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Three underrated kid-friendly museums in NYC

Play around with a series of wacky interactive displays at the Micro Museum, take free family workshops at the Queens Museum of Art or view the work of popular illustrators at the Society of Illustrators. 

  • Micro Museum

  • Illustrator: John Hendrix

    Illustrator: John HendrixArtist/ Band: Beastie BoysAlbum: To the 5...

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Queens Museum of Art

    Queens Museum of Art

Micro Museum

Everyone knows that kids go ga-ga for the hands-on exhibits at the Children's Museum of Manhattan and the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. But if you feel like you've "been there and done that" too many times, check out these three culture meccas for some off-the-beaten-path fun.

Micro Museum
THIS IS NOT A MUSEUM OF SMALL OBJECTS reads the sign outside the Smith Street storefront known as the Micro Museum. Instead, the community-based art center is home to a host of whimsical interactive displays. Kids can sit on a couch called "phoniture" and call each other from the phones in the armrests, take a virtual tour of the Louvre on a treadmill that loads images as they step, or play a piano that flashes different lights for each chord. 123 Smith St between Dean and Pacific Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-797-3116, micromuseum.com)

Queens Museum of Art
Built on the site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs, the Queens Museum of Art offers young visitors the chance to take free family art workshops on Sundays or explore the colors, patterns and textures of its famed Tiffany glass collection. Its crown jewel, though, is the Panorama of the City of New York, a 9,335-square-foot scale model of New York City created for the 1964 event, complete with a lighting system that mimics the arc of the sun as it passes over the city. Young sleuths can find miniature landmarks or search out tiny versions of their own neighborhoods. New York City Building, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, near entrance at 111th St and 49th Ave, Queens (718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org)

Society of Illustrators
While the museum often exhibits the work of popular children's book illustrators, this fall parents can introduce their kids to some other famous names: "Rolling Stone and the Art of the Record Review" (through Oct 22) features more than 80 illustrations of such music biggies as Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift, while "Making Faces" (through Nov 23) showcases portraits that have appeared in magazines running the gamut from Time to MAD. 128 E 63rd St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-838-2560, societyillustrators.org).

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