5 Best Family Museums on Long Island

Best Family Museums on Long Island
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Best Family Museums on Long Island

Although NYC is one of a kind, you don’t need to schlep your family onto the LIRR every time you want to do a fun activity together! Long Island can hold its own when it comes to entertainment.

If you’re searching for ideas to give your children an enriching and educational adventure within the vicinity of their home, look no further! Long Island is bustling with museums of all kinds for parents and children alike. 

With tons of programming and special events, museums on Long Island are sure to fascinate even the toughest critics: your beloved kids. With so many options to choose from, here are a few of the different museums on Long Island. 

Psst… Here are 11 Things to Do Near NYC for Kids Who Are Obsessed with Dinosaurs!

Long Island Children’s Museum

11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission (for online ticket purchase): Adults, $17; Children, $17; Seniors (65 and up), $16; Children under 1, Free

The Long Island Children’s Museum hopes to foster an environment that allows children to immerse themselves in imagination and new discoveries. 

Exhibits are fun for all ages, and include classics like the bubble experiment (a personal favorite of mine) to unique traveling exhibits like Very Eric Carle

The Long Island Children’s Museum website is expertly curated to ensure parents know how to best support their child as they learn and explore.

To see for yourself, check out the “How to Guide Your Experience” and “What You Learn” sections under the descriptions of each exhibit. For example, learn more about Totspot and the interpersonal skills your child can develop in the community workspace.

The museum is also home to the LICM theater, where you can take your children to enjoy the performing arts; a variety of STEM programs and Nunley’s Carousel

To pick the perfect day for your family to visit this iconic Long Island spot, check out this calendar

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City, NY
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: (prices reflect the Museum and Planetarium Show Combo): Adults (Ages 13-61), $21; Children (Ages 2-12), $19; Seniors (Age 62+), $19

The Cradle of Aviation Museum shows the history of aviation through the lens of how Long Island impacted advancements in this field. Exhibits tell a story of planes and space, which are especially perfect for any child who dreams to be a pilot or astronaut. 

If your children are fascinated by the universe and stars, the planetarium show is a must-see. The Cradle of Aviation Museum has a full-dome planetarium, equipped with laser projectors and high-resolution technology that will make you and your family feel like you are floating in space.

This unparalleled experience takes you through the history of space, with show topics ranging from the stars, to asteroids, Mars and more. 

Long Island Aquarium 

431 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Weekdays, 10am-4pm; Weekends, Holidays & School Breaks, 10am-5pm
Admission: Adults (Ages 13-61), $47.60; Children (Ages 2-12), $33.11; Seniors (Age 62+), $34.15; Children 2 and under, Free

The Long Island Aquarium has a jam-packed daily schedule that is sure to tire out your kids (you’re welcome). Some of the exciting activities you will regularly find on the itinerary at the aquarium are penguin selfies, sea lion training and river otter feeding sessions. 

The Long Island Aquarium has one of the largest all-living, closed-system Coral Reefs in all of the Western Hemisphere. There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including an indoor garden where children can learn more about their favorite insects. 

If your family wants to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, look into the Shark Dive experience!

Also, be sure to look out for the seasonal Pirate Snorkel Adventure over the summer, where you and your family can swim alongside exquisite tropical fish of all kinds. 

While prioritizing the preservation of marine life and the environment, the Long Island Aquarium provides unique exhibits and activities that are sure to please the whole family. 

Nassau County Museum of Art

One Museum Drive, Roslyn, NY
Hours: Varies by department, see website for details
Admission: Adults, $15; Children under 12, $5; Student with ID, $5; Seniors (Age 62+), $10; Children 4 and under, Free; Museum Members – Free

Located in Roslyn, the Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) offers on demand, virtual and live programming to ensure your family can engage with the museum’s activities and exhibits in the most convenient way.

With exhibitions constantly changing, no two visits to the museum will be the same. There is always something new and exciting to discover in the museum’s halls or from the comfort of your own home. 

The outdoor section of the NCMA includes breathtaking trails, an arboretum and gardens. Spend time with your loved ones exploring the sculpture garden, and use this set of clues to guide your families search. 

Additionally, the NCMA offers art classes and workshops in The Manes Art & Education Center throughout the year!

Definitely be on the lookout for information on these classes in addition to details about exclusive family programs, and events like Family Saturdays, which connect children and parents through artistic expression. 

Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County

100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY
Hours: Monday -Friday, 10am – 4:30pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon  – 4pm 
Admission (online ticket purchase): Adults, $10; Students and Seniors, $5

Long Island is home to a variety of historical museums. The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) uses community outreach and education to teach individuals of all ages about the dangers of anti-Semitism, prejudice, bullying, intolerance, and discrimination. 

The HMTC aims to create a safe environment for people, regardless of faith or ethnicity, that fosters a community of acceptance and respect.

Visitors can choose a self-guided tour, docent-led tours, and one-hour docent-led tours of the Children’s Memorial Garden, which is dedicated to the 1.5 million child victims of the Holocaust and all the children that passed away during World War II.

Be sure to reserve these exclusive tours at least one week in advance. This museum is for people of all ages, but some topics may be complex for children on the younger side. 

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