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Best Museums


The Brooklyn Children's Museum
145 Brooklyn Avenue
The Children's Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd street
The Children's Museum of the Arts
182 LaF=fayette street
The Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern boulevard
Douglaston, Queens

It's tough to beat the crawl-through intestinal tract at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan or the bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun room of big plastic balls at the Children's Museum of the Arts. And the wetlands nature trail at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston, Queens, is a lush, educational jumble of pathways for the four-foot-tall budding herpetologist in the family. But CMOM is always mobbed, CMA is tiny, and wetlands are a little too wet on a rainy day. The Brooklyn Children's Museum triumphs with both indoor and outdoor adventures. The spacious museumoffers a rollicking combination ofburbling water sluice, snake-handling, informative lectures, and three or four smart traveling exhibits per year that are always good goofy fun: last year's "Global Shoes," with pairs of try-on firefighter boots, hip-waders, and moccasins, set off delighted squeals. Arriving April 15 is "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?" with that little furry red guy. And the free weekend trolley ride from Grand Army Plaza is the closest thing in the five boroughs to the Tomorrowland monorail.

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