learn, you’d think this entire city was made just for children.
Step inside the wide world of children’s museums and learn where to go, what to do, and who to take with you.
Give your artistic child a treat when you visit the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan, a fine arts museum dedicated entirely to developing children’s artistic skills and passion, for kids up to age 15. Sign up online for workshops and classes on painting, drawing, sculpting, and pottery; offered daily for different age groups. Art therapy, free summer classes, and private lessons are also offered to New Yorkers.
A separate gallery space displays the work of young artists and is open (and of interest) to all ages. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and is close to the Houston St. subway in Soho.
They say that curiosity makes kids grow into successful adults. Nurture your child’s curiosity and creativity at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, which has four floors of exhibits designed for educational fun. Kids can play board games with life-sized chess, dominoes, and checkers pieces, build a fort with blocks, tend to their own herb garden, learn to be a firefighter or an actor onstage, and most importantly, expand their imagination!
Serve a healthy treat from the Snack Shack, which offers lunch options for families so you can make a whole play day of your museum experience. Accessible by car or public transportation, the museum is located on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden and is closed on Mondays.
For the kiddo who loves hand-me-down dolls and Grandma’s old toys, step into the fun-filled world of Toy Museum of NY, where you’ll be mesmerized by an interactive traveling kids show called “The History of Toys”. Performances are scheduled in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and teach kids about toys played with by George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and more, in a 50-minute show.
Parents and teachers can book other workshops with the traveling museum staff, like puppet shows, puppet making, theatre and storytelling classes, and discussion groups about toys in the museum’s collection. The group preserves classic toys and dolls, which are used in all performances and hands-on workshops.
Preschool children will love the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, another museum that nurtures the spirit of creativity with several worlds of indoor play. Designed for kids about six and under, the museum teaches developmental skills, confidence, and independence while building the learning skills they’ll later need to succeed in school.
Dora the Explorer-based learning exhibits and the summer water workshops, as well as a rock-and-roll-themed playground, are also great for early learning. While a few of the exhibits are fun for kids of all ages, this is probably a museum best before your kids reach first grade.
Take a preschool readiness class with your child – or drop them off for a totally immersive experience – to prepare the both of you for life after school starts. The museum, on the Upper West Side, is accessible by subway, bus, or car; paid parking is available nearby.
Quite possibly New York’s most diverse and interesting museum for kids all the way from preschool to high school, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, features exhibits with nature from around the neighborhood (including live animals), art and historical pieces from a permanent collection, and temporary exhibits that bring international culture, new technology, and innovation to the museum.
Take young ones to the world of Totally Tots, where they can expand their worlds in nine sensory areas; let school kids roam the streets of mini-Brooklyn, where they can interact with the world cultures represented in the diverse neighborhoods of the city; send teens on a cultural exploration of Seoul, South Korea, at a traveling exhibit exploring modern culture on the other side of the world.
The museum is accessible by subway, bus, or car and is closed on Mondays. Thursdays from 2pm - 6pm are free admission for all.
Engage your child in art, environmentalism, and community at the Bronx Children’s Museum, a cultural center with mobile programs in schools, libraries, and parks throughout the borough developed to teach kids about the diversity of their own environment as well as the world beyond.
The young organization, founded in 2005, plans to open a permanent location, called the Kids’ Powerhouse Discovery Center, in 2017. The museum currently operates programs for schools and family groups out of its bus called “Museum on the Go”. Parents and teachers can request a visit, or learn where the museum will be, by going to the website.
What are some of your favorite museums in New York City to visit with the kids? Share them with us!Tags : travel NYC Brooklyn Bronx Staten Island Queens Manhattan New York