Enjoy our guide to off-the-beaten path museums and other great ways to spend time with your kids, in Chelsea and beyond. For suggestions and ideas, please email Robert Turley at nycinfo@ps33pta.org





Family Fun in New York City

New York City is the best place in the world to raise kids! No other place has so many amazing and free opportunities for enrichment. Most New York families know the obvious choices: Central Park Zoo, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum, and Children’s Museum of Manhattan. These are great places to visit, but there are a number of other must-see destinations that are less frequented, yet offer so much. We encourage you to take advantage of the free admission hours offered by each of these institutions. You will find this information on their websites.

Great Museums for Kids

  • One of the best places in New York to take the family is the New York Hall of Science in Queens: http://www.nysci.org/. Both parents and kids learn something new with every visit, and it’s always a blast! Check out their constantly-updated calendar of events for tons of educational fun.
  • For an amazing and authentic trip through time and a lesson in history, check out the Cloisters: http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters. Kids love to dress up like knights and princesses when they visit, and they learn a lot in the process. Children under 12 always receive free admission at the Cloisters. Attendance is sometimes so sparse, that your kids may think that this is their own private castle.
  • If you haven’t already, you must take your kids to the Children’s Museum of the Arts: http://www.cmany.org/visit-us-2/. The very welcoming staff is always coming up with creative hands-on arts and crafts events for kids of all ages. You have to visit the Clay Bar, where the ‘bartender’ serves up individualized creativity. And please go to the Ball Pond for a welcome break of crazy, mindless fun! Your kids will absolutely lose themselves at this museum.


Brooklyn has such a disproportionate number of educational, fun-filled opportunities, that it is hard to narrow it down to just a few, but a list of the best should include the following:

  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum: http://www.brooklynkids.org/ where kids can actually touch the creatures and other objects in the museum’s award-winning, hands-on exhibits.
  • The New York Transit Museum: http://www.mta.info/mta/museum/, where the kids will not only take a trip through time and learn about mechanics and energy, for once they won’t have to listen to you telling them not to play on the train! The whole family will love seeing the evolution of trains over time, with authentic antique trains with original old advertisements. You may surprised to see how beautifully furnished the old trains are.
  • The Prospect Park Zoo, which may have the most kid-friendly layout of any zoo: http://www.prospectparkzoo.com/. Visits to the Prospect Park Zoo can easily include the Lefferts Historic House and the Carousel, a very easy itinerary if you enter Prospect Park from the southeast corner at Flatbush and Ocean Avenues.


  • A truly wonderful event that is unique to our beautiful city is Stargazing on the High Line on Tuesdays: http://www.thehighline.org/events/free-nature-programs/2011/4/every-tuesday-stargazing-on-the-high-line brought to you by the Friends of the High Line and the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Gaze at the stars through high-powered telescopes, experience a humbling sense of awe at the vastness and beauty of our universe, and re-instill your gratitude for having such wonderful children to share it with.
  • Did you know that Chelsea Prep is just a block away from the biggest art district in the world, the Chelsea Art District, where you can see some of the most famous galleries and some of the biggest names in the art world? People travel from all over the world to visit these galleries, and now you and your kids can see them in a monthly event that is unique to Chelsea Prep: Robert Turley’s free after-school art excursions, where the children enjoy kid-friendly tours of art galleries that are within a block or two of the school. Please email Robert at nycinfo@ps33pta.org if you want to be added to the email list and receive monthly invitations. This event has become very popular and fills up fast, so you’ll want to reply quickly to any invitations.
  • The Rubin Museum is a museum like no other: www.rma.nyc.org, with its tranquil Himalayan art, often accompanied by equally tranquil live music in the grand lobby beneath the beautiful winding staircase that runs through the entire museum. The Rubin always has great family programs, and in addition to the free hours that they offer, children under 13 are always free.

Web Resources

Besides our favorite picks listed above, there are hundreds more options for family fun in New York to choose from. Check the listings on these frequently-updated websites for more ideas: