Wed-Fri, 1pm-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm; Mon-Tue, closed
C at Kingston-Throop Aves.; 3 at Kingston Ave.; A, C at Nostrand Ave.
$7.50; free for Museum members and children under 1; free admission before 11am on the second weekend of each month
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Founded in 1899 and renovated in 2008, the Rafael Viñoly-designed Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the world’s oldest museum for kids, and perhaps also the most forward thinking, thanks to a “green” design allowing for maximum natural light in the airy two-floor space. Visitors today can investigate the rotating display of almost 30,000 objects in the permanent collection (including a shark’s jawbone and an Egyptian scarab), interact with replicas of Brooklyn businesses like the Owa Afrikan Market of Clinton Hill, or step along with life-sized projections of local dance troupes in the Global Beats Theater. For the under-5 set, there’s Totally Tots, a Willy-Wonka-like play land where toddlers can splash in a toy-filled water pond, make crafts, put on a play, or sift their way through a colorful sandbox. And because city kids rarely see more than an urban jungle, it’s the live critters that widen the most eyes. Children can crawl through an aquarium and get eye-to-eye with a turtle, learn the importance of ladybugs as they harvest strawberries in a community garden, or meet Chazz, a South American boa constrictor named after Charlie Chaplin thanks to a mustache-like black mark on his nose.Go Green
The “green” building does double duty here, because not only are sustainable features like renewable bamboo flooring and solar panels good for the planet, they’re used as teaching tools in environmental education programs.
Private Space Rental
The museum has a private party room that can be rented out for birthday celebrations, while Commons Theater, the Plaza, and the Garden can also be rented out for meetings and private events.