Museums in NYC always seem to surprise us in January by announcing (and opening!) some of the best exhibitions they'll mount all year. From a show at the Museum of the City of New York all about the history of NYC graffiti to a kid-friendly look at fascinating connection between The Little Prince and New York City at the Morgan Library, NYC museums are going the distance right when we need them to most. Speaking of which: for sports fans there are even two football-themed exhibits, one at CMOM and another at Liberty Science Center, in honor of upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII, coming to town on February 1. Sure you may have brave a bit of chilly weather to get to these institutions, but once you arrive your senses, and your kids, will thank you for making the effort. Happy museumgoing in winter 2014!
RECOMMENEDED: Download our January calendar
Engineering may sound like an esoteric concept, which is just what this kid-friendly exhibition sets out to disprove with examples of how people have use various technologies to enable people to do something better, easier—or just plain do it at all. Among the highlights: a hands-free computer mouse, controlled by subtle movements of the head and a limb that can be controlled by a person's thoughts. A particularly fun activity for kids is the Caring for Your Pet station, where they can create a tool with which a wheelchair user can pick up his or her pet's bowl. Ages 4 and up.
The Super Bowl is coming to MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets, in 2014, and to celebrate, the NFL is partnering with CMOM to bring kids up to speed on the art of officiating football games. Young visitors can try out a facsimile of the NFL's instant replay system and learn the various signs and signals officials use to communicate their calls. There's also an NFL Play 60 video kiosk; a peek into the Manhattan control room where all NFL games are monitored and, to teach kids how important fitness is to the job of officiating, an obstacle course. All ages.
The entire fifth floor of the New Museum will morph into an Enterprise-like spaceship interior thanks to the constructive nostalgia of Eastern European artist collective Tranzit. Artwork by its various members will be installed throughout the museum in a way that blurs the borders between science fiction art and anthropology. Kids are bound to love the sense of strangeness and excitement the space is sure to elicit. Ages 5 and up.
Most people are familiar with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved story about an asteroid-hopping boy and his flower, but not many know that the French author wrote and published the illustrated novella in New York City at the the height of World War II. To celebrate the writer-aviator’s time here, the Morgan is curating an exhibition featuring his working manuscript and drawings, letters to and from family members about his progress, and other ephemera.
East Village painter Martin Wong (1946–1999) was also an avid art collector, primarily of graffiti works created in the 1970s and ’80s. This show—the first time the collection has been exhibited—traces the evolution of graffiti as an art form during that time period. Kids will have the chance to take in not only photographs of another era, in the form of spray-painted works on NYC subway cars and buildings, but also sketch books and mixed media paintings that show the artistic origins of various taggers' work. All ages.