Museums

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The Met with Kids: Exploring NYC's Biggest Art Museum

One Friday afternoon, my son came home from kindergarten and announced that we must go to The Met over the weekend because he had to see the Renoirs. (His wonderful art teacher had introduced the class to Impressionist art.) I was overjoyed—and I had to laugh, too. Hey, maybe my husband and I were living up to the NYC parenting dream after all, if our 5-year-old was requesting weekend visits to The Met instead of his favorite playground!

If you're lucky enough to live down the road from a world-famous art museum, why shouldn't your whole family should take advantage, and explore it together? We've made countless trips to this irreplaceable cultural institution over the years. The anchor of NYC's Museum Mile, The Met is more than 2 million square feet and houses at least that many pieces in its collection, which date back more than 5,000 years—so, as any parent knows, it's impossible to really cover it all in one outing, or even several. Fortunately, admission is always "suggested," so you can visit as often as you like. And with the enticing Ancient Playground and all of Central Park right outside its doors, The Met is always worth the trip. Here are our top tips for visiting The Met with kids, including our favorite sections to explore, and hidden treasures.

Best Science Museums for Kids in New Jersey and Beyond

With STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at the forefront of most school curriculums, it makes sense to get kids engaged and excited about these subjects from an early age. Fortunately, the Garden State is home to many museums and science centers where fun and learning collide. 

From mind-blowing minerals to awe-inspiring archeology and astronomy exhibits, with plenty of hands-on learning opportunities for all ages, these destinations are as entertaining as they are educational. Read on for a dozen of our favorite spots in and near NJ.

Mind-Bending Museum of Illusions Opens in Chelsea

New York City doesn't lack for fabulous museums or Instagrammable-popups but put them together and you'll come close to the brand new Museum of Illusions, opening today in Chelsea.

Equal parts trippy, mind-bending fun house and educational wonderland, the museum is home to more than 70 exhibits that will trick your senses, force you to question your perceptions and look at the whole space from a different perspective. Modeled after the original location in Zagreb, Croatia, the New York location is the first installation of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

6 Must-See Fall Museum Exhibits for Families Around Boston

A trip to the museum doesn’t need to be a “boring” excursion for your kiddos, or strictly refer to your family popping into an indoor space for some play time. Whether it's artwork featuring everyone's favorite honey loving bear or interactive challenges like dodging hanging pendulums, at least one of these half-dozen exhibits on display across greater Boston is sure to delight your kids this fall. They might even learn something (but you don't have to tell them that).

Free Admission Days at 20+ Museums in Los Angeles and Orange County

Love museums, but the prices make you think twice? If you have a large family, those tickets add up fast—which is particularly frustrating if you then need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that have free general admission every day of the year, including The Getty, California Science Center, and The Broad. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list for easy reference. Go ahead, bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets. And if there's a meltdown? At least it's free. 

Best Science Museums for Kids on Long Island

We all know how important it is to get kids involved with STEM … and since the first letter in STEM stands for Science, why not start there?

A great way to get your kids more interested in science is to bring them to one of a number of excellent family-friendly museums across Long Island. From hands-on exhibits to workshops and STEM classes, spending a few hours at any of these museums is sure to spark curiosity in your child. And that might be all he or she needs to one day become the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie.

For more ways to get your kids excited about the exciting worlds of STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) check out our Long Island classes and enrichment guide.

Along Came a Spider Pavilion: Big Spiders Are Back at the Natural History Museum

While some may ring in the Halloween season by smearing shrubs with 99-cent store fuzzy webbing and plastic spiders, the arachnid purists over at the Natural History Museum have a more organic approach. This weekend the screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes seasonal home to more free-range, eight-legged tenants than anyone in his right mind could want – in short, an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare and an eight-year-old boy’s version of heaven.

American Museum of Natural History in NYC: What to See with Kids

The American Museum of Natural History may be one of the foremost natural history museums in the world, but a visit here is a rite of passage for all NYC kiddos. The building's imposing footprint and vast collection can make the trip a slightly daunting proposition, especially for first-timers.

Never fear: Not only is AMNH one of NYC's most kid-friendly museums, it's also easy to check out a hall or two on one visit and still leave dozens of other exhibits for a totally new experience on your next visit. Read on for our top sights and kid-friendly tricks for checking out this amazing institution.

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