Best New York City Exhibits with Kids

Visiting museums with kids is the perfect way to pair education with entertainment. With over 50 museums to choose from in New York, finding a kid-friendly expert who can highlight the best exhibits for different age groups is key. Natasha Schlesinger is that person. She runs art education classes just for kids in New York at ArtXplorers, as well as ArtMuse, providing museum and gallery tours for all ages.

Here’s Natasha’s round up of the best museum exhibits for kids in New York City this fall:

Saraceno New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photo by Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tomás Saraceno, Cloud CityMetropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue. This is the newest installation on the roof of the Met featuring the Argentine artist’s architectural construction composed of steel, glass and mirrored surfaces. Visitors can actually climb the sculpture as it rises above the surface over 20 feet in the air.  They will be able to look through it, below it, around it and observe the city in all its glory from the height.

Children 10 years and older, wear rubber soled shoes, get a ticket on the 4th floor of the museum, free with museum admission. Until November.

Art of Another Kind, International Abstraction and the Guggenheim 1949-1960: Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue.  This exhibition features works from the museum’s permanent collection and examines the importance of the new style of art that originated post WWII, led by such artists as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, amongst many more on view.

Guggenheim curators organized the exhibit in such a way that allows the viewer to comprehend the development of this movement and how far reaching these ideas were. Kids will appreciate action painting and the various common materials used by artists such as Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder and Alberto Burri. 6 years and older. Until September 12th.

Carribean Crossroads: El Museo del Barrio in conjunction with Queens Museum of Art and the Studio Museum of Harlem. This is an opportunity to see over 400 works spread out over three museums in NY.  Amazing collection of works going back to the 18th century as well as more recent 20th century expressions of personal and cultural identity by diverse artists are on view. This is a very exciting exhibit of unprecedented scope. All ages welcome.  Until January 6th, 2013.

Terracotta Warriors, Defenders of China’s First Emperor: Discovery Center, 226 West 44th Street. They are over 6 feet tall, they are over 2,000 years old, they are terracotta and they are magnificent! Only 9 made it to New York out of an army of over 8,000!  Still, there are about 200 other objects to see in this exhibition and to marvel on what remains behind and needs to be seen on an actual trip to China. 10 years and older. Until August 26th.

Spy, The Secret World of Espionage: Discovery Center, 226 West 44th Street. This intriguing exhibit is for older kids, as much information is to be gleaned from labels and wall text so reading is required.  History is a big component of this exhibition and very interesting mementos of the past are used as materials for the exhibit.

It will excite those interested in the history of wars, politics, international relations, and the current political turmoil. 10 years and older.

Weegee, Murder is My Business: International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas. Weegee’s photography was synonymous with street crime images in the 1930 and 1940s.  Here you can feel like a fly on the wall. This exhibition is not for the faint of heart. The black and white images he captured of places, people, and things associated with crime are exciting!

Weegee was the first photographer to focus on what would later be known as Tabloid journalism. These are raw and dramatic images. 12 years and older. Until September 2nd.

Ghosts in the Machine: New Museum, 235 Bowery.  This exhibition, spanning 50 years with works by over 70 artists from 15 different countries, examines the role of technology in art. What could appeal to the modern generation more than that?  “Ghosts in the Machine” brings together improvised technologies charged with magical powers.

It promises to excite both the mind and the eye. 8 years and older. July 18th through September 30th.

Circus and the City, New York 1793-2010: Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Street. This show will surely engage even the youngest visitors with photographs, posters and ephemera of the Circus and it’s history in New York. Many of the objects will be seen by New Yorkers for the first time.

Bard galleries have an intimacy that works very well for children. Ages 2 and up. September 21st through February 3, 2013.

Ooh, Shiny! American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Center. What kid isn’t attacted to shiny, sparkly decorations?  In this exhibition they will get a chance to explore basic human creativity and the need to use materials that attract the eye like this wonderful button tree.  Ages 2 and up. September 12th through February 13th, 2013.

Get more information on ArtXplorers art education classes for kids and ArtMuse museum tours for families.

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