Everything You Need To See This Year At 10 Of Our Favorite Museums

Photo Courtesy of AMNH

New York City is home to many state of the art museums, where both young and old can find delight. Children, especially, have the opportunity to experience many one-of-a-kind events and ongoing exhibits at any time of the year. This year’s Ultimate Guide of Museums includes a butterfly exhibit, a summer powwow, an interactive water exhibit, an exploration into Jewish culture, and so much more. Read on for places to take the kids and enjoy some of what this wonderful city has to offer.

American Museum of Natural History: The “Humpback Whale” exhibit at AMNH, showing now through September 14, tells the tale of these 50-ton, 55-ft-long gentle giants. Get a glimpse of what life is like for this former almost extinct whale species, including how they make a 10,000-mile trip every year as they migrate, the story behind their singing skills, and how they raise their young. If whales really aren’t your thing, then be sure to check out the butterfly conservatory. Up to 500 free-flying colorful and tropical butterflies from Africa, Asia, and the Americas will flutter around from October 7, 2017–May 28, 2018, for the “Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter” exhibit. Striking scarlet swallowtails, large owl butterflies, and iridescent blue morpho butterflies are just a few of the types being housed in the vivarium, a habitat for these flying fellows. amnh.org

Children’s Museum of Art (CMA): The title “Maker, Maker,” should be a dead giveaway, as this exhibit is all about hands-on fun. From June 8-Sept ember 10, contemporary artists will step back in time and set aside the technological and mass produced ways of creating art. Artists will combine a range of dynamic aspects along with macramé, mosaics, metalwork, quilting, and other artisanal skills to bring their art to life, all while adding their own touch of excellence to the current DIY phenomena. cmany.org

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM): When the city is sweltering hot this summer, CMOM’s “Dynamic H2O” exhibit will be a delight for you and the kids. “Dynamic H2O” is an outdoor 800-square-ft, three-level interactive water exhibit, educating kids on where New York receives its water and the role it plays in everyday life. The exhibit opens on May 28 and will run through September. It will feature a 16-ft responsive water table, magnetic tubes, and outdoor laboratories where kids can try on careers for size. Marine scientist, anyone? Kids can create a waterfall, go fishing, and even build a dam. A variety of workshops, led by educators will also be on site for the duration of the exhibit. cmom.org

El Museo Del Barrio: New York City’s only museum dedicated to preserving Latin American and Puerto Rican culture is featured in two festivals in late spring. First up is the Loisaida Festival on May 28, which is a celebration of contributions from migrant and immigrant communities, and Puerto Rican and Latino culture and history. They will also be featured in the Museum Mile Festival, taking place on June 13, which is all about art-making, dance, music, and is filled with fun. Families can stroll through galleries and jam to DJs all up and down 5th Avenue, from 86th to 104th Street. elmuseo.org

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Apart from their annual Fleet Week event from May 24-30, which honors the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, this year the Drones are here. “Drones: Is The Sky The Limit?” is the first exhibit of its kind in the U.S. devoted to pilotless aircraft. Visitors can have a look at drones, both big and small, in addition to all the usual artifacts and model airplanes on display. Don’t forget to check out Volantis, the world’s first flying dress created and worn by Lady Gaga. The Intrepid is also having the 6th annual Space and Science Festival. From August 1-6, the museum invites you and your family to explore interactive displays from NASA, meet with former and current astronauts, enjoy Family Astronomy Night, get an in-depth look at the Enterprise space shuttle, and a whole lot more. intrepidmuseum.org

