At these amazing children's museums, your kiddos will get to see the best of the best. These exhibits can't be beat, and they include exciting stuff from the New York Hall of Science, Children's Museum of Manhattan, American Museum of Natural History and more! You'll find these fun indoor activities for kids plenty engaging; Many exhibits even offer fun accompanying workshops that families can participate in.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to children's museum picks for families
Exhibits at children's museums in NYC
Learn about pilotless aircraft in this 6,000-square-foot pavilion on the Museum's Pier 86! The exhibit covers topics such as drone history, new drone technology and the role drones play in helping to solve large-scale humanitarian challenges. You'll see drones small and large, plus things like computer renderings, model airplanes, historical artifacts and even the world's first flying dress (worn by none other than Lady Gaga). All ages.
Put some of the world's quirkiest myths to the test with this Mythbusters-themed exhibit! Kids will learn if you can really huff, puff and blow a house down, pull a tablecloth off a fully-set table or if your toast lands butter-side down every time. You'll experience live demos that include visitor participation, plus cool sets and props from the show. Available with Premium Pass or Combination Pass. All ages.
Families can celebrate the diversity of Muslim cultures in America and around the world in this interactive exhibit. Explore gorgeous mosques and design your own buildings inspired by Muslim architecture, learn to say "My name is..." in 15 languages and create original artwork. Kids can exchange ideas and goods along trade routes, make music in the courtyard and even barter at an international souk! Live performances and demonstrations will supplement the exhibition. All ages.
Explore the D.I.Y. "maker" culture through Paul Laster and Renée Riccardo's curated experience, which dives into the relationship between fine art and craft. You'll see everything from woodworking and macrame to collage, ceramic art, papier-mâché and crochet. Exhibiting artists include: Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Caroline Wells Chandler, Adam Frezza/Terri Chiao, Brad Kahlhamer, Jon Kessler, LoVid, Jason Middlebrook, Rebecca Morgan, Carlos Rolón/Dzine, and the CMA Permanent Collection. All ages.
Learn all about NYC’s water system at Dynamic H2O, an outdoor interactive exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan that follows water’s journey from the clouds to the city. Along the way tikes can pretend to fish, use a fountain to experiment with water pressure and build waterfront Lego hi-rises to add to the exhibit’s miniature replica of NYC, which includes tiny Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, of course. All ages.
Learn about the Caribbean island’s diverse ecosystem through this bilingual exhibit that introduces its forests, caves, wetlands, and reefs. Live animals, specimens, artifacts, and models of animal species found only in Cuba will be on display in a variety of recreated habitats. And because Cuba is about so much more than fascinating wildlife, the exhibit also dives into the life and culture of the country. Stroll along an open boulevard that’ll plop you right in the middle of a vibrant Cuban street that’s come alive with music, dance, and performances. Learn about the spiritual teachings of Santeria and how to grow Cuba’s most important cash crop tobacco. If you were ever curious about what the island is about, then grab the family for an interactive lesson. You might just be booking a plane ticket right as soon as you arrive home. All ages.
The museum's star permanent exhibit consists of a maze of kid-sized shops, each containing a fun activity. The boutiques—a Chinese stationery store, a Mexican bakery and a West African import store, to name a few—are modeled after real Brooklyn businesses. The miniaturized community also houses an international grocery store equipped with conveyer belt–propelled wares that tykes can use to restock the shelves, and a theater where children watch recorded performances by Brooklyn dance troupes, then step onstage themselves to replicate the steps.
In this one-of-a-kind experience on the museum’s third floor, guests can immerse themselves in the process of producing, promoting and presenting digital entertainment, TV shows and movies. Check out cool artifacts like historic film and TV cameras, posters, design sketches and more. All ages.
Preschoolers flock to this exhibit based on the popular Nickelodeon show. Hands-on activities have little ones pretending to cook Latin American foods for a big fiesta at Dora's house, and exploring caves, beaches and a rain forest while helping Diego rescue endangered animals. Ages 2 to 6.
The Museum of the City of New York’s new permanent exhibition “New York at Its Core” will present the full 400-year history of the city. From its beginnings as a Dutch settlement to the urban force it is today, the exhibition will guide viewers through the evolution of one of the greatest cities in the world. The attraction features three interactive galleries based on four themes - money, density, diversity, and creativity - and more than 400 significant objects from NYC icons, including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, “Boss” Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello LaGuardia, and Jay-Z. The museum will celebrate the opening of the exhibit with a weekend-long public festival Gotham Groove (Nov 19 10am - Nov 20 6pm) with 32 hours of live music, spoken word performances, films, dance, and interactive activities for the whole family. All ages. Advance registration required for Gotham Groove.