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12 Things to Do With Kids at NYC Art Museums

Existing in New York City brings endless perks and raising little ones with constant access to world-class museums ranks at the top of our list. We rounded up some of the best kid’s museum activities in the city that will have your little ones excited to head to the museum with you! 


1. STORYTIME IN NOLEN LIBRARY: Every weekday morning, families with children ages 18 months to 6 years can enjoy a picture book story followed by a self-guided gallery hunt. And it’s free! 

2. DRAWING ADVENTURES: These drawing classes for kids ages 5-8 are offered each Saturday (either at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.) in the spring. Better yet: they’re drop-off classes, so mom and dad can have their own time exploring the museum. 

3. PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOPS:  For kids ages 3-5 and their parents, these spring 2020 classes will let you explore your own creativity and give your children an outlet. Activities may include painting, collage-making, sculpting, or drawing, and classes are offered on Tuesdays or Fridays from February until May.

4. PAINTING LAB: If you’ve got a little one (age 5-8) who loves to make a splash of color, drop them off at these painting classes (Mondays or Thursdays from February to April). 


5. LITTLE GUGGS: This program at the Guggenheim hits the trifecta: story time, gallery exploration, and hands-on art time. Select Sundays and Thursdays starting in January 2020. Families pay $30, unless they’re Guggenheim members, which bumps the price down to $15 per family.

6. SECOND SUNDAY FAMILY TOURS:  If you’re looking for the kind of tour that will be a little more exciting for your kids (ages 5 and up), check out this regular program from the Guggenheim. Interactive and hands-on, these tours are more kid-friendly than your standard museum tour. Tours are $25 per family, or $20 for members. If you join the Family Members or Cool Culture groups of the museum, though, these tours are free.


7. TOURS FOR FOURS: This program, geared specifically for 4-year-olds, integrates a museum tour with drawing and other activities. And there’s a new theme every month, so you and your 4-year-old can come back more than once. Offered Saturdays and Sundays at 10:20 a.m. Tickets are free and are distributed first-come, first-serve.

Handles Exhibit at the MoMA

Rainforest Exhibit at the MoMA

Surrounds Exhibit at the MoMA

8. A CLOSER LOOK FOR KIDS: If your child is just over the threshold to participate in Tours for Fours, your family can pivot to this regular program, also held on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:20 a.m. Both kids and adults participate in discussions and activities surrounding modern art. Tickets are also first-come, first-serve, and free! 


9. OPEN STUDIO: If you’re raising a budding artist, check out the Whitney’s Open Studio, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. There’s a different art-making project each week, so this can become a regular weekend activity. Members of the museum and children always get in free.


10. FIRST SATURDAYS FOR FAMILIES: Hands-on programming for a wide window of ages (kids 3-12 years old) is offered each first Saturday at the New Museum. This is a free event each month! 


11. FAMILY PARTY: On this day, the Brooklyn Museum will transform its Beaux-Arts Court into a kids’-only zone, complete with bouncy castles, artist-led activities, a dance party, snacks, and a treasure hunt. The party is set for Jan. 26th from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets for adults are $50 and kids’ tickets are $25.


12. STUDIO SATURDAYS: Held on the first Sunday of each month, these hands-on programs are all about teaching real art skills to kids and adults alike. For kids 5 and up, Studio Sundays are open to drop into anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The program is free with museum admission (kids under 18 get in free, as do museum members; otherwise adult tickets are $18).

13. STROLLER TOURS: Even if your children aren’t yet old enough to fully participate, that doesn’t mean they can’t get an early start to museum tours. These stroller tours at the MAD Museum are held on Tuesdays and available for parents with children younger than 18 months old. They’re also free if you’re a Dual/Family member of the museum ($125 for the year). 

Aspen the Docent 
Docent by day and sometimes night, avid creator always. And yeah, I’m a peg person.

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