New and upcoming exhibits at NYC museums for kids

At these NYC museums for kids, cool new exhibits are always on the way! See our favorite exhibits for kids below.

Photograph: Courtesy National Museum of Mathematics

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

Photograph: Bruce White
Museums, Military and maritime

"The Last Knight" (Beginning Oct 7)

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

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.

Photograph: Courtesy Pulse Creative LLC
News, City Life

“Pixinity: Pop Futurism” (Beginning Aug 16)

We hope there's room in your camera roll.  A tech and gaming-inspired pop-up from artist Tianyu Qiu, the former creative director behind the whimsical Wonder World installation in Brooklyn, is set to open in SoHo on Aug 16. With odes to the American Pop Art movement and European Futurism movement, “Pixinity: Pop Futurism” will transport visitors of all ages to a creative universe. Those who swing by will be led through 10 vibrant rooms chock full of sculptures, pixelated pieces, emoji-like figures, digital and gaming icons and computer-inspired work. (Yes, there's even a ball pit!) 

Photograph: Courtesy WonderWorld + O Zhang
News, Weird & Wonderful

"WonderWorld NYC" (Through Nov 4)

Head to Williamsburg for a world filled of wonder—literally! After a 2018 stint in Soho, WonderWorld NYC is back for a whole new chapter of stories in a mythical, immersive realm. The photo-worthy spectacle will deconstruct Alice in Wonderland and add exciting new aspects to the experience. The set is characterized by a connected maze of fairytale installations, from ancient Roman times to modern NYC. It's safe to say there's no shortage of areas to explore!  Visitors can choose their own tour, from a moon-like celeb experience and a true mushroom escape, to a new mirror room installation with swiveling space-like chairs. The dreamy pastel pink spaces and whimsical decor lend themselves to adorable pics. There is even the WonderWorld signature NYC Apple sanctuary where families can get a flavor for a new urban adventure!

Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
Things to do, Quirky events

Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari (Through Nov 3)

icon-location-pin Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

Advertised as the "biggest, most realistic dinosaur ride in America," the new attraction shuttles families (with narration) through a wooded area packed with 40 ultra-realistic (read: gigantic) animatronic dinosaurs. One of the most notable features will certainly be the two towering Tyrannosaurus rex—as well as the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. And to make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest

“DRIVEN: 007 x SPYSCAPE” (Through Dec 30)

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy David Mitchel + Arcadia Earth
Things to do, Exhibitions

Arcadia Earth (Through Jan 14, 2020)

icon-location-pin 718 Broadway, Downtown

This is planet Earth like you've never seen her before. NYC's latest immersive installation—located at 718 Broadway—is photo-worthy for a cause: While venturing through 15 rooms of underwater realms and fictional landscapes, "Arcadia Earth" visitors will be able to participate in virtual and augmented reality offerings while learning how our lifestyle choices will impact the future of our planet. Proceeds from all ticket sales will also directly support Arcadia’s educational and charity partner, Oceanic Global. All ages. 

Photograph courtesy of MacGillivrary Freeman Films.
Movies, Documentary

Apollo 11: First Steps (Through Jan 21, 2020)

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

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.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Art of the Brick
Museums, Special interest

"The Art of the Brick" (Through Jan 26, 2020)

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

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. 

Tyrannosaurus Rex, 4th floor halls
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Chesek
Museums, Natural history

“T. rex: The Ultimate Predator” (Through Aug 9, 2020)

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images
Things to do

Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience (Ongoing)

icon-location-pin Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West

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. 

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