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Autism-Friendly Museum Hours and Cultural Programs in NYC

New York City is one of the most bustling places in the world, which can make outings with any child tough, but things get particularly tricky for parents of kids on the autism spectrum, who might worry about overstimulation in kid-friendly settings. That’s why many museums and cultural centers have created comfortable, safe spaces for families with special needs to explore, often in tandem with educators and specialists.

We’ve gathered up some of the best of the bunch, from The Met to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to an after-school "Subway Sleuths" program, as well as several FREE options. Peruse our NYC Special Needs Guide for more helpful tips and local programs.

Statue of Liberty Museum Opens With a New View on Lady Liberty

If you haven't visited Lady Liberty lately, it may be time to add the tourist hot spot to your list of summer must-dos. The brand new Statue of Liberty Museum has now opened, bringing with it an immersive theater, plenty of Statue of Liberty history, and kid-friendly, touchable artifacts that bring a new interactive element to your visit. Read on for a look inside the museum, plus tips on how to visit.

Wigwam Escape Room: Kid-Friendly History and Adventure in Connecticut

Can you thrive for a day in 1518? That’s a question Siri cannot answer at Wigwam Escape, since cell phones (and watches) are not allowed inside this historically-themed escape room recently opened at The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center. The popularity of escape rooms has surged in recent years, and they're especially appealing to kids who love the thrill of solving problems and puzzles on a tight deadline. Wigwam Escape is no exception, except that the unique Native American historical setting adds a truly meaningful educational and family-bonding opportunity to the adrenaline rush. 

Queens Art Crawl With Kids: Noguchi, MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park

While the Upper East Side's Museum Mile gets lots of love and tons of fanfare, there are other cool culture spots to visit in this diverse city. One of our favorite outer-borough destinations just might be Long Island City, which has solidified itself as the queen of Queens' vibrant art scene. In addition to a slew of funky galleries, the 'hood has a trio of art-centric museums worth visiting: MoMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum, and the outdoor oasis, Socrates Sculpture Park.

Read on for our review of these artsy spots, plus the kid-friendly programming that makes them worth visiting, whether you're a local or not.

7 Things to Love About the Queens County Farm Museum

While NYC families have full access to the best museums and shows that the world has to offer, life in the city can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected from nature. We’re always seeking ways to let our little ones get their hands dirty, so it’s no surprise that the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park is a family favorite.

Spanning 47 acres, the Queens County Farm Museum dates back to the 17th century and features old-fashioned farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard, an herb garden and a vineyard, all within city limits. As soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll feel miles away from the city.

Here are the reasons we are forever loving New York City's only historic working farm and why it's a fantastic destination for NYC kids. While you’re there, make a day of it with our Queens Family Neighborhood Guide.
 

Dogs, Kids, and Science Meet at this New Museum Exhibit for Dog Lovers

I’m a big dog person (meaning I like dogs, not that I am some sort of half man, half dog). Luckily, so is my toddler. A real perk of having a child who loves dogs is that she gives me an automatic excuse to pet a lot of strangers’ dogs (“Oh, my adorable little girl just wanted to say hi”). But no excuses were necessary for both of us to get a really good dog fix at the new exhibit Dogs! A Science Tail at The California Science Center.

8 Things to Love About the Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York, located near the top of Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue across from the northeastern corner of Central Park, may not look like a kid-friendly place at first glance, with its opulent facade. Look closer, however, and you'll learn it's actually a great destination for children, thanks to its frequent hands-on family programs, robust on-site classes meant to teach tweens about the history of NYC, and easy-to-digest NYC-themed exhibits that remind kids (and parents!) how lucky we are to live in a place with such a rich cultural past and present.

Originally opened in 1923 in Gracie Mansion, the Museum of the City of New York moved to its current, Georgian Colonial-Revival building in 1932. Its permanent collection overflows with drawings, photographs, garments, textiles, paintings, sculptures, furniture and artifacts that all have something to do with the history of our great city. Read on for eight things to love about this cultural gem in the heart of East Harlem.

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