The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St.
If your little ones find the Monets too boring and the mummies
too frightening, stick to the Met’s well-organized family
programs. On Friday nights, the Charles H. Tally Lecture Series
encourages kids ages 6–12 to sketch and ask questions
about specific pieces. Hello, Met! greets future art lovers
(ages 5–12) with a discussion about the museum’s
collections and a chance to sketch a masterpiece. Suggested
donation $12; free to kids 12 and younger.
For regular museum exposure, this semester-long series of
cultural outings can’t be beat. Each week after school,
kids 31⁄2 and up are taken to exhibitions at venues
like the Whitney, El Museo del Barrio, and the Asia Society.
Afterward, they create a work of art related to what they
just saw. (About $390 to $590 for eight to fifteen sessions.)
The Museum of Television & Radio
25 W. 52nd St., near Sixth Ave.
Families come here to browse through thousands of classic
children’s radio and TV programs. The Re-Creating Radio
Workshop allows kids to produce their own old-fashioned radio
dramas— and offers them take-home copies of their broadcasts,
to boot. Adults $10, kids 13 and under $5.
New York City Police Museum
100 Old Slip St., near South St.
Your kids will be New York’s Finest when they sound
off using lights and sirens in the Transportation Room; participate
in a mock lineup (and bring home a mug shot); or take a time-out
in a model jail cell with real handcuffs and shackles. Suggested
donation: $5 for adults, $2 for kids 6–18, free for
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St., Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
Molecule mania: Kids learn what they’re made of and
can even build some of their own. They’ll also learn
why it’s important to wash their hands at the “Hidden
Kingdoms” (read: germs) exhibit. Or let them create
their own bird-calls and make music with their shadows in
the “Sound Sensation” exhibition. Active youngsters
can climb the giant spiderweb in the outdoor playground. Adults
$9, kids 5–17 $6, 2–4 $2.50, under 2 free.
New York Transit Museum
Boerum Place at Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
The decommissioned 1936 subway station that houses this museum
is entertaining enough, but it also has fascinating permanent
exhibitions such as “On the Streets: New York’s
Trolleys and Buses,” which features a simulated traffic
intersection. On weekend afternoons, kids can make silk-screen
T-shirts and mosaics at a transportation-themed arts-and-crafts
workshop. Adults $5, kids 3–17 $3.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave., at 89th St.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s modern-art behemoth has a number
of seasonal workshops geared toward the more serious-minded
young art enthusiast. On the current roster are classes like
“Designing Digital!,” an eight-week after-school
program focusing on Photoshop skills ($275), and the five-week
“Summerscapes” program ($125) for kids in grades
one through six, in which children participate in hands-on
activities led by arts educators.
Staten Island Children’s Museum
Snug Harbor Cultural Center; 1000 Richmond Terr., near Bard
Behind the atrium’s hanging porpoise is an adventurous
world of rain forests, oceans, and icy tundra. Kids can ride
a dog sled, listen to forest sounds, or see what lurks below
sea level. Budding entomologists will be fascinated by the
museum’s 200 mounted insects, while those less fond
of creepy crawlers can finger-paint in the Walk-In Workshop
or ham it up onstage at Portia’s Playhouse. Admission:
$5 for persons over 1.
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave., at 75th St.
A host of events and programs use the permanent collection
and exhibitions as a launchpad for creative activities for
kids, teens, and families. Offerings include free “Lookout!”
tours two Saturdays per month, in which children are invited
to sketch the works on display, “Family Fun!”
workshops ($8 per family) featuring hands-on art projects
and discussions, and the “Whitney Wees” program
for especially young artists. Teen options include artist
discussions, D.J. parties, and a selective course called “Youth
Insights,” which trains students to give tours and conduct