New York City, NY

5 Museums To Visit With Children in New York City

Traveling with Alice

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Mom and daughter in New YorkPhoto by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Looking for activities to do with your children in New York? These 5 museums will help you keep your little ones entertained while teaching them something new and exciting!

Children's Museum of the Arts

The first museum is the Children's Museum of the Arts, located at 103 Charlton Street.

Kathleen Schneider founded the museum in 1988, and in October 2011, opened the doors to its new 10,000 square-foot space at the current location.

CMA is a non-profit art museum featuring hands-on art activities for children ages 10 months to 15 years.

Children can get their hands dirty with various mediums while learning to draw, sculpt with clay, use textile products, and even create stop-motion animations.

The Children's Museum of the Arts also offers private art lessons, summer studios, and after-school classes.

CMA's mission to promote art for all children features programs and partnerships designed for children with learning disabilities, children in foster care or transitional housing, and children in homeless or low-income families.

The Museum also owns a collection of over 2,000 pieces of art created by children from over 50 different countries dating back to the 1930s.

General admission is $13.00; check opening times and class availability on the official website before visiting.

New York City Fire Museum

The New York City Fire Museum, located in the renovated 904 Beaux-Arts firehouse at 278 Spring Street in Hudson Square, is the official museum of the FDNY.

The two-floors exhibit houses a notable collection of fire-related art and artifacts from the 18th century tracing the development of firefighting in New York to the present day.

It features hand-pumped fire engines, horse-drawn vehicles, early motorized equipment, firefighting devices, and accessories.

The museum is also home to a permanent FDNY September 11th Memorial, with a collection of artifacts from the World Trade Center.

Temporary exhibitions and events keep the schedule of the NYCFM busy; check their website for more information about what's going on!

The museum is usually open Wednesday thru Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm, and ticket prices are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students, seniors, firefighters, AAA members, Federally Disabled (with ID), and $5.00 for children.

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A historical American LaFrance fire engine in the New York City Fire Museum.Melissa, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

New York Hall of Science

The New York Hall of Science, located inside NYSCI's original exhibition gallery, was built for the 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The NYSCI hosts more than 450 permanent and temporary exhibits and hands-on experiences for kids of all ages to demystify the world, explain science, and focus on biology, chemistry, and physics.

Permanent exhibits feature:

  • Mathematica: A World of Numbers... and Beyond, a kinetic and static exhibition of mathematical concepts designed by Charles and Ray Eames;
  • The Search for Life Beyond the Earth;
  • Sound Sensations: The Inside Story of Audio

A must-visit is the seasonal display of a handmade gingerbread village prepared by chef Jon Lovitch.

The New York Hall of Science also hosts sleepover events, and its galleries can be rent for private events such as meetings and birthday parties.

General admission for adults is $16, while for children, students, and senior is $13. Discounted prices are available for families and groups of 15+. To access the Science Playground, the Rocket Park Mini Golf, and the 3D Theater is necessary to purchase another ticket.

New York Transit Museum

Located in a historic subway station since 1936 in downtown Brooklyn, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to the NYC subway system and the builder who devoted their lives to it.

The exhibitions include historical documents, such as news reports and disputes surrounding the original construction of the subway, as well as interactive displays and film screenings chronicling New York City's world-renowned public transportation system. The Transit Museum also features a collection of antique train cars that show the evolution of the equipment and on-board experience.

The museum hosts several programs for children and students, also available online, with games and quizzes.

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Derby Electric Railway Locomotive (1888), New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, New York City.King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's largest natural history museums with 26 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibit halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Planetarium, and galleries for temporary displays, and a library.

It features more than 34 million specimens of animals, plants, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and artifacts.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) aims to educate while entertaining its visitors during self-guided tours, programs for children and their families, teen and after-school programs, and courses for educators.

The AMNH also hosts events, such as sleepovers and film festivals.

If you get hungry, there are few places inside where you can grab something to eat.

General admission to permanent Museum halls is adult $23, child age 3-12 $13, senior 60+ $18, and student (with ID) $18.

To visit the museum's permanent exhibition and special ones, check the combo ticket and reserve yours in advance; the museum is usually open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5:30 pm.

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