Seven Great Museums to Explore with Kids in New York City

Natasha Schlesinger is the founder of Artmuse, Artkids, and ArtXplorers. She lives in New York City and is an expert in teaching children to appreciate art. Here are seven of her favorite museums in New York City to explore with kids. I invited Natasha specifically to write about smaller museums. What a fun and interesting list!

Interior of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York by Ernst Moeksis on Flickr.

1. The National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, the George Gustav Heye Center. Come all the way downtown, view the Statue of Liberty from the shore and enter a majestic building that served as the customs house in its earlier life. The museum is a quiet oasis of spacious galleries and hidden treasures from the Native American world, especially in its’ circular gallery. AGES: 4 and up.

2. Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum, 421 East 61st street. This is a 19th century house museum which served as New York’s country hotel in its past. A whole period environment, great kids’ tours and holiday decorations in the traditional style. The docents will bring out a whole gamut of touchable objects. AGES: 6-10 years.

3. The Guggenheim Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. Though a known institution it never gets boring to visit because no matter what the exhibit, the building itself is a work of art to navigate and ascend in its spiral form. Kids love to run up the ramp. AGES: 3 and up.

4. The Luce Center, 4th floor, New York Historical Society, Central Park West at 77th Street. These galleries house thousands of objects that were made in or belonged to people living in New York in the past three centuries. One can find items as small as children’s toys and war memorabilia to as large as the only 18th century “Cinderella” carriage on view in the US. AGES: 5-9 years old.

5. The Rubin Museum, 150 West 17th Street. This is the best teaching museum in New York and Buddhist art is often overlooked. Watch an artist-in-residence at work and grab a magnifying glass for a closer look. This museum really wants to educate young and old and welcomes with open arms. AGES: 5 and up.

6. The Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle. This newest incarnation of the Lollipop Building has recently opened as a fantastic new venue to see innovative art and design.  Unexpected works made from ordinary materials and interactive open studios where visitors can watch artists at work will surely ignite kids’ imagination. AGES: 4 and up.

7. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue. Archaeology Zone: Discovering Treasures from Playgrounds to Palaces is a special interactive exhibit for children that allows kids to imagine life in ancient Israel by playing dress up, doing art and even being archeologists by experiencing a dig. Ages: 3-6 years old.

Relevant Links:

Visiting the American Museum of Natural History with Toddlers

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