Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Family memberships at NYC museums

Which ones get you the best bang for your buck? We rate them on a scale of one (least) to five (most).

  • American Museum of Natural History

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Brooklyn Museum

  • Brooklyn Museum

  • Bronx Zoo

  • Bronx Zoo

  • Children's Museum of the Arts

  • Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Liberty Science Center

  • Liberty Science Center

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Museum of the City of New York

  • Museum of Modern Art

  • Museum of Modern Art

  • New York Hall of Science

  • New York Hall of Science

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History
Price: $125 for two adults and up to four kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Two visits
Benefits: You can forget paying full price for IMAX movies here, and also enjoy 10 percent off at the museum store (astronaut ice cream doesn't come cheap), behind-the-scenes tours with curators, and invitations to special exhibition previews.
Overall value: 5

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Price: $85 for two adults and any kids in the same household under age 16
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Five visits
Benefits: It will only save frequent visitors money, but this package will let you skip the line at the cherry blossom festival, learn the Charleston at a members-only bash, watch an outdoor flick at a party in August, and attend a members night with activities and crafts for kids.
Overall value: 2

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Price: $85 (Pioneer), $175 (Voyager); for two adults and four kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Three visits (Pioneer), six visits (Voyager)
Benefits: A basic Pioneer membership grants families free admission. With the Voyager plan, families get in free, and receive a $25 discount on a museum birthday party, express entry on weekends and holidays, a tote bag, three free guest passes, and free admission to 150+ museums around the country.
Overall value: 3

Brooklyn Museum
Price: $100 family membership; for two adults and four kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Four visits
Benefits: The family membership includes an invite to the annual family event, where curators show off seldom-seen artifacts and lead educational—but fun—workshops; discount and early registration privileges for the Gallery/Studio classes for kids; and discounted tickets for the Arty Facts program. 
Overall value: 2

Bronx Zoo
Price: $129 (basic), $164 (Premium); for two adults and any kids in the same household
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Three visits (for either membership)
Benefits: Join and you'll also become a member of the New York Aquarium and other local zoos. Spring for the pricier Family Premium level and you won't have to pay for Congo Gorilla Forest and other special Bronx Zoo attractions.
Overall value: 4

Children's Museum of the Arts
Price: $250 for two adults and unlimited kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Seven visits
Benefits: If your child is a wannabe Da Vinci or Picasso, the membership has value—it gets you 10 percent off classes, which can run up to $425 per semester, and early sign-up for courses and the Art Colony summer camp.
Overall value: 2

Children's Museum of Manhattan
Price: $210 for two adults, two caregivers and unlimited kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Six visits
Benefits: It takes a lot of visits to make back the membership fee at CMOM, but reciprocal discounts at the Little Orchestra Society, the New Victory Theater, Central Park's Victorian Gardens and a local Crunch gym sweeten the deal. Plus, you can bring Grandma and Grandpa.
Overall value: 4

Liberty Science Center
Price: $140 for two adults and up to four kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Two visits
Benefits: During member nights, you get to explore the center in peace, with special activities and games. Big on travel? Enjoy memberships at 270 other institutions, including the Chicago Children's Museum and the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Overall value: 3

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Price: $200 for two adults and unlimited kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Four visits
Benefits: Dine in the exclusive Trustee's Dining Room overlooking Central Park and book a private event in the chichi Terrace or Rose Room. There are also members-only art classes for children. Just be forewarned: These courses cost extra.
Overall value: 3

Museum of the City of New York
Price: $85 for two adults and up to four kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Four visits
Benefits: There are many great deals to be had in the city that this museum chronicles, but this membership isn't one of them. One plus, though—cheap admission to the Children's Holiday Party, with more than a dozen live musicians and performers. You'll also receive a discount at the gift shop and caf.
Overall value: 2

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Price: $175 for two adults and unlimited kids
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Four visits
Benefits: Members attend Little Member mornings (days when they can enter pre-opening), bypass lines and snag bargains at the MoMA Design Store. At the gratis Family Festival, kids make art and enjoy free food and music.
Overall value: 4

New York Hall of Science
Price: $85 (Family Pass), $110 (Family Premium); for two adults and four kids (Family Pass) or six kids (Family Premium)
For two adults and two kids, it pays for itself in: Three visits (for either membership)
Benefits: Join at the Family Premium level—you'll get free parking (worth $10), reciprocal entry to scores of other museums, free access to the Science Playground, four guest passes, and discounts on birthday parties, clubs and shows.
Overall value: 4

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