Cold weather and Covid aren’t a great combo. The Summer and Fall meant copious opportunities for park and playground trips and a variety of other outdoor options for your sitter and kiddo to head to during the day. Chilly weather means having to get creative and consider indoor options that feel safe for your crew. Cue a museum trip! Museums are typically spacious and are currently taking reservations to mitigate large crowds and provide a socially distanced way to explore their facilities. Below are our top picks for NYC museums for kiddos to explore. A simple visit is enough to fulfill a morning or afternoon with fun & exploration, but our Kid Experts have been incorporating their art and teaching chops to add in activities and enrichment into each visit to maximize the fun.
Below explore our top 5 NYC museum picks for your mini – they feature large spaces to explore and stay distanced. A trip to any makes for an incredibly fun filled adventure for your mini, but here’s a quick list of additional activity ideas you can add into your museum adventure to make the experience extra enriching:
- Scavenger Hunt! Create a list of items your kiddo is likely to encounter during their museum trip. Write a list and give them a writing utensil to mark off each find on their journey.
- Word-Based Scavenger Hunt! Your kiddo working on phonics? Pick a letter of the day. Each time they find something on their museum adventure that starts with that letter hey score a point! Make this extra engaging by bringing a pen and paper and have your mini practice sounding out the word and writing the letters after each find.
- Photography 101! Let your kiddo bring their tablet on their adventure and snap pics of their finds! It’s an engaging way for them to view their experience and it’s a blast to share with parens and siblings after their trip.
- Drawing Class: bring paper and markers and help your kiddo use their museum discoveries as inspiration. Have them pick a piece of art, artifact or exhibit that inspires them and take time during their museum adventure to sit and create a piece of art of their own inspired by their newly discovered subject.
- Get moving! You can put in quite a few steps in a museum, and many feature large staircases. Combine gross motor with counting and have kiddos count the stairs they climb during their trip. You can set a goal (let’s beat 100 steps!) or simply track to see how high you can get!
pic c/o @amhistorymuseum
Hours: Open 10-5:30 pm, Wednesday-Sunday
Cost: NYC and NJ residents pay what you wish, general cost adult $23, kid 3-12 $13
Address: 200 Central Park West, NY NY 10024
- Using timed-entry ticketing to limit attendance to promote physical distancing.
- Disinfecting and cleaning to meet CDC guidelines.
- Conducting temperature checks at entry. Visitors with a temperature of 100.4° or more will be denied entry.
- Adding plexiglass barriers at ticket counters.
- Upgrading ventilation systems.
- Marking paths and adding markers to promote physical distancing.
- Limiting elevator and restroom capacity to maintain physical distancing.
- Turning off or cordoning off interactive displays and other touchable exhibit elements.
- Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.
- Learn more about what we’re doing to help keep visitors safe.
All visitors are required to:
- Avoid visiting if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have been in close contact (within 6 feet (2 m) for 10 minutes or more) with someone infected with or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Wear a facial covering throughout the visit (for all visitors ages 2 and up), remain together with your party, and children ages 12 and under must remain with adults at all times. No neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandannas, or face coverings with valves, mesh, or holes.
- Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet (2m) with others outside your group.
- Use hand sanitizer, which will be available at stations throughout the building.
- Follow directions from staff and signage for physical distancing, reducing contact, and other guidelines for use of facilities.
pic c/o @metmuseum
Hours: Thursday and Friday: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday–Monday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: NY residents: pay what you wish
Address: 1000 5th Avem New York, NY 10028
- All visitors are required to have their temperatures checked with a forehead scanner prior to entering the building. If you receive a reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, we will ask you to visit another day.
- Please stay home if you are feeling sick.
- New York State Covid-19 Travel Advisory requires visitors from certain states or countries to quarantine for 14 days. If you are traveling to NYC from any of these states or countries, visitors are required to complete the online Travel Health Form.
- Face coverings are required for all visitors and Members over the age of two. You will not be permitted inside the Museum without a face covering. Additionally, face coverings must be worn for the duration of your visit. CDC guidelines advise that face coverings should:
- Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nose
- Fit snugly against the sides of the face
- Entry to the Museum is by timed ticket or reservation only and capacity is limited. Please see here for more information on reserving or buying tickets in advance.
- We encourage Members to reserve a time to visit prior to arrival at the Museum. If you cannot schedule your visit in advance, we are happy to accommodate Member entry to the Museum without a reservation upon your arrival.
- Physical distancing is required; visitors should stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from others and from groups.
