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Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

What's there to do over spring break for kids? When it comes to NYC museums, plenty. Get some culture by checking out these spring-break family programs.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Children's Carnival at the Queens County Farm Museum

  • Photographer: Andrew Kelly

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Citizen Science at the New York Hall of Science

  • Photograph: Marcos Staphne

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    "Brooklyn Block Lab" at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Photograph: courtesy CMOM

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Maker Fest at CMOM

  • Photograph: courtesy New York Transit Museum

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Sharin' a Ride The Musical at the New York Transit Museum

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Easter Egg Hunt at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Scandinavia House Exhibition Workshops

     

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    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Handmade History at Brooklyn Historical Society

  • Otto the Rhino at MoMA

  • Photograph: Alison Lowenstein

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    History In Your Hands: Spring Sprouts at Lefferts Historic House Museum

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Drawing on Nature at Wave Hill

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Family Walk: Signs of Spring at Wave Hill

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Milstein Science Series at the American Museum of Natural History

  • Photograph: Courtesy ShirLaLa

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Passover with ShirLaLa

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Open Studio at the Guggenheim

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Macy's Sunday Story Time

     

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    CMA Spring Break Workshops

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Charles H. Tally Holiday Monday at the Met

     

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Little New-Yorkers at DiMenna Children's History Museum

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Passover at Yeshiva University Museum

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Drop-In Art Workshop

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Matzo & Macaroons Synagogue Tours

  • Photograph: Wendy Connett

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Museum at Eldridge Street Scavenger Hunts

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    El Museo Super Sabado

  • Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Egg-citing Eggs at BCM

  • Photograph: Antony Morales

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Retro Science: The Incredible Egg

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Family Art Project: Eco Fair

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Baby Loves Disco

    Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

    Freedom Art Jam

Photograph: Marielle Solan

Spring break for kids: Family activities at NYC museums

Children's Carnival at the Queens County Farm Museum

Not only are we already into April but spring break for kids in New York City is right around the corner too! (This year, for public school students, it starts on Saturday, April 12, and wraps up on Tuesday, April 22.) With their wealth of great shows for kids, NYC museums make a great spring-break destination in their own right. But many are offering programs and workshops over break for kids as well. From a special Maker Fest at CMOM, in conjunction with its new STEAM Lab, to cool workshops at CMA, we've got cultural offerings galore that will remind your young schoolgoer why New York is the best city for families.


RECOMMENDED: Spring break for kids in New York City


Spring break for kids: Museum activities

Children's Carnival

  • Price band: 1/4

Trek out to the working farm for a country carnival, held in the orchard. Among the festive offerings are amusement rides, midway games and a magic show in the barn. All ages.

  1. Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, between 73rd Rd and 74th Ave
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

Citizen Science Series

  • Price band: 2/4

On these special Saturdays at NYSCI, kids can help out with scientific research and analysis under the direction of visiting partner groups to the museum. Ages 7 and up.

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave, 11368
  2. Sat May 3
More info

"Brooklyn Block Lab"

  • Price band: 1/4

The latest hands-on studio at Brooklyn Children's Museum is a 1,000-square-foot exhibit filled with blocks of various materials and colors, from flat plastic pieces to 3-D wood and foam elements, in which kids can design and build structures to their hearts' content—and pick up developmental, social and language skills along the way. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Thu Aug 28 - Sun Aug 31
More info

Maker Fest at CMOM

  • Price band: 1/4

Spend spring break at CMOM for 11 whole days of artist- and scientist-led workshops and demos inside the museum's new STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art and math) lab. Kids can create sculptures out of circuits and wood with Mexican artist Ricardo Cid (4/12), design a string instrument with musician Ken Butler (4/13), learn how to use a Drawbot (4/14), make spinning sculptures (4/15), mix paint out of natural materials with teaching artist Patricia Miranda (4/16), take samples from shoes for Project MERCCURI, which sends earthly organisms and bacteria to the International Space Station to see how they react in space (4/18), use a paintball gun to create a self-portrait (4/20) and build robots with experts from Parsons (4/21). Ages 5 and up.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Until Tue Apr 22
More info

Sharin' a Ride

  • Price band: 1/4

Giggle along to an original musical production detailing the history of public transportation in the Big (Green) Apple. Sing along with Carbon Footprint Man and The Professor while learning about eco-friendly transit. Ages 4 and up.

