Interactive Children’s Museums in NYC

A ball pit filled with plastic rainbow colored balls.
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Keeping your kids entertained and engaged can feel like a full time job itself, especially as school lets out for the summer. Although it may feel like a challenge to search for different activities to keep your kids’ days filled with fun and a bit of learning, we have just the resource. Luckily for you, New York City just so happens to be home to five different museums that specifically cater to children. From quirky science fairs to playful art exhibits, we’ve rounded up all the details below!

Staten Island Children’s Museum

The Staten Island Children’s Museum brings out the creativity and curiosity of kids of all ages. Through fantastic programming and exhibits, there’s more than enough to keep your kids exploring all in a day’s visit! Try out their Big Games exhibit, features chess, dominoes, checkers, and bowling with life sized pieces! What a smart way to get the wiggles out, right? If you have a crawler or ball of energy, there’s a human-sized ant hill in the Bug and Other Insects exhibit. This allows kids to see how larvae is moved from chamber to chamber – talk about real life learning! The Garden Terrace encourages kids to get down and dirty (with soil, that is!) in a nature-inspired play area.

The museum is having a Carnival and Science Spectacular June 3rd from 1 pm-5 pm, so save the date!

Admission: $8 for everyone 1 year and up

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Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is my 1 year old’s favorite spot on the Upper West Side. There’s 5 floors of fun for kids of all ages (but one of those is dedicated specifically to the toddlers, which I’m very much appreciative of!). Kids can get their energy out through indoor play areas, show off their artistic skills through paint walls, engage in a life sized version of Light Bright (which all you 90’s kids will remember well!), learn about other cultures in interactive exhibits, and even pretend to be the President of the United States!

Admission: $12 for everyone 1 year and up

A small brunette girl wearing a yellow apron sitting in front of a large sunny window painting on an aisle.
Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of the Arts Facebook

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Children’s Museum of the Arts is, you guessed it, specific to creating and exploring childhood through art! And not just visual art, either. Your kiddos will be able to explore the fields of painting, singing, video animation, sculpting with clay, and so much more. I also really appreciate how they have a special section for younger kids, called the WEE Art Studio. This allows kids aged 5 and under to participate in art via drop-in classes several times a week, perfect for their developmental growth.

Admission: $12 for 1 year and up, pay-as-you-wish 65 and older (making this a great activity for kids to do with their grandparents!)

Jewish Children’s Museum

The Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn is a space where children of all religious backgrounds can come to gain a positive perspective and awareness of the Jewish heritage, fostering tolerance and understanding. One of the really fun exhibits is their Gallery of Games, which includes games such as mini golf and treasure hunting.

Admission: $13 for 2 years old and up, $10 for 65 and older

A sandbox with bright blue sand and colorful sand toys.
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Children’s Museum Facebook

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum holds the title for being the very first children’s museum, dating back to 1899. Since then more than 300 museums specific to children have opened up around the world, this spot is a pretty big inspiration! Some of my favorite permanent exhibits for the kids include:

  • Brooklyn Block Lab (think life sized blocks – perfect for building your little one’s sensory skills)
  • World Brooklyn (which lets kids play in life-like shops that they would actually find in Brooklyn neighborhoods)
  • Sensory Room (children of all abilities can engage with their peers and explore their senses)

This museum offers weekly programs for toddlers that include story times, which are fantastic resources for stay-at-home parents or caregivers with kids too small to be in school.

Admission: $11 for everyone 1 year and up

Which children’s museum is your go-to? Let’s chat on Facebook and Twitter!

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