Curious about new and upcoming exhibits at the best NYC museums for kids? We've got you covered.
Grab your brood for a gallery outing like no other: Topics range from art, mathematics, history and much more. No matter your children's interests, these family attractions offer something for everyone.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to children's museum picks for families
Best new museum exhibits at NYC museums for kids
The armor of Emperor Maximilian I, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire until 1519, was made for battle, and for showing off—just look at that lacy metalwork and exquisite details. There are over 180 items are in the exhibit, including the childhood armor of Maximilian's son, the future Philip I, King of Castile: This knight at the museum is sure to get the imaginations of your young ones racing. Mark your calendar for a special family afternoon on Nov 10 from 1pm–4pm that will include story time, a shadow puppet performance by Caroline Borderies and a chance for your young knights to embellish their custom armor. All Ages.
Love Crickets, Save the Planet is like an art farm only with crickets, which makes it way cooler than an art farm. (Not to bag on ant farms, which are pretty great.) This site-specific installation by artists Jude Tallichet and Adam Chad Brody gives kids an intimate look at these amazing insects—a bug-eye's view of the world you don't always see. $13, pay-what-you-wish Thursdays from 4-6pm. All ages.
NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages.
Origami is just as much a mathematical exercise as it is an artform. Venture to the Museum of Mathematics to explore 20+ artists' creative take on the paper-folding activity.
For a creative take on holiday decorations, look no further than the American Museum of Natural History. To celebrate this year’s theme—“T.rex and Friends: History in the Making”— the museum decks a 13-foot tree with origami ornaments made by artists from around the world. If you’re curious about how to fold a piece of paper into a mini masterpiece, the institution’s experts will be on hand throughout the season to give you tips! All ages.
Paul Revere was more than the country's most famous patriot, he was a master silversmith, engraver and printmaker who was one of the premier artisans of his age. This show includes more than 150 objects from his life and times—including some of the tea that Revere and others tossed into Boston Harbor. Be sure to check the New York Historical Society website for special events. $22, $6 ages 5-13, free ages 4 and under.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a screening of this 20 minute movie. The whole family will be amazed by the Apollo 11's story, as the filmmakers reconstruct the vessel's preparation, launch and return using never-before-seen footage. After the film, take your future astronauts to check out the museum's Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition. All ages.
Each winter, chef Jon Lovitch expertly crafts an adorable (and completely edible) gingerbread village at the New York Hall of Science. It takes the Queens food artist an entire year to whip up the charmingly detailed miniature homes and storefronts. In true New York fashion, Lovitch’s impressive handiwork has held the Guinness World Record title for the largest gingerbread village for four years in a row. On Jan 12 from 2 to 5pm, visitors can snag a piece of the tasty town on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to construct a cookie city of your very own, you and your child (ages 4 and up) can attend the nifty $15 workshop on various days throughout the season. All ages.
Is there life out there? (The correct answer is "yes.") You'll be better prepared to answer that eternal question after exploring Discover Exoplanets: The Search for Alien Worlds, a traveling exhibition that lands at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum. The show looks at the pursuit of habitable worlds beyond our solar system, and how NASA scientists is a part of that search. Intrepid Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen (intrepidmuseum.org), Free with museum entry. All ages.
Budding engineers and artists will be equally enthralled by the masterpieces Nathan Sawaya has intricately crafted with over 1,000,000 toy blocks. (No, that number is not a typo.) Visitors who love dinosaur activities will gawk at the artist's 20-foot t. rex, which is comprised of over 80,000 pieces alone. Creative youngsters who participate in fun art classes for kids will enjoy Sawaya's recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Additionally, photographer Dean West partnered with Sawaya to produce a multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photos. Make sure to participate in the exhibit's interactive elements as well! All ages.
The holiday model-train show at the New-York Historical Society is always a stunner, and this year celebrates Richard Scarry’s Busytown to honor the 100th anniversary of the author and illustrator’s birth. Let your little one climb to the viewing dome to see Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and other favorite characters, plus trains, trains and more trains. All ages.
Prepare to dig deep like a true paleontologist thanks to "T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator." The Museum of Natural History's new exhibit will give visitors a peek into how the massive creatures came to be. Patrons will get a good look at the new findings about the tyrannosaurs genus, with a special focus on our main man, the T. rex. Unlike what people may think—and what movies led us to believe—T. rex is simply one part of the species' 100-million-year evolution. Who knew that tyrannosaurs species actually include small, agile creatures? For real! All ages.
Reign of the Redbirds looks at the iconic subway cars that came to be known as Redbirds that first appeared in New York in 1959, and that were in kept in service until 2003. These workhorses evoke an era of great transformation in New York, and many of them met a poetic ending: decommissioned red cars were scuttled off the coast and helped anchor an artificial reef. Reign of the Redbirds is in the museum's atmospheric home in a decommissioned subway station under the streets of Downtown Brooklyn. Note: Museum is closed major holidays. $10, $5 ages 2-17, free 2 and under.
NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages.
It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which houses up to 500 butterflies living among tropical flowers. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites other species as they emerge from their chrysalises. Outside the vivarium, youngsters can watch a short film and read displays on the life cycle of butterflies, how to protect their habitats and what kinds of adaptations certain species have. All ages.