Kids love to explore and living in NYC there are many incredible outlets to do so. From parks to playspaces to museums, NYC is not only a fabulous place for adults; but a city where kids can truly discover, explore and enjoy the simple act of having fun while in a creative environment. I recently discovered one of the best places explore, play, and learn while visiting the interactive Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM).
An educational playspace/museum, CMOM supports creative play to evoke a child’s imagination, curiosity and discovery through five of the museums interactive exhibits. From Dora to Diego to a big fire engine where kids can pretend to drive, the fun (and learning) doesn’t stop at CMOM.
After I paid my $10/person entry fee (all kids over one years old pay full-price) and checked my stroller (free with entry fee), we were off to The Wizard of Oz exhibit (open until May 8th). From Emerald City to walking in Munchkin Land, it felt like we walked onto the set of this classic movie only to be allowed to touch and interact with this fun exhibit.
We then made our way up the second level – Adventures with Dora exhibit where parents and their kids were excitedly signing the various theme songs from the popular cartoons. This space is a fun exploration for little ones age 2-6 years old where kids can pretend to be on a mission with Diego as they walk over a bridge or explore Dora’s living room and play music. This bright and colorful floor also focuses on an awareness of Latin American culture.
The third level – Playworks – is by far the ultimate reason to check out the museum. For some parents, retaining their kid’s attention span for more than 5 minutes warrants a challenge – but playing on this floor I found that my daughter was engrossed and mentally stimulated for over 2 hours! From a MTA bus and fire truck that kids can drive to a play grocery store with a scanner and fake food to playing with a sand pit, there were kids everywhere simply learning and loving the art of playing and being independent. On this floor you will also find a baby/toddler area where the little ones can look at mirrors, play with balls, or, what I found, as a great place to sit for a few minutes.
Older kids (6 years and up) will get a kick out of the Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece exhibits – an interactive look at ancient Greece. Kids can arm-wrestle with a Green athlete or learn about looming and weaving from 150 BC. There is also a cool temple that children can build as they learn about Greek buildings.
After three plus hours of non-stop playing we were all ready for lunch (there are no food facilities at CMOM; but you can come back to the museum with a stamped hand). After a fun day of discovery and learning, kids and their parents will the experience of this interactive and creative environment right in the heart of Manhattan.
Insider Tip: CMOM also offers a variety of classes for kids 6 months and up, guided group tours, and workshops for parents.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street
New York, NY 10024
Ph: (212) 721-1223