Exhibitions

Explore the courtyard in America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far
Visit Alphie our alphabet-eating dragon in PlayWorks™
Twirl, spin, and leap in Let's Dance!

Let's Dance!

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Opens July 1, 2017

All Ages

Bounce, glide or leap to our exciting exhibition/dance space designed to introduce children and families to the delights of dance! Celebrate the beauty, spirit, and diversity of the form while learning about the important role dance can play in a child’s world. Discover dance from a variety of entry points: as an art form, as an expression of diverse cultures and traditions, and as a healthy physical activity.

  • Interact with the immersive video projection dome dance portal to watch, learn and dance along with  professional, community, and student dance companies from New York and abroad. Learn more about organizations featured in the dance portal.
  • Create multi-color shadow dances on the “stage” while exploring lighting design with a child-friendly lighting box
  • Choreograph a series of dance patterns while learning the language of dance and using movable signs, engaging props and fun costumes
  • Experiment with authentic percussion instruments, drumming unique beats and rhythms
  • Explore and capture new dance positions by manipulating poseable figures
  • Be inspired by photography and video that celebrates the breadth of the dance world, including the fabulous New York City Dance Parade and dance in New York City’s public schools as seen in PS Dance!
  • Participate in a dance workshop or take a seat to experience world-class performances!

Special dance programming and performances will complete this “moving” experience!

This exhibition is made possible with public funding from the Institute of  Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support comes from The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and Jody and John Arnhold. Generous in-kind donations have been made by Casio America, Inc.Drum Workshop, Inc.Harlequin Floors (American Harlequin Corporation)Putumayo World Music, Steps on Broadway, and Traveling Tutus Inc.

The Children’s Museum is also grateful for the support and insight provided by its Dance Advisory Board.

Dynamic H₂O

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In the Sussman Environmental Center

All Ages Outdoors. Open weather permitting. Opens May 27.

This summer our splashy Dynamic H2O exhibition,  in CMOM’s Sussman Environmental Center, is the hot place for children to cool off!  With 800 sq. ft. of hands-on interactives and cool colorful graphics, the exhibit offers visitors a fun place to chill while they learn how New York City gets its water and the role water plays in our local environment.

An interactive water table helps children trace the path of New York City’s water as they play and explore. The story begins with the water cycle up in the clouds. Children can release a rain shower and place small floating droplets in the resulting river to follow as they progress downstream toward the city. As the water flows past floating lily pads, there’s an area where children can create waterfalls, build dams and pretend to fish. The opportunities for fun and discovery continue as the water streams toward a build-your-own city that awaits future engineers and architects.

Children can pump water to the top of a skyscraper, create their own 92 mile aqueduct, and construct a city at the water’s edge! They can even try their hand at water-focused careers playing the role of marine scientist, chemical engineer, or even sewage treatment worker.

This project was made possible in part by Carolyn Tisch Blodgett and Will Blodgett, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Additional support for education programs provided by the Catskill Watershed Corporation in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far

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1st Floor

All Ages February 13, 2016 - December 31, 2017

Travel the world in a single museum visit!

Enjoy innovative hands-on experiences and discover fascinating objects, images and information from over 50 countries. Children can explore ancient trade routes on a two story Indian Ocean dhow (boat) or on a camel. They’ll thrill to the excitement of a global marketplace as they pretend to buy, sell and trade fruit, fish, spice, ceramic, textiles, and rugs. The exhibit environment is rich with art, architecture and design elements from across the globe. Visitors will marvel at a 3D exploration of mosque architecture from the Maldives to China. Original works by emerging American Muslim artists join traditional art forms including intricately designed tiles, ornate ceramics, and complex patterned rugs. There’s even an interactive replica/interpretation of a Pakistani truck for children to decorate.

Families can also compose music using an app featuring the rebana, tabla, kora, oud, ney, and ghijak, listen to stories and view objects shared by local America Muslim families and even learn how to write and say “My name is …” in 21 languages.

View the exhibition layout »

Major support has been provided by:

National Endowment for the Humanities, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, MetLife Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services – a federal agency, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Open Society Foundations, National Endowment for the Arts, Children’s Museum of Manhattan Board of Directors and scores of individuals.

Additional support provided by:

The El-Hibri Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Goldman Sach Gives, National Endowment for the Arts, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center,  The Violet Jabara Charitable Trust. Citywide program support provided by the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Mark-Viverito

Advisors

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is grateful to the international advisors and partners who guided this project over the past five years. We thank the following organizations for their wisdom, deep thoughts, and partnership.

