A busy career and hectic social schedule can make it difficult to find the quality time you want to spend with your little ones. Fortunately, for those moments where you get to take a break with those who matter most to you, Manhattan is full of exciting activities that are fun for the whole family, like the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. From interactive exhibits to afterschool programming, this New York institution has been educating and inspiring children and parents alike for more than four decades.
If you find yourself lucky enough to spend the day here, here’s how to explore:
Introduce your kids to different cultures with America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far: Children’s innate curiosity makes them wildly receptive to experiences they don’t get to enjoy at home. Young kids don’t care if someone lives in a yurt in upper Mongolia or a luxury Tribeca condo at River & Warren — they’re just happy to learn about a new place, a new culture, and a way of life that’s unlike their own. With this in mind, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has created America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, an exhibit that celebrates the multifaceted nature of Muslim culture around the world. From music to architecture to fashion, children can discover what Muslim culture looks like in different countries, on different continents, and in their own back yard.
Make music with Many Tunes, One Melody: Few things are more universal than a love of music. Let your little ones explore their musical side by checking out Many Tunes, One Melody, an exhibit that lets kids jam with the musicians who created the music for the America to Zanzibar exhibit while exploring the cultures behind the tunes.
Teach your kids about good health with EatSleepPlay: Good health is a foundation for a happy and productive life, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is eager to get kids of all ages involved and proactive about their well-being. This health advocacy program combines information about sleeping, eating, and exercise that’s accessible and exciting for even the youngest kids.
Paint a masterpiece with Messy With Art: Childhood is the best time for exploration, and there are few places that encourage the hands-on approach like CMoM. For kids five and under, Messy With Art provides a great outlet for their artistic impulses, teaching children about texture, shapes, materials, and encouraging them to try out different painting and sculptural techniques.
Follow up your big day with lunch at one of the Upper West Side’s kid-friendly eateries: There’s nothing little ones love more than showing off their knowledge of a favorite activity to their parents. Give your kids plenty of time to let you know about their favorite parts of the day and what they’re eager to explore again with lunch at one of the eateries near the museum. Kid-friendly favorites, like Bellini Italian Restaurant & Brick Oven Pizza on Columbus and The Meatball Shop outpost on Amsterdam are the perfect places to hear all about the events of the day, and they just so happen to offer a 10 percent discount to museum guests, too.
Finding activities that will both entertain and educate your kids can be difficult, but the Children’s Museum of Manhattan provides plenty of opportunity for both. Open up the lines of communication, channel their creative energy, and show your kids a side of the world they’d never seen before, all without leaving Manhattan with a trip to this always-exciting museum.