Family-Friendly Museums Worth Visiting
While the MoMA and the Museum of Natural History will always be winning favorites in our eyes, New York is home to a plethora of lesser-known museums offering thought-provoking exhibitions to suit every member of the family, and all in our backyard. Frequenting museums at a young age is always a great push toward lifelong learning and hands-on experiencing for children, but this doesn’t mean the older members of the family should feel out of place when visiting. Here are a few of our best picks for family-friendly museums in New York City, all easily accessible from WestHouse Hotel.
Whether you’re an artist yourself or would just like to instill an appreciation of all types of artistic expression in your children, the learning-focused Children’s Museum of Manhattan is tough to beat. They offer a wide range of age-appropriate classes in a variety of mediums to expose children to the pleasures of art creation and appreciation, and give interested parents a hands-on position to both teach and learn from their kids. Whether it be group programs or private lessons, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is sure to have a program to suit every family.
Boasting a slew of programs and exhibitions aimed specifically at children and teens, the Museum of Arts and Design is the perfect locale to inspire interest in the arts, architecture, and craftsmanship. With a focus on sculpture, fashion, and the design of both everyday items and oddly-specific finds from around the world, the MAD Museum shouldn’t be missed.
We all know a kid who loves trains. The NYC transit museum is a fantastic excursion to add into a first family trip to New York City, as it’s sure to inspire wonder and fascination with the city’s century-old rail system. With showcases of age-old vintage subway cars, blueprint collections illustrating the enormous planning effort that’s gone into every station opening, and artwork highlighting the ways in which the New York City subway system is integral to the authentic New Yorker’s life, the NYC Transit Museum is sure to hold something to impress visitors of all ages.
Though The Cloisters is actually a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the United States, a family day-trip to The Cloisters isn’t so much about learning about ancient art as it is about stepping away from the modern world and really experiencing it. A four-acre plot of land overlooking the Hudson, The Cloisters is dedicated to the outdoor art, architecture, and brilliant gardens of medieval Europe. Taking some time to learn about the art and architecture beforehand will allow you to show your children around like an insider, which is perfect for inspiring a love of history and architecture in children of any age.