Jewish Museum: Jewish culture has always been rich in art, and this is your chance to see some rare finds up close and personal. On September 15, the Jewish Museum will open its exhibit “Scenes from the Collection,” a grand display of more than 650 works, most of which have more than likely never been on display before at the museum. This exhibit is family-friendly and will have eight scenes, each showcasing different works of art, as well as how the museum got its start, Torah ornaments, a vast portrait collection, and a scene devoted entirely to the National Jewish Archive of Broadcasting. It is the perfect exhibit for any age, and any cultural background. thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York: The Museum of the City of New York tends to have a wide—and colorful—event spread, so be sure to join them for family fun on May 13 at SABOR & RITMO: International Family Day of Dance. This event invites dancers of all ages and skill levels to come out and get their salsa, capoeira, kizomba, and other dances on. Dancing is not the only fun event on the menu, as there will be films, works hops, live music by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros, and a dance party. Instructors from companies like Kizomba NYC and Milteri Tucker of Bombazo Dance Company will be present to teach visitors how to bust a move or two. This event will play off of themes in an upcoming exhibit, “Rhythm and Power: Salsa in New York.” The exhibit, which opens on June 14, will educate guests on salsa and the immigrant and migrant communities that helped to expose salsa’s richness. It also touches on salsa’s ties to activism here in the city and the supporting role of record companies and stores. Audio, video, costumes, and musical instruments will also be there, adding to the vibrancy of salsa. mcny.org

New-York Historical Society: This summer, experience the 100th anniversary of America’s official entry into WWI with the New-York Historical Society. From May 27-September 2 (excluding July 1), “Living History: Centennial Saturdays” will open a portal back in time to the authenticity and details of New York in 1917. Museum visitors can interact with living historians, check out 20th Century military uniforms, listen to stories about life in 1917, and get an all-around feel of what New York life was like during the war, both on and off the battlefield. The exhibit is for all ages, and sure to be fun for any young historian in the making. nyhistory.org

Onassis Cultural Center NY: In conjunction with their exhibit “A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC–200 AD,” which is running until June 24, the Onassis Cultural Center will host Family Sunday. Families are encouraged to come out and create a magical wish box inspired by ancient artifacts and play with a magical mythical monster, known as the Greek Gorgon. On May 21 and June 11, “Everyday Emotions” is open for children ages 5-9, with three different sessions available for participation. “Messages from Ancient Greece” also takes place on May 21, and is designed with children ages 10-12 in mind, featuring all-day art activities. onassisusa.org

Queens County Farm Museum: This historic farmland has been around since 1697 and is the perfect location for the 39th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Powwow. Over 40 Indian nations will be in attendance for this 3-day intertribal dance competition from July 28-30. The event will be hosted in the apple orchard section of the farm ground, where over the course of the three-day event, attendees will have a large variety of Native American jewelry, crafts, art, and food available for purchase. From September 23-24, be sure to check out the Queen’s County Fair, entering its 35th year. Children and adults are welcome to enjoy arts and crafts, blue ribbon competitions, pie eating contests, food vendors, and a whole lot more. It’s a perfect way to start the Fall season. queensfarm.org

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American Museum of Natural History, amnh.org

Brooklyn Children’s Museum, brooklynkids.org

Brooklyn Museum, brooklynmuseum.org

Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), cmany.org

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), cmom.org

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, cooperhewitt.org

Discovery Times Square, discoverytsx.com

The Guggenheim Museum, guggenheim.org

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, intrepidmuseum.org

Japan Society, japansociety.org

The Jewish Museum, thejewishmuseum.org

Liberty Science Center, lsc.org

Metropolitan Museum of Art, metmuseum.org

Morgan Library & Museum, themorgan.org

El Museo Del Barrio, elmuseo.org

Museum of American Finance, moaf.org

Museum of Arts and Design, madmuseum.org

Museum of Chinese in America, mocanyc.org

Museum of the City of New York, mcny.org

Museum of Food and Drink, mofad.org

Museum of Mathematics, momath.org

Museum of Modern Art, moma.org

Museum of the Moving Image, movingimage.us

National Museum of the American Indian, nmai.si.edu

National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 911memorial.org

The New Museum, newmuseum.org

New York City Fire Museum, nycfiremuseum.org

New York Hall of Science, nysci.org

New-York Historical Society, nyhistory.org

New York Transit Museum, web.mta.info/mta/museum

Onassis Cultural Center NY, onassisusa.org

Queens County Farm Museum, queensfarm.org

Queens Museum, queensmuseum.org

Rubin Museum of Art, rubinmuseum.org

The Skyscraper Museum, skyscraper.org

South Street Seaport Museum, southstreetseaportmuseum.org

Staten Island Children’s Museum, sichildrensmuseum.org

Tenement Museum, tenement.org

The Toy Museum of NY, toymuseumny.org

Whitney Museum of American Art, whitney.org