Best Children’s Museums in New York City (that kids will love)

Best Children's Museums in New York City (that kids will love)
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9 Great Children’s Museums to Visit with Your Family

Whether you are looking for a day of adventure and learning with the kids to fill in the last days or summer or are looking for a museum that has kids in mind, New York has the best offerings.

While museums may sometimes be characterized as quiet spaces filled with dull exhibits, these museums are specifically created with kids in mind. Many of these picks boast highly interactive and sensory-enhancing exhibits designed for growing intellects.

Whether your child is interested in art, science, history or anything in between, a children’s museum is sure to be perfect for you and your family.

Here’s a roundup of children’s museums in New York to visit with your family!

Psst… Here’s your guide to navigating the NYC subway system with young kids

Brooklyn Children’s Museum 

145 Brooklyn Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213

As the first children’s museum in the United States built in 1899,  the Brooklyn Children’s Museum does not disappoint. The museum was designed to encourage little ones to explore a variety of senses and encourage social, physical and emotional development.

With different exhibits like Totally Tots (which features nine different sensory play areas) and The Nest on their rooftop terrace, kids have the opportunity to experience what the museum has to offer hands-on.

One of the museum’s most unique features is the World Brooklyn exhibit. This is the BCM’s very own mini Brooklyn with mini shops based on the real ones they would find across Brooklyn. Here they will have the chance to learn about the different parts of a community and what helps it thrive. 

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

212 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

Over the years, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has been a notable destination for thousands of kids, families and educators in the five boroughs and beyond.

Here, discover what the museum has to offer, like their exhibit, Inside Art: Create, Climb, Collaborate. The interactive exhibition allows kids to engage with contemporary art and explore new ideas.

Other exhibits include Dynamic H2O, which allows kids to learn about New York City’s water system; Play Works; Right to Vote, a temporary exhibition to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage and teach children about the importance of voting; and Superpowered Metropolis, an immersive superhero-themed exhibition.

All of these offerings are curated for different ages and designed to teach kids important skills while having fun.

DiMenna Children’s History Museum 

170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024

Part of the New York Historical Society museum, the DiMenna Children’s Museum allows families and children to connect with America’s past, present and future.

Learn about the history of the country and New York City through exhibits that teach visitors about the lives of historical figures, from childhood to adulthood. Join along in sing-alongs, arts and crafts, and games scattered throughout the museum.

Connect with our country’s past and have your kid engage in various interactive displays and lessons! 

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling 

898 St. Nicholas Avenue at 155th Street New York, NY 10032

The Sugar Hill Museum was founded as a space for families to engage with cultural programs while also addressing the educational needs of young children in the community.

The creators understood that children are natural artists, so it was created as a space where children could see art as well as share and create art from their own stories.

Kids not only can explore art through the exhibitions or participate in the museum’s workshop and event offerings, like storytelling hours.

Staten Island Children’s Museum

1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

Located in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Children’s Museum provides creative and cultural hands-on experiences for children ages 1 and up. There are 12 indoor and outdoor exhibitions to explore, as well as workshops, story times and more.

Become a junior entomologist at Bugs & Other Arthropods, see nature up close on the Garden Terrace or take a worldwide adventure in Great Explorations.

Jewish Children’s Museum

792 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn NY 11213 

Take your child to learn about Jewish culture in a fun and immersive environment. At the Jewish Children’s Museum, relive famous biblical stories and interact with traditions and customs within the culture.

Learn about major events in Jewish life in the Six Holes of Life mini golf course or have your kids try out the rock climbing wall, where they “climb through” important events in Jewish history.

The museum itself even features a Kosher Supermarket exhibit, where children can learn the ins and outs of what’s kosher. 

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th St, Queens, NY 11368

The New York Hall of Science in Queens is New York’s center for interactive science, and it’s the perfect place for young learners who are interested in learning about science.

This museum is home to a number of fascinating exhibits like Powering the City, a Design Lab, Connected Worlds and more. Explore the world and how it works from new perspectives.

National Museum of Mathematics

11 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Numbers take on a new life in the National Museum of Mathematics. This museum highlights the role of math in the world around us. Within its dynamic exhibits, allow your kids to explore how math is all around them, in everything from logo designs to sports.

The museum also features events, including a math book club that allows tweens and teens to keep learning about math even when they’re not at the museum. 

American Museum of Natural History

200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

The American Museum of Natural History brings excitement to learning about history, especially for families. Discover the world of sharks in their new exhibit that focuses on these spectacular and often misunderstood creatures.

The museum is filled with incredible life sized skeletons, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex! While you’re there, be sure to reserve tickets for the Hayden Planetarium. You and your family will be blown away with what this museum has to offer.

Museum of the Moving Image

36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

Discover the history of film at the Museum of Moving Image, a hidden gem located in Queens. While the whole museum isn’t appropriate for children (with some scarier films featured throughout)), they have curated areas specifically for families to enjoy!

Enjoy hands-on learning experiences like the animation table where you can create your own stop motion videos, or the Jim Henson Exhibit that explores the puppeteer film director’s well known characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo and more! 

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