Best museums to while away a winter afternoon

New York’s best museums can be intimidating; we’ve put together three itineraries to help you maximize your time in three of the city’s top institutions.

"Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off" at Museum of the Moving Image

"Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off" at Museum of the Moving Image Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Museum of the Moving Image

What to do: You could probably spend a few hours alone behind the joysticks at “Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off” (through Mar 3), which charts the development and evolution of electronic entertainment. The exhibit includes plenty of games across multiple platforms, including old-school arcade faves (Space Invaders, Asteroid), handheld devices (Metroid II for the Game Boy) and even a ridiculously fun space-flight-simulation game (Galaxy Force II). Once you’ve gotten your fill of geekery, check out the museum’s permanent exhibit, “Behind the Screen,” a survey of film and TV history that features artifacts like vintage cameras and projectors, along with real movie props and costumes (including the face that Robin Williams donned in Mrs. Doubtfire).

Pop into Tut’s Fever, an installation modeled after a 1920s theater, before taking in a movie at the museum’s state-of-the-art cinema. Catch a screening of Wes Anderson’s ode to adolescence, Moonrise Kingdom (Sun 20 at 5pm), part of the museum’s “Curators’ Choice” series highlighting the best films of 2012. 36-01 35th Ave at 37th St, Astoria, Queens (718-777-6888, Wed, Thu 10:30am–5pm; Fri 10:30am–8pm; Sat, Sun 10:30am–7pm. $6–$12, screenings free with admission.

Where to fuel up: It’s worth a ten-minute walk in the cold to grab a bite at the Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway between Steinway and 41st Sts, Astoria, Queens; 718-777-0913). The grilled-cheddar-and-mozzarella sandwich, served with a cup of Marmite-enriched tomato soup ($8), provides ample warmth to fortify you for the day ahead.