- Follow the physical-distancing markers at visitor entry and exit points as well as in locations throughout the Museum.
Bonus! Check out https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/ to get some inspo for your kiddo’s visit!
pic c/o @themuseumofmodernart
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10:3-5:30 pm (Mondays reserved for members)
Cost: Kids under 16 free, $25 for adults
Address: 11 West 53rd Street, NY NY 10019
Advance timed tickets required. Reserve online and present your mobile ticket at entry.
Our checkroom is closed, and large bags will not be admitted.
Staff and visitors (age 2+) are required to wear a mask or face covering.
Enjoy the art, but stay 6 ft. apart.
Maintain social distancing throughout the Museum. Capacity will be limited.
Follow the signs.
Signage, floor markings, and physical barriers will guide you through our spaces.
Connect without contact.
Use your smartphone to access audio, labels, and maps.
Use our free hand sanitizer, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face.
pic c/o @guggenheim
Hours: Open Thursday–Monday, 11 am–6 pm, Members-only hours Monday 6–8 pm
Cost: Free for kids under 12, Adults: $25
Pay-What-You-Wish Admission Fridays and Saturdays, 4 pm–6 pm
Address: 1071 5th Ave, NY NY 10128
Before Your Visit
We have new hours. The museum is open Thursday–Monday, 11 am–6 pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday. The museum is offering members-only hours Monday, 6–8 pm.
Download our free Digital Guide, a part of the Bloomberg Connects app, to learn from curators and educators about our exhibitions and Frank Lloyd Wright building, and to access safety information and additional exhibition content. Find it in Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Remember to bring your headphones. See Resources for Your Visit for more information.
Bring your face mask to keep yourself and one another safe.
Timed tickets are required for entry. Purchase yours online in advance of your visit.
Give back to New York City just by visiting. Your ticket purchase can support the gift of a family pass to an essential worker.
Travel light—the coat check is temporarily closed. See Visitor FAQ for more information.
Stay home if you are sick. Kindly reschedule your visit if, in the 14 days leading up to your visit, you or anyone in your household has tested positive, experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or has come into close contact with anyone confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever or chills, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, stomach upset, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.
New York State requires visitors from certain states and countries to quarantine for 14 days upon entering New York or, alternatively, to follow a testing protocol that can be found here. Visitors from these areas may not visit the Guggenheim Museum during this period unless they have “tested out” of the quarantine requirement. Covered travelers are required to complete the New York State Travel Health Form.
In the interest of your safety and that of others, we ask you to help us reduce the risk and do your part by observing all rules, posted signs, instructions from Guggenheim staff, and the safety requirements listed below.
All visitors over the age of two are required to wear a face mask at all times during the visit, and staff is required to wear a face mask. Face masks must reach over your nose and mouth and be secured under your chin, completely covering your mouth and nostrils and fitting snugly against the sides of your face. Face masks with exhalation valves or vents are not permitted. See CDC guidelines on how to wear a face mask.
If you are feeling ill, please visit us at another time in order to diminish risk to one another. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you will be asked to return at a later date. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply the cost of your ticket to a future visit.
Reduced capacity means you can enjoy the art in an intimate setting. Please maintain at least six feet (about two arm’s length) of distance from other visitors at all times, including when waiting in line to be admitted to the museum. Families and groups of friends may stay together; children must stay with adults at all times. One-way markers on the ramps and signage throughout the museum will help keep your group socially distanced from your fellow art lovers.
Help prevent the spread of germs. Please wash your hands for twenty seconds and use hand sanitizer regularly during your visit. Hand-sanitizer dispensers are stationed throughout the museum. Cover your cough.
By coming on-site, you agree to abide by these policies. For the safety and enjoyment of our community, we reserve the right to request that visitors who do not follow these safety measures leave the museum.
pic c/o @whitneymuseum
Hours: Monday 11:30-6pm, Closed Tuesday/Wednesday, Friday 1:30-9 pm, Saturday/Sunday 12-6pm
Cost: Free for kids 18 and under, Adults: $25
Pay what you wish: Friday 6-9 pm
Address: 99 Gansevoort Street, NY NY 10014
Face coverings are required.
Please bring your own face coverings that cover your nose and mouth and wear them at all times. Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth must be worn by all visitors over the age of two. Masks with valves will not be allowed in the Museum
Keep six feet apart.
Review signage and ground markings throughout the Museum to ensure proper physical distancing.
Follow new circulation routes.
Please adhere to updated circulation routes in our staircases and elevators.
Cover your cough, and wash your hands frequently.
Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the Museum.