Carrie Bradshaw and her cosmo swilling cohorts may have forged New York’s reputation as a sophisticated singles’ city, but lets bit forget it’s also an amazing family destination. Ok, so little ones may get slightly bored by fashion hunting and abstract art at the Guggenheim, but there’s still an abundance to keep them amused. For starters, here are just a few of the best museums to take them to in the Big Apple:
New York City Fire Department Museum – Those shiny, red fire trucks that are so prominent in NYC have probably already caught your kids’ attention. If so, take them along to this fascinating museum located in an early 18th century firehouse. You’ll learn how the ‘Rattle Watchers’, the earliest organised fire fighters, used to spin rattles to alert residents before running to their rescue with buckets of water and just why, over the centuries, the shape of the fire fighter’s helmet has remained relatively unchanged.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Opened in 1899, Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum in the world built expressly for children and aspires to ‘enrich children’s lives through inspiring, involving, and challenging them to learn about themselves, others, and the world around them.’ Over 30,000 objects, from a shark’s jawbone to porcelain dolls are on permanent display, whilst temporary shows can touch on anything from nursery rhymes to neighbourhood ecology.
American Museum of Natural History – The King of NYC’s museums will amaze the entire family and probably be one of those experiences your children will remember well into adulthood. For many, the highlights are the older exhibits, such as the incredible habitat dioramas and fossil collections, whilst more high-tech, didactic shows such The Silk Road (on until August 15th) are incredible examples of multi media museum installation. (More on the NYC Museum of Natural History).
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum - Located over two gigantic, and recently overhauled, naval vessels docked in the Hudson River, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, explores, well sea, air and space exploration and the ‘humanity behind the hardware.’ But it’s not all space probes and submarines. Temporary shows and activities touch on lighter themes, such as images of Snoopy and his puzzling obsession with WWI aircraft, and ‘sailor art.’