Seeing New York City can be exciting for the whole family. With endless attractions available to see, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hudson River, and the Empire State Building, there is always something to be looking out for while on tour.
However, the endless line of sights and attractions and the unfortunate chance of unfavorable weather can be overwhelming for kids. When this happens, it is time to move things indoors or perhaps opt for some of the more immersive exhibits. Here are a few educational attractions to add to your itinerary to keep your kids active and engaged in New York City.
The New York City Fire Museum
The New York City Fire Museum offers a fascinating behind the scenes look at how a New York City fire station operates. This educational and kid-friendly attraction is home to one of the largest collections of firefighting related artifacts, gear, and art from the 18th century to today.
While there, you and your children will learn about the early days in the New York City fire departments, as well as modern-day fire safety practices you can apply at home. You will also have the opportunity to visit the permanent exhibit memorializing the 343 fallen 9/11 heroes from the New York Fire Department.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a five-story non-profit attraction on West 83rd Street. It gets over 350,000 visitors per year and benefits thousands more New Yorkers in need with their various outreach programs.
The museum has various stationary exhibits, as well as ever-changing special exhibits highlighting different cultures, historical events and figures, and interactive, educational activities. Before you stop in, check out the schedule online and see what special events are occurring during your visit.
The New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science (more affectionately known as NYSCI) is the perfect destination for your budding inventor or space enthusiast. With numerous long-term exhibits and special events, NYSCI is a place your kids will want to visit again and again.
Special events include holiday-related experiments, like creating a functional automobile out of gingerbread. Broader special events include thought-provoking, mathematics-based simulations, like “How Many Zombies are too Many Zombies?” In this simulation, children operate the Center for Calamity Control during a zombie virus outbreak and must use their problem-solving skills to manage the zombie swarm and prevent the apocalypse. It might be off the wall, but it will make a rainy day pass quickly!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) is a world-famous museum and is known globally for its annual MET Ball. The MET features 5,000 years of cultural history and is even home to works of Pablo Picasso. Around 6.2 million people visit the MET every year.
If you venture away from the main museum, further up the Hudson River, you can visit the MET Cloisters. This branch of the museum was constructed to represent Medieval Europe, and walking through the museum’s gardens will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. If you plan on seeing all the MET has to offer, you can purchase admission tickets to all of the locations at a discounted price.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the first museum in the United States of America–perhaps the entire world– that was created specifically for children. Built in 1899, the exhibits capture childhood life through the shifting tides of time, including World War II.
Features originally focused on urban life, though they later expanded to incorporate important aspects of the natural world. In recent years, extensive investments have been made to improve the building and exhibits, and the features reflect this positive change.
How to Get Around
Most of the educational sites on this list are accessible via major tour operating routes. Be sure to check out TopView for the best deals and routes around New York City. These locations will appeal to both you and your children, making your trip fun for the whole family.