Best NYC Museums for Kids

New York City is home to some of the best cultural and historical institutions in the world. Unfortunately not all of them are child friendly – and the ones that are usually have grown-ups bored in a matter of minutes. There are, however, a few museums in the city that are sure to keep you and your little ones both entertained and enlightened! Here are a few of our favorites:

DiMenna Children's History Museum

Often referred to as a “museum-within-a-museum,” the DiMenna Children’s History Museum is located within the New-York Historical Society. Here you will find numerous interactive exhibits designed to help kids identify with important historical figures. They become part of a mural of Federal Hall on Wall Street and learn that’s where George Washington was first sworn-in as President of the United States. Across the room they can look through viewfinders to see “then-and-now” photos of New York City locations like Brighton Beach, the Bronx River, Batter Park, and more. While you’re there, check out the WWII & NYC special exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. It’s not part of the children’s museum, but it’s a great exhibit and only open until May 27, 2013.

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History has a way of bringing out the kid in all of us. From larger than life dinosaur fossils to out of this world space exploration exhibits and even live butterflies, AMNH is the perfect family museum. Download their Explorer app before you head to the museum to get additional information about the exhibits (as well as a map so you don’t get lost!). If your child is 6-13 years old, they can participate in an AMNH Sleepover and “be among the lucky few to spend A Night at the Museum!” Their newest exhibit, Whales: Giants of the Deep, offers an inside look at the underwater world of whales – plus kids can climb through life-size model of a blue whale’s heart (which is the size of a small car).

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a historic landmark and one of the most unique attractions in the city. Kids and adults alike will love all the interactive exhibits and excite as they ride in the A-6 Cockpit Simulator, visit the Virtual Flight Zone, and tour the inside of the Growler submarine. Their Space Shuttle Pavilion was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, but you can still learn all about Enterprise at their exhibition Space Shuttle Enterprise: A Pioneer which highlights the Enterprise’s vital role in the development of the space shuttle program – or check back in early summer when the pavilion is scheduled to reopen.