Looking for great kid-friendly museums that will appeal to your little scientist in training? Fortunately New York City is bursting with museums to tap into your child’s mind and give them an outlet for exploration. Check out these top-rated kid friendly science museums in the city.
National Museum of Mathematics
If your child(ren) loves math as much as they do science, they will be thrilled to hear about the National Museum of Mathematics. The innovative museum will spark curiosity and creativity through exhibits that the whole family can enjoy. Combining science and math, the museum portrays intricate patterns that reflect light and represent the mathematics used in creating unique images. The museum offers field trips that are perfect for converting what is being taught in school to real life application. Non-school related group tours are also available. Visiting the museum will make your child excited about math. My favorite part of this museum is the “Water Frieze” located on Floor 1. At the “Water Frieze”, your child(ren) will be able to discover different mathematical patterns based on their own discovery. I am not a big math person, but I enjoyed this museum when I visited.
New York Hall of Science
Located in Queens, the New York Hall of Science offers engaging exhibits for all ages of the family to partake in. Zoom in on the wonders of life in the museum’s 3D Theater. The movies shown in the theater change every couple of months, keeping things fresh and exciting. With 100,000 square feet, the museum is massive and has over 400 exhibits. Learn more about evolution and anatomy, use your creativity to craft scientific artwork, see into space, and more! With such a wide variety of exhibits, the museum successfully taps into all facets of the science world, catering to each child’s likes. The different exhibits also correspond well with what is being taught in schools at varying grade levels. Science demonstrations are also offered daily and give you the chance to learn firsthand. Take advantage of the free admission, which is offered on Fridays from 2-5pm, and Sundays from 10-11am.
American Museum of Natural History
Learn about the past, present, and future of science at the American Museum of Natural History. Permanent exhibitions at the museum are focused on biodiversity and the environment. Look into the past through the Fossil Halls, and study different animal species and their evolution over time. Get a glimpse into ocean and forest life, and be inspired by the beauty and wonder of life. In addition to these permanent exhibits, the museum continuously updates exhibits to engage the minds of its guests. The exhibits include the highest level of technology and interactive components, making it easy for children to absorb information in a fun way. The museum is great for school and group tours, and also offers self-guided tours, so your visit to the museum can be catered to fit your educational needs. Be on the lookout for new exhibits being brought in, and get excited to return to the museum in the future! If I had to choose a “must visit museum” in New York City, it would be this one because of the sheer amount of information that is available about science(I am a bit of a science geek). In addition, my favorite exhibit at this museum is the “Hall of New York City Birds”. The exhibit showcases the many species that inhabit the New York City area. I would also recommend this exhibit to families who have kids that enjoy science.
Rose Center for Earth and Space
Within the American Museum of Natural History lies another top science museum for kids, the Rose Center for Earth and Space. As its name suggests, the Rose Center for Earth and Space is dedicated to the stars, planets, and universe and offers exhibits for exploring each component. The Hayden Planetarium projects the universe using a 3D map onto the dome which encompasses the room. Sit amidst the stars in this planetarium which replicates the universe. Constructed in nearly an opposite way of the Hayden Planetarium is the Hayden Big Bang Theater, where visitors peer down into a concave screen to watch the story of the Big Bang and the creation of the universe. In the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, you can find actual rock specimens, dating back as far as 4.3 billion years ago. Delve into the history of our planet and all the planets in the galaxy in these inspiring exhibits. Your kids will love learning about the massive world around them, and how it all began. One thing I recommend seeing is the center’s planetarium. You will be amazed by not only the sheer education of the programs, but also you and your child(ren) will actually feel that you are in space.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Your future aviators will love touring the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which preserves and interprets the history and science behind the Intrepid aircraft.The aircraft carrier was used to fight in World War II and now permanently resides at the museum, floating atop the Hudson River. While visiting the museum, you and your family can also explore the Submarine Growler, Space Shuttle Pavilion, and British Airways Concorde. History is brought to life through these interactive exhibits. Experience life of the Intrepid aviators first-hand with a 4-D simulation ride! Take flight on the other simulation exhibits that replicate the feeling of being on a jet plane and that of a drone race! Treat your kids to a birthday party or sleepover inside the aircraft for a fun-filled event they will never forget. The museum also offers a camp program, so there are endless options for engaging your children in the history and science behind aviation. My personal recommendation would be to visit this museum during the spring/summer as it can be cold in the fall. Besides learning about the history of the Intrepid, you will be amazed by the views you and your child(ren) see of the Hudson River and New Jersey across the way. The views of both the Hudson River and New Jersey is what makes this museum a must see.
These top science museums for children to ignite their passion and get them thinking. The whole family can interact and learn together through memorable exhibits and features.
Dylan Moskowitz is a freelance writer who is passionate about sharing his love of the Northeastern region of the country to all who wish to travel and want to know about different things to do and see in the region. While he is not writing, he is either in the pool trying to improve his 100 time, training for his next running race, or is hoping that the New York Rangers will win the Stanley Cup this year. He is also fluent in Spanish and is currently learning French.
Photo by Dominik Scythe