New York Historical Society

New York historical society exterior
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The New York Historical Society is a surprisingly awesome place to visit with kids.  There’s less mania than the big museums, and we’ve had great luck with their special exhibits, which cater to adults and children alike.  This winter we visited their annual train exhibit as well as Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York and Superheros in Gotham.  The Silicon City exhibit tells the story of New York’s role in the digital revolution, including typewriters and rotary phones for the kids to play with, which made me feel very old!  The Superhero exhibit walked us through the birth of several comic book superheroes – Spider Man, Bat Man, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, Super Man, Iron Man – displaying original costumes and running movie reels, not to mention the Batmobile in the lobby.  Last year, we checked out Madeline in New York, exhibiting Ludwig Bemelmans’ original drawings from all six Madeline books as well as his drawings of the Ritz Hotel in New York where he lived.  The Madeline books are in heavy rotation in our household, so this was a thrilling afternoon!  There is also a Children’s History Museum in the lower level, including a cozy library containing stories about the history of New York City.  (Toddlers would enjoy the free story time on Sundays starting at 11:30 am.)

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Make Meaning — Art Space for Kids, young and oldThings to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!

Make Meaning — Art Space for Kids, young and old

Paint-a-pot… step aside.  I think your days are numbered. Make Meaning recently opened its doors on the Upper West Side and they are definitely on to something!  The gigantic, walk-in creativity center offers a place where parents and their kids can sit together and work side by side on a variety of creative projects — all age appropriate and stuff that you will actually use!

The space currently offers six experiences: soap crafting, candle-making, ceramics, glass, jewelry and paper and they are open to 11pm on some nights!  Not only is it a perfect retreat when it’s too cold or crummy to be outside but what mother doesn’t need some downtime to just zone out and create something for themselves once in a while?

I love the look of the Soapsphere! Kids can choose the color and fragrance of their soap and then throw in a toy surprise for bath-time fun!  And they serve cupcakes!

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Things to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!New York Historical Society

Things to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!

So recently I had a really terrible idea. It was pouring horizontal rain, freezing cold AND the schools were all closed for spring break… and for some reason, I decided it would be a truly excellent idea to take one of my girls to the Planetarium at the Natural History Museum. The good news was that I got our tickets the night before on-line (which you should ALWAYS do if available) … the bad news is that I spent the morning in a complete state of nature with what seemed like all of human kind. Uggh!

Despite the human jigsaw puzzle, we had a great time but the whole experience served as a gentle reminder that a rainy day visit to a museum is really not such a great idea after all as chances are that every single other human being alive has the same idea. Here are some of my favorite museums in the city… (more…)

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Make Meaning — Art Space for Kids, young and oldNew York Historical Society