Museums

Arcade Age Exhibit Is a Blast From Your Video Game Past

For parents and kids who love video games, there's a new must-do. The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island, is now home to a retro video game exhibit where, for a flat fee, you get a 90-minute window to play as much Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Mortal Kombat II as you can.

The Arcade Age exhibit consists of over 50 authentic video game machines from the 1980s. Atari, Midway and Sega are in heavy rotation here. You'll find popular throwbacks like Dig Dug, Pole Position, Missile Command and Breakout that will defintiely take you back. It's also fun discovering some of the more eclectic games you may have missed and your children certainly have never heard of before now. Read on for more on our recent visit.

Discover the Magic of Pixar at The Franklin Institute

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favorite animated films? Now's your chance to find out at the Franklin Institute's The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. See how Finding NemoToy StoryA Bug's LifeMonster's Inc. and more were created. From concept, to design, creation and the finished product this exhibit offers insight on even the most minute details of the process.

Unusual Philly Museums That Tweens and Teens Will Love

Philadelphia is filled with incredible museums and attractions for kids, but it can be tough to entertain the tween or teen who has seen it all. The unusual places in this lineup explore the weird, dark, even gross side of history and science, offering experiences your kids won't soon forget. These museums are sure to amaze, surprise and inspire. Geared for kids ages 11 and up, there are a few spots below that are suitable for younger children too, as noted.   

7 Free Outdoor Art Exhibits to See in NYC This Spring

New York City's parks and plazas are brimming with a new crop of kid-friendly public art installations just in time for springtime neighborhood walks.

These seven eye-popping statues are larger than life. There are gigantic glowing bunnies at Brookfield Place and a massive recreation of a DNA molecule in Marcus Garvey Park. You'll also find a 30-foot swimming pool propped up on its side in Rockefeller Center; a 25-foot-tall spinning, neon sign in Brooklyn Bridge Park; a pair of towering orchids at the entrance to Central Park; and an awe-inspiring, 30-foot-tall aluminum humanoid on the Park Avenue Mall. 

Visit these gigantic pieces one by one or link a couple together for a fun family outing, perhaps over the upcoming NYC public school April break. The best part of these seasonal art installations is that they all can be spotted in parks or other public places, so you can view them at your convenience and for FREE.  

Anima: An Eery Woodland Art Exhibit Pops Up in Brooklyn

What’s the difference between humans and animals? Do all living beings have a soul? What happens to us after we die? These are pretty heavy questions to ask of your kids, but if you’ve been looking for a way to broach the topic with your little ones, the Anima exhibit at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood may be your way in.

The small art installation, part of the Tilt Kids Festival, creates a quiet space away from the outside world, where you and the kids can marvel at the calm and power of nature, and all its living beings. Inspired by Mayan mythology, the installation asks, “What if all living things are equal?” We visited this unusual, immersive FREE exhibit and have details to help you decide if it's right for your little one and tips to help you plan your visit.

Mo Willems Exhibit Inspires at New-York Historical Society

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibit at The New-York Historical Society opens Friday, March 18 with 90 pieces of original artwork, animation cells, sculptures, an adorable reading area and an audio guide just for kids in a career retrospective of a multitalented artist and beloved children's author.

It's one of our top activity picks for the entire year, and we are big fans of Mo Willems' simple but enchanting NYC-themed kid-lit in my house, so it was exciting to attend the preview to tell you all about it. 

A must-see for fans of Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, and the always angry Pigeon, the galleries are immersive, painted to resemble the hand-drawn cityscapes of Willems' books. But they are not kid-focused: There are no interactives to keep little hands busy. Of course, that really isn't the point. Willems said during the opening that one of his goals for the exhibit is to encourage people to draw and create characters. He wants his work to inspire adults and kids to draw and sketch. Kids can hear what else Willems has to say on an audio guide created just for them and narrated by Willems. On Saturday and Sunday (March 19 and 20), the museum is offering a slate of family activities to complement the exhibit.  

Summer Art Camps for Philly Area Kids

Summer will be here before we know it, and many parents are starting to think about camps. If you have a budding young artist in your family, there is no shortage of camp options available for you in the Philadelphia area.  From museums and neighborhood art leagues to paint-your-own ceramic studios, we have assembled a list to fit all levels of artistic ability. So, if your children have created enough crafts at home this winter and are ready for a new learning experience, read on for our ideas.

Be sure to browse the Mommy Poppins Camp Directory for even more ideas!

Feathered ‘Dinosaurs Among Us’ Opens at Natural History Museum

Bird or dinosaur? Your kid may ask that question a lot after visiting Dinosaurs Among Us, the new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, opening Monday, March 21, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

The whole premise behind the new exhibit is that dinosaurs never really left. Instead, we can see their “evolutionary legacy” on display in the behaviors and anatomy of thousands of modern-day birds. Think of your annual turkey wishbone, birds' scaly feet with elongated toes, the aggressive, beast-like piercing call of certain species like the peacock and, of course, their egg-filled nests.

The exhibit is made up of dozens of fossils, full-scale dinosaur and bird casts, as well as display cases of eggs and nests, feathers (everywhere) and other elements to help visitors compare today's bird species with their extinct relatives, like a side-by-side display of the three-toed foot of an emu and the similar, but larger, three-toed foot of a Struthiominus altus that lived 78 million years ago in North America.

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