Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

5 free ways to enjoy NYC museums and gardens before school starts

Take advantage of the extra-long summer by planning visits to some of the city's best museums and attractions when they're open to the public free of charge.

We love that a whole slew of our favorite museums—MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney—always have free admission for kids, but we've rounded up a list of when and where the entire family (parents too!) can "get cultured" without spending a dime before the kids head back to school. Click through our slide show, below, and mark your calendars!

  • Photograph: Brian Palmer/Museum of the Moving Image

    Museum of the Moving Image

    Score backstage passes to see how films are made, from the creative process to tech-y digital editing, in the "Behind the Screen" exhibition. Museum of the Moving Image. Free Fridays 4–8pm.

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Children's Museum of Manhattan

    Sketch a topsy-turvy Rockefeller Center, operate an MTA bus and check out the eye-popping sculptures in the "Red Grooms' New York" exhibit. Children's Museum of Manhattan. Free Fri Sept 6 5–8pm (and 5–8pm the first Friday of every month).

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    Bid adieu to summer and welcome the first signs of fall at one of our very favorite spots in the city. Check out our BBG guide before you go or while you're there. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Free Sat, Sun 10am–noon (except on festival weekends), Tuesdays and winter weekdays (Nov–Feb).

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby

    Museum of Modern Art

    Brush up on American art history at "American Modern: From Hopper to O'Keeffe," then have a scavenger hunt to track down MoMA's ten best pieces of art for kids in the permanent collection.Museum of Modern Art. Uniqlo Free Friday Nights Fri 4–8pm.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Wave Hill

    Get inspired by the lush landscaping surrounding the (newly restored) historic Wave Hill House for a nature-themed Family Art Project (think butterflies, paper blooms and garden sketches) on weekend mornings. Or stop by on Tue Sept 3 for a free garden tour, starting at 11am. Wave Hill. Free Sat, Sun 9am–noon and Tuesdays in September 11am–noon (includes garden admission).

     

Photograph: Brian Palmer/Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Score backstage passes to see how films are made, from the creative process to tech-y digital editing, in the "Behind the Screen" exhibition. Museum of the Moving Image. Free Fridays 4–8pm.


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