Best interactive museums

There's no snoozing allowed at these grab-you-by-the-balls museums.



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  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Museum of American Finance

  • Museum of the Moving Image

  • Museum of Sex

  • New York Hall of Science

  • New York Transit Museum. Photograph by RM Robertson

  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex

  • Dance Motion Capture at Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Courtesy of Sony Wonder...

  • Virtual Surgery at Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Courtesy of Sony Wonder...

  • Tenement Museum. Photograph by Keiko Niwa

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
The award-winning activities aboard this decommissioned aircraft carrier include piloting a flight simulator in the cockpit of an A-6 Intruder jet, playing pinball to understand how a spacecraft reaches orbit and floating in an Intrepid lifeboat.

Museum of American Finance
Get to know a $20 bill and a stock certificate intimately via touch screens, which allow you to zoom in and read pop-ups explaining the different security features. There are also touch-screen interviews with local entrepreneurs, enabling you to skip the bit about their "inspiration" and jump straight to the how-to on making cold, hard cash.

Museum of the Moving Image
While away your day at Moving Image by beating all the high scores on its rotating selection of 14 classic arcade games from the '70s and '80s, including Frogger, Space Invaders and Tron. A dollar buys you four tokens and a round-trip ticket to your childhood.

Museum of Sex
Of course it's interactive—it's called intercourse, after all! You can fondle the torsos and genitalia of lifelike love dolls and push a button to see how a modified KitchenAid mixer works as a sex toy, among other semihot/semidisturbing activities.

New York City Police Museum
To fully experience what life as a policeman is like, visitors can participate in a simulated police gunfight and determine if the shooting was warranted, have their mug shot taken and hang out behind bars in a jail cell.

New York Hall of Science
This place boasts more than 400 interactive exhibits, including one that helps you improve your game by explaining the scientific principles behind baseball and basketball. The newest jewel in the interactivity crown is a nine-hole miniature-golf course in the outdoor Rocket Park, which amazingly demonstrates some of the physics involved in space travel (like re-creating zero gravity on the ball in a loop-the-loop structure).

New York Transit Museum
What can you do here that you can't do on your commute to work? Set a two- and a four-stroke engine into action and see which one emits the most soot particles; ride a vintage subway car; and pass through old-school wrought-iron and mahogany turnstiles.


Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Step into a "capture pod" to see an animated character mimic your dance motions in real time, or experience what it might be like to perform open-heart surgery using haptic technology (employing a tool that imitates the sensations of cutting bone or slicing the aorta with a scalpel). Cool and gross at the same time.

The Tenement Museum
What could be more interactive than a real person, walking through a real tenement slum? On select guided tours, an actor playing 14-year-old Victoria Confino welcomes you "off the boat" and explains what your new life in the land of opportunity will be like. If the sound quality on the antique Victrola is anything to go by, life is gonna suck.

Users say


Some of these are a little coarse, but some may be interesting. :)