With social media, cell phones, video games and iTunes, it’s become pretty hard, or even seemingly impossible, to keep the kids of this generation engaged in something that doesn’t require batteries or headphones. For all of you parents out there looking to both educate and thoroughly entertain your tech-deluged children, check out some of these thought-provoking New York-based exhibits. Most not only welcome but actually encourage hands-on interaction while putting forth a reality-altering visual display. Be sure to look into each exhibit before visiting, however, to ensure that the site will match the unique interests and age of your child. Sound off in the comments section below on cool exhibits we may have missed.
“The Art Of The Brick”
Discovery Times Square
226 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
Dates: Now through Sept. 14, 2014
From hit television shows to one of the biggest movies of 2014, LEGOS have permeated just about every aspect of popular culture, and now, what was once thought to be a mere toy, has made its way to the fine art scene. Nathan Sawaya’s “The Art of the Brick” exhibit is currently on display at Discovery Times Square in Manhattan. Featuring aesthetic and thought-provoking models composed solely from LEGO bricks, the display has been labeled by multiple media outlets as one of the best of the year. Both kids and adults will be intrigued and engaged. Check out CBS New York’s take on it by clicking here.
New York Hall Of Science
47-01 111th St.
Corona, NY 11368
If you grew up in New York City or Long Island, you’ll remember that the New York Hall of Science has long been a cornerstone for class field trips. This interactive museum is constantly rebooting old displays and introducing new ones to keep themselves relevant and maintain the interest of any kid who’s lucky enough to step within its walls. Whether it’s erecting a Gingerbread Lane during the holiday season or demystifying the complexities of engineering with its innovative Design Lab, the various exhibits at NYHS have been built to illustrate just how fun science actually is.
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The Toy Museum – A Mini Musical
The Toy Museum of New York
180 Smith St.
New York, NY 11201
Dates: Check museum’s reservation page for dates and times of its mini-musical performances
Although described by many as having the misfortune of being located in a much smaller space than most traditional museums, the Toy Museum of New York has garnered consistent interest and support by educating children about how toys and dolls have impacted culture with a live mini-musical that features a diverse cast of highly trained and dedicated thespians. According to the museum’s homepage, the organization has been around since 1999, and its theatre company has been going strong since 2010. At $8 a ticket, it should make for an interesting and affordable day that will spark some of the imaginative fires in the minds of children who attend.
Museum Of The Moving Image
36-01 35th Ave.
Astoria, NY 11106
The Museum of the Moving Image is just a hop, skip and a jump from the famous Kaufman Film Studios in Astoria, NY where it’s been educating patrons about the history of the cinematic arts for over 25 years. The museum contains exhibits for enthusiasts of all ages in the genres of popular film and television that describe things like the reasons for wardrobe choices and detail the often slow development of make-up effects. The Moving Image’s staff clearly keeps kids in mind when developing their displays. At one spot, for example, guests are invited to create their own short films, which they can actually e-mail to themselves upon completion, and the museum maintains a revolving line-up of kid-specific exhibits ranging from the Muppets to the current Animation Takeover in the Drop-In Moving Image Studio.
Matt Thomas has covered Manhattan’s music and arts beat since 2005. His stories and articles have appeared in The Village Voice, The Journal of American Culture, Word Riot, and many others. Read some of his other work on his blog (mattthomastown.wordpress.com) and Examiner.com.