  1. New York Transit Museum Boerum Pl, at Schermerhorn St, 11201
  2. Until Tue Apr 22
More info

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

  • Price band: 1/4

Try to keep the little ones from trampling the flowers as they scurry through the historic manse's gardens and grounds scouting for eggs. (Be sure to bring your own basket!) Once they've got their candy, kids can enjoy arts and crafts, refreshments and snap a photo with the Easter bunny. Reservations required. Light refreshments included. Ages 2 to 12.

  1. Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum 895 Shore Rd, at Pelham Bay Park
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

Scandinavia House Exhibition Workshops

  • Price band: 1/4

From March through April 12, this Saturday series introduces children to the works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer by comparing them to contemporary photographs focused on darkness and light; then, they'll create their own masterpiece using watercolor, gouache, acrylic, printmaking and collage. From April 26 through June 14, the workshops are inspired by the exhibition "Sami Stories," which explores the culture of the Sami peoples of northern Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. Kids will use textiles and natural materials to create Sami-inspired projects. Ages 6 to 11.

  1. Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America 58 Park Ave, between 37th and 38th Sts
  2. Until Sat Jun 28
More info

Handmade History!

On the second Saturday of each month, you and your family can head to the Brooklyn Historical Society for a Brooklyn history-inspired art-making program that will be fun for everyone. You can even take your new projects home and decorate your house with them. Space fills up quickly so be sure to reserve online. Ages 5-10.

  1. Brooklyn Historical Society 128 Pierrepont St, at Clinton St
  2. Sat Sep 13 - Sat Dec 13
More info

MoMA Family Films: Otto the Rhino

  • Free

Settle in for this Danish animated feature centered around Topper, whose extravagant tales about his seafaring father lend him the title of classroom liar. But when he stumbles across a magical pencil that brings his imaginations to life, he ends up creating an enormous rhinoceros that changes everything. Tickets will be distributed at the reception desk of the Education and Research Building on the day of the event only, and are first-come, first-serve. All ages.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Until Sat Apr 12
More info

History in Your Hands: Spring Sprouts

During the month of April, curious kids can try their hand at rotating and sifting compost to help enrich soil in the potato plot. Afterward, they can craft a small pot out of newspaper and plant a seed in it to take home. All ages.

  1. Lefferts Historic House Museum Ocean Ave, at Empire Blvd
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Family Art Project: Drawing on Nature

  • Free

As part of Wave Hill's Target Free Weekend, kids can spend two days exploring nature and creating artwork inspired by their surroundings. Guest artist Linda Stillman guides tykes in a trying a staining technique, using dirt and flowers to add color to their drawings, which they'll then bring outside to become part of a winding line of art throughout the Wave Hill grounds. All ages.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

Family Walk: Signs of Spring

  • Free

Scour Wave Hill's garden for signs of spring: early sprouting flowers, buzzing bees, chirping birds and more on this guided walk led by naturalist Gabriel Willow. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sat Apr 12
More info

Milstein Science Series: Poseidon's Poisons and Marine Medicines

  • Price band: 1/4

In conjunction with the excellent exhibit "The Power of Poison," AMNH hosts curator Mark Siddall and zoologist Jarod Miller at this family program for wildlife enthusiasts. Kids will learn how ocean critters use toxins to be both predator and prey, and how humans can make use of these seemingly sinister concoctions. Ages 5 and up.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

Passover with ShirLaLa

  • Price band: 1/4

Kiddie rocker Shira Kline and her band will lead tots on an interactive musical journey in celebration of Passover. Once they get into the spirit of things, kids can also work on holiday crafts. Ages 3 to 10.

Open Studio at the Guggenheim

  • Price band: 1/4

Little Picasso fans can head to the Sackler Center's Studio Art Lab and create a work of art inspired by the Guggenheim's fall exhibitions. Ages 5 to 14.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Until Sun May 11
More info

Macy's Sunday Story Time

Each Sunday, young history buffs learn about the city's past by reading a book cherrypicked for the DiMenna's late-morning storytime. Families can celebrate passover with 10-year-old Jacob in The Yankee at the Seder (Apr 13); prepare for Easter with Hoppi the bunny at a reading of The Easter Egg (Apr 20); and appreciate the Earth, city-style, on Earth Day with The Curious Garden and The Advntures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Apr 27). Ages 4 to 7.