30 Mosques in 30 Days, Aga Khan Museum, Al Amana Centre, Albanian Institute New York, Arab American Association of New York, Auburn Theological Seminary, BoomGen Studios, Columbia University, Fordham University, The Halal Guys, Honest Chops, Indian Ocean World Centre, The Interfaith Center of New York, International Museum of Women, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Center Manhattan, Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market, Manhattan College, Marble Collegiate Church, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Middle Collegiate Church, MIIM Designs, Muslim Community Network, New York City Government, NYC Office of the Mayor, New York Public Library – Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness, Sikh Coalition, Tarek Atrissi Design, Temple University, Unity Productions Foundation, University of Pennsylvania

Thank you all!

EatSleepPlay™: Building Health Every Day

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4th Floor

All Ages

Step into the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s EatSleepPlay™: Building Health Every Day exhibit and experience interactive ways for families to create a healthier lifestyle together. All activities and information are based on the latest medical and behavioral research and are linked to most important elements of a child’s day. Learn the essential facts and skills to make simple changes to build a strong and healthy future. EatSleepPlay™ offers fun, tried and true solutions to help get your child to eat fruits and vegetables, prevent your child’s bedtime from getting later and later, and to help increase your child’s level of physical activity.

Learn by doing

  • Crawl through a digestive system, follow nutrients into the body and pretend balls are blood cells traveling through the amazing circulatory system.
  • Explore the power of play while pedaling, running, balance and jumping together as a family.
  • Meet the Super Sprowtz™, a team of super-powered vegetable heroes and explore the benefits of fruits and vegetables at a NYC Green Cart.
  • Pretend to drive a NYC bus to a city park or greenmarket!

Find out More

The Children’s Museum is pleased to welcome NewYork-Presbyterian as a supporter of the EatSleepPlay exhibit and as a partner in its important efforts to help New York children and families make healthy choices every day. Get toddler-friendly recipes and other tips on: Healthy Beverage Portions, Healthy Snacks, More Healthy Snacks, Reading Labels, Lightening up on Liquids, Picky Eating, Building Sleep HabitsMisconceptions about the Flu, Pediatric EmergenciesBullying, and Concussions.

EatSleepPlay™: Building Health Every Day is funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency; Goldman Sachs Gives and the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund at the New York Community Trust.

PlayWorks™

Alphie Smock

3rd Floor

Ages birth – 4 years

We’ve designed every aspect of PlayWorks™ to help families prepare children to enter school ready to learn and grow. By combining play and learning, PlayWorks™ creates a fun and rewarding experience for children.

As children explore PlayWorks™ and participate in free, daily, drop-in Art Lab programs, they build their physical, social, math, art, science, literacy and problem-solving abilities—as well as the self-confidence, independence and awareness necessary for them to become life-long learners.

For adults, PlayWorks™ provides an opportunity to observe each child’s unique learning style and appreciate how play creates a strong foundation for later learning. This innovative 4,000 square foot environment includes Alphie—a giant talking dragon who “eats” letters, a deli, a fire truck, an MTA bus, sand area, giant 6 ft. mural painting wall, soft space for crawlers and more!

Download the Family Learning Guide

Adventures With Dora and Diego

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2nd Floor

Ages 2 – 6 years

Join Diego on a series of high stakes animal rescue missions. Learn facts about animals and their habitats by helping Diego rescue animals in trouble. Explore a cave, a beach and the rainforest, or rub animal footprints, even build a Spectacled Bear’s nest!

Get ready for a fabulous fiesta at Dora’s house! Drive Tico’s car, build the walls of Rainbow Bridge or jump across the lake to arrive at Dora’s house to play drums and pretend to cook Latin American foods.

By helping Dora and her friends get to the fiesta, your child will learn problem-solving skills, develop math and language abilities, and gain a greater appreciation and awareness of Latin American culture. ¡Vámonos! Let’s go!

Sponsored by Nickelodeon.

Collage Collaborations: Naomi Kawanishi Reis

Naomi Reis - Studio Visit 1

May 5, 2017 - December 2017

Ages 5 and below with adults

Little makers and their grownups are invited to work with New York City’s up and coming professional artists!

Collage Collaborations is an exhibition and family program series that introduces young visitors to artists who use collage in their studio practice. In this technique, artists cut, tear and glue different materials to create something new.

Each collaboration introduces a different artist through a series of workshops at the Museum with a final exhibition featuring the artists’ work and the finished collaboration. Workshops explore the artist’s creative process, the practice of collage in contemporary art, and collage’s impact on early childhood development through collaborative art-making.

Artist Naomi Kawanishi Reis’s collage-based paintings create new spaces that exist at the intersection of architecture and the natural world. Visiting conservatory gardens around the world—Reis takes photos inside these man-made landscapes. The photos are then translated into multi-layered paintings of paper, paint, and fabric—balancing between interior and exterior, abstract and representational, natural and artificial.

Collage Collaborations is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Past Exhibitions