Don't miss new and upcoming exhibits at the very best NYC museums for kids. There are so many great things to see, including art exhibits, interactive exhibits and nature-inspired exhibits—even some annual holiday train show exhibits, too! Here in the city, we have access to the coolest stuff. Don't miss out!
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to children's museum picks for families
Looking for even more fun beyond our top museums for kids and new children's exhibits? Be sure to browse our other favorite family attractions, kids' playgrounds and cool indoor activities for kids. While you're at it, explore our favorite outdoor activities for kids as well.
Best new museum exhibits at NYC museums for kids
During this family-friendly tour of the exhibition, tykes will learn about the island's evolution as well as its hidden history of farming, manufacturing and sports. Little ones will then commemorate the borough's storied past and present in a tile-making workshop, presented by the Staten Island's own Kreischer Brickworks and American Linoleum Manufacturing Company. Ages 7 to 12.
The preeminent independent gaming festival, previously a West Coast–only affair, brings a family-friendly lineup of events to the Museum of the Moving Image. At this particular exhibit, visitors will be able to explore the work of game developers over the past 10 years. Ages 3 and up.
Travel to Hawaii through Georgia O’Keeffe’s art created during a visit to its lush landscapes in 1939. More than 15 of O’Keeffe’s paintings, which haven’t been seen together in New York since their debut in 1940, will be on display in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Art Gallery. Film screenings, lectures, readings, and an interactive guide will round out the exhibit and cultural activities—live music, hula and chant performances and artisan demonstrations—will take place on weekends throughout the garden. Kids will learn about the plants captured in O’Keeffe’s paintings, receive field notebooks to draw in as they follow a trail and create their own botanical works of art. All ages.
History buffs of all ages can experience the fascinating past of the Growler, the only nuclear missile-launching submarine open to the public, without climbing the vessel's steep stairs or walking through its narrow passageways with this free new exhibit. Learn all about the Growler's place in Cold War history and about the naval officers that operated the complicated, state-of-the-art sub. All ages.
Step inside the world of senses in this funhouse-like exhibtion at AMNH. There are eleven unique galleries in all. You’ll be able to explore how real our “reality” is (and what it’s shaped by.) And what our mind tells us through our different senses. Step into a room that tests your balance as the walls will appear to wave and ripple, through your feet tell you otherwise. Fly through a garden seen through the eyes of a bee or butterfly to learn how other animals experience flowers. Take a smell test and learn how what we think is one scent really is a symphony of different smells. There will also be a live presentation on why our senses are necessary for survival, how our senses are different from other animals and why human perception is unique. All ages.
Travel deep beneath the Ocean's surface to discover what lurks in the dark, cold depths of the sea with this special exhibit. Visitors learn about the new, cutting edge technologies like robotics, satellite monitoring, miniaturization, and high-definition imaging that scientists use to explore the ocean's vast realm. They can also see some of the new discoveries, like a new island forming near Hawaii and the behaviors of deep sea animals. The exhibit features mesmerizing displays, like a floor-to-ceiling array of biofluorescent species (animals that absorb and re-emit light) and a virtual ride in a submersible.
Young activists and feminists will love exploring this special exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. Check out the signs, sashes, props, hats and more artifacts collected from the hundreds of sister marches that took place across America on January 21, 2017. Girl power at it's finest. All ages.
The American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit explores the microbes, viruses, fungi and other organisms that live inside our bodies. According to the exhibit, our gastrointestinal tract is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and they can be affected by where we live, what we eat and what we touch among other factors. Learn about all about microbial genes and the important work they do to keep us alive. All ages.
Springtime has officially bloomed and we can hear the birds chirping, so Wave Hill decided to celebrate the occasion by taking a peek at some Bronx natives in their natural habitat. Glyndor Gallery will display a new exhibit, "Avifauna: Birds + Habitat," which focuses on the birds found on the nature center's grounds or the neighboring Hudson Valley. Various media such as paintings, drawings, photography, video and more will be on display. 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 butterfly 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.
Take a trip to Hogwarts—without leaving NYC! Potterheads can experience "Harry Potter: A History of Magic," a British Library exhibit that is coming to the New York Historical Society. Take a peek at what Hogwarts students study, see drafts from mastermind J.K. Rowling and of course, have a magical, whimsical time. All ages.