  1. New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
  2. Sun Aug 31
More info

CMA Spring Break Workshops

Our favorite downtown art museum for kids stays open all week long (it's usually closed on Tuesdays) for its special spring break programming. Teaching artists lead workshops in framing insects (4/12, 4/13), shoe-related art (4/14), rainbow spider web weaving (4/15), creating library dioramas (4/16, 4/18), paper room–making (4/17), post-it note flipbooks (4/19, 4/20), fabric jellyfish (4/21) and creating cabinets inspired by the museum's current exhibition, "Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting" (4/22). Ages 3 to 10.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Until Tue Apr 22
More info

Charles H. Tally Holiday Monday at the Met

Head to the met on holiday Mondays for art-based discussions and sketching. Ages 5 to 12.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Until Mon Apr 14
More info

Spring Vacation Week at Wave Hill

  • Price band: 2/4

During the week the NYC public school kids are on spring break, artist Mariana Swick takes up residency at Wave Hill for three days of super-cool workshops. First, kids can mold and decorate plaster hand casts (4/15), then, they'll design a real working clock using natural and found materials (4/16). Return on Thursday to try out the "resist" technique and create a textured hand drawing. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Until Thu Apr 17
More info

Little New-Yorkers

  • Price band: 1/4

The youngest NYC residents explore their city through storytelling, singing, and activites like playing with old-timey toys. A craft session or time spent in the DiMenna Children's History Museum is also offered each week on an alternating basis. Ages 3 to 5.

  1. New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
  2. Until Fri Aug 1
More info

Passover at Yeshiva University Museum

Celebrate Passover through art-making and history at the Yeshiva Museum. Among the attractions are scale model syagogues, Persian Jewish artifacts, a search for the Seven Species in the Great Hall, and an afikoman matzah bag-making workshop from 1:30-3:30 pm. All ages.

  1. Center for Jewish History/Yeshiva University Museum 15 W 16th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Thu Apr 17
More info

Drop-In Art Workshop

  • Price band: 1/4

On special days at the Jewish Museum, little artists get a chance to make their own artwork by painting, drawing, sculpting or crafting. The art projects are inspired by exhibitions on view and have a different theme each week. In April, they'll make matzah boxes. Ages 3 and up.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St, 10128
  2. Until Fri Apr 18
More info

Matzo & Macaroons Synagogue Tours

Tour the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark, built in 1887 during the peak of East European Jewish migration to the United States. Streit's Matzo Factory will provide tasty passover treats. Tours are held hourly. All ages.

  1. Museum at Eldridge Street 12 Eldridge St, between Canal and Division Sts, 10002
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Museum at Elridge Street Scavenger Hunts

Families can drop in anytime during museum hours for a self-guided scavenger hunt through all of the Eldridge Street Synagogue's hidden nooks and crannies. All ages.

  1. Museum at Eldridge Street 12 Eldridge St, between Canal and Division Sts, 10002
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Super Sábado!

  • Critics choice
  • Free

El Museo del Barrio's free family programming every third Saturday of the Month presents gallery tours and art workshops centered around a different theme each month. In February, celebrate the traditional Caribbean and Latin American Carnaval with music and dance workshops (2/15). This March, explore the world around you through art making and storytelling (3/15). Enter the magical world of libros at a book fair this April (4/19), and fete the return of spring with a block party blowout in May (5/17). R.S.V.P. recommended. All ages.

  1. El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Ave, between 104th and 105th Sts
  2. Sat May 17
More info

Egg-citing Eggs

  • Price band: 1/4

Forget storebought Easter baskets—at this workshop, kids learn about Easter celebrations around then world and find out where eggs come from. Tots then have the chance to examine a real bird's nest and make their own to take home. Ages 5 and under.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Until Sun Apr 20
More info

Retro Science: The Incredible Egg

  • Price band: 1/4

At this monthly series, parents and their tots work on brain-bending experiments to explore the science behind everyday occurences. This month, kids will meet Egguardo Pollo, the giant chicken, and learn why egg shells are so strong. Tots will try building towers on top of eggs and see if they can crush one with their body weight. All ages.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Family Art Project: Eco Fair

  • Price band: 1/4

Tykes with a green thumb can celebrate Earth Day by making eco-friendly crafts from recycled materials, like an egg-carton caterpillar, a bottle cap board game or a nature-themed pin. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Freedom Art Jam

  • Price band: 1/4

The Jewish Museum presents a family-friendly art and dance party for Passover. Kids can celebrate by dancing to 60's tunes from Baby Loves Disco as well as the folk-inflected beats of David Grover & Grover's Gang ("Go Down Moses," "Man Come Down to Egypt" and "The Matzah Song"). After hitting the dance floor, kids can collaborate on a freedom word poem and make their own instruments. Ages 3 and up.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St, 10128
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info


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