Nothing is better for parents than exposing our children to culture while also having fun. Lucky for us, Long Island is home to several museums that cater to a younger crowd. In fact, many of these sites offer hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities for children of all ages to enjoy.
From air and space, to science and trains, these spots offer special exhibits and programs that will keep children actively engaged, entertained and educated. For more inside fun, take a look at our Indoor Guide as well as our Event Calendar.
Cradle of Aviation Museum - Garden City
A living museum that recreates Long Island's aviation history, the Cradle of Aviation is sure to delight your little flight and space enthusiasts alike. Planes are suspended from midair in the all-glass atrium as you enter. Check out the IMAX theater for kid-friendly showings or the X-Ride Theater for riders 36" or taller. Annual events such as the Pumpkin Smash attract kids from all over Long Island. For young kids, there's even a separate play space. Daily and annual memberships available. Birthday parties are also held here.
Long Island Children's Museum - Garden City
LICM offers year-round, hand-on exhibits for kids that even adults may find fun and engaging. Additionally, an outdoor water play area is open during warmer weather. They offer weekly activities as well as STEM summer programs, Messy Afternoons, Kids in the Kitchen, and more. The LICM Theater puts on live performances monthly. Daily and annual memberships are available. You can also hold your child's birthday party there.
Nassau County Museum of Art - Roslyn
This may look like a more grown-up museum, but there are kid-friendly options to delight the littlest ones! From Family Sundays to Fri-Yay Art Day to Studio Saturdays, this museum affords kids and parents lots of hands-on experiences to choose from dpeending on your child's interests. Special monthly programs are also offered to attract families. Daily passes and annual family memberships are also available.
Science Museum of Long Island - Manhasset
This not-for-profit science center is located on the Leeds Pond Preserve in Nassau County. The Science Museum offers enrichment workshops for children on weekdays and during school vacations. Summer camps are also offered here. They also offer family and kids' programs, as well as Summer camp. In addition, birthday parties can be held on premise.
Children's Museum of the East End - Bridgehampton
Even the littlest ones can find fun at this museum. Their Tot Spot is for ages 16 months to 36 months, while Baby & Me is for 2 months through 16 months. The elaborate, hands-on exhibits promote imaginary play, learning, reading, building, and more. An indoor play area offers play structures and soft foam gymnastic equipment. The museum even has a special play area for crawlers. An art room is ready for your little one's creations. Weekly classes for arts, crafts, cooking and more are offered. Head outside for some playground fun, a live performance in the half round theater or a round of nine-hole mini golf. Daily passes and annual memberships are offered.
Heckscher Museum of Art - Huntington
The Heckscher Museum of Art offers an array of programs and resources specifically designed for families and children. Ongoing activities include digital action painting a selfie station, family activities and more. The Digital Action Painting is on the museum's 55" digital touch screen. On various Sunday afternoons the museum hosts Heckscher Family Hour for kids ages 5-10 and their families. Summer Workshops and Vacation Workshops are also offered. Daily passes and annual memberships available.
Railroad Museum of Long Island - Riverhead
Both the Riverhead and Greeport locations are closed for the Winter season, but once they open up, big and small conductors will enjoy this ride through Long Island's railroading history. You can enjoy both the indoor and outdoor tracks at this museum. An indoor 40-foot track allows visitors to operate individual part of the layout. Board several stationary trains on premise and check out the conductor's quarters, sleeping areas and more. Admission charge includes a ride on their World's Fair miniature train.During this time, visitors can hop aboard a train for a trip between the two east end towns. When you purchase tickets, they are good for both locations.
Photo courtesy the Long Island Children's Museum