Where learning stuff can be a load of fun.
1 Rose Center for Earth and Space
This planetarium is inside the American Museum of Natural History, so you're getting a two-for-one day of entertainment for the whole family. The Rose Center's most famous feature is the Hayden Planetarium, a huge globe that looks as if it's floating inside a giant cube. After full renovations in 2000, the planetarium now features a 20m domed screen that plays regular screenings of Journey to the Stars, an immersive film narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. The rest of the Rose Center is home to permanent and special exhibitions detailing the 13-billion-year history of the universe. That's a lot to cover, so make sure your little astronauts are well-rested before visiting.
2 Brooklyn Children's Museum
Established in 1899, this was the world's first museum created specifically for children. With a space of more than 9000sq m, the focus is on hands-on and interactive exhibits and is best suited to kids aged from 2 to 10. The Sensory Room is an inclusive space and was created by professionals experienced in Autism Spectrum Disorders, making it a safe environment for all children.
World Brooklyn is a miniature version of the communities found around the borough, where kids can play at being shopkeepers, builders, designers and performers. Combine your visit with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for the best views back to Manhattan and out to the Statue of Liberty.
3 Museum of Modern Art (Moma)
A perennial favourite for grown-up visitors to NYC, Moma doesn't need to be ruled out for families. Grab an audio guide — there are special narrations aimed at children to help them understand some of the great works from famous artists, such as Matisse, Monet and Picasso. Guided tours are available on Saturday and Sunday mornings, tailored to specific age groups (4, 5 to 10 and 11 to 14), with the free tickets allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Interactive spaces like the Art Lab allow kids to play and create their own artworks. Best of all, under-16s get free admission, year round.