As much as we love Staten Island, (we are Staten Island Parent, after all!) it’s still exciting to venture off into other parts of New York City sometimes. The midwinter break is an ideal time to take the kids exploring in a few of our culture-rich neighboring boroughs, starting with the some of the wonderful museums found in almost every nook and cranny of the city. Here are a few kid-friendly exhibits on display during the break that are well-worth the trip over the bridge or ferry.
Superheroes in Gotham at the New-York Historical Society– It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s….the perfect time for superhero fans to visit the NY Historical Society! Delve into the origins of these colorful characters in this exhibit that tells the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City. Learn about their leap from the page into radio, television, and film, the role of Superhero fans and the annual mega-fan conference known as Comic Con, and the ways in which comic book superheroes, who stepped on the scene in the early-mid 20th century, have inspired and influenced the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters in New York City.
After you get your Superhero fix, stop into the Dimenna Children’s Museum (located within the NY Historical Society grounds) for Presidential Superheroes Week (Tuesday, 2/16 – Friday, 2/19) and learn about the real life superheroes who helped to build our country.
The New-York Historical Society & Dimenna Children’s Museum is located in Manhattan at 170 Central Park West. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday. Visit nyhistory.org for more information.
The Titanosaur & The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History – The AMNH unveiled the latest addition to its popular “dinosaur floor” last month, the cast of a massive 122-foot dinosaur unearthed from the Patagonian desert region of Argentina. Temporarily dubbed “The Titanosaur,” the new, much larger occupant stands as tall as the gallery’s approximately 19-foot-high ceilings, and its gargantuan neck and head will welcome visitors, stretching all the way out towards the elevator banks.
After perusing the prehistoric parts of the museum, flutter over to its seasonal Butterfly Conservatory for some close encounters with nature’s most beautiful insects. Step inside the tropical conservatory with butterflies of every shape, size, and color and let them land directly on your hand or shoulder!
The American Museum of Natural History is open daily. They are located in Manhattan at Central Park West and 79th Street. Visit amnh.org for more information.
Connected Worlds at the New York Hall of Science – There’s never been a more important time for people—children, especially—to grasp how much their actions affect their surroundings. In this fascinating new exhibit, visitors are immersed in an interactive, animated universe where their actions — gestures, movements, and decisions — impact how well the world is kept in balance. There are six environments in Connected Worlds, each with its own trees, plants, and animals, all of which share a common supply of water. The environments are fed by a central waterfall that is projected 38-ft high in the exhibitions and flows out across an interactive floor spanning 2,300 square feet. While interacting with the exhibit, visitors explore the way different environments are linked, as well as strategize how to keep systems in balance and experience how their actions can have a vital impact on everything around them.
The New York Hall of Science is open daily. They are located in Queens at 47-01 111th Street . Visit nysci.org for more information.
About Pixar: The Design of Story at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – What 21st century kid hasn’t fallen in love with at least one or two Pixar movies? The Smithsonian is giving visitors a peek behind the scenes of these popular modern animated films in their current exhibit venturing into the complex world of these classic CGI films. Concept art from Toy Story, Wall-E, Brave, The Incredibles, and Cars, among other films reveal how the visual design process and story development work hand in hand at Pixar. You can also check out over 650 Pixar artworks that are on view on touchscreen tables in the museum.
The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is open daily. They are located in Manhattan at 2 East 91st Street (at the corner of 91st Street and 5th Avenue). Visit si.edu for more information
Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Discovery Times Square – The force is strong in Times Square this winter! This exhibition features 70 hand-crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films. Visitors are treated to an in-depth look at the artists’ creative process and the connection between the characters and the costumes which helped shaped their identity. A special presentation for the showing at Discovery Times Square will feature seven additional costumes from the latest film in the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Discovery Times Square is open daily. They are located in Manhattan at 226 West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues (directly across from Shubert Alley). Visit discoverytsx.com for more information.
Although there are plenty of cultural-rich places right in our own backyard (click here for a handy list), it’s great that a quick ferry or bus ride gives us the opportunity to expose our children to one of the best cities in the world to explore history, culture, science, and so much more!