Since I started The Curious Cowgirl, I have been so flattered to receive frequent requests to help readers plan a meaningful and individually created travel plan to NYC. I adore this city, and sharing my tips and knowledge with others is super fun for me! One questions I get asked a LOT….”Hey Curious Cowgirl…I’m taking my grandchildren/young children to NYC…what suggestions do you have? If you want to keep little tourists happy, at two SUPER Kid-Friendly NYC Museums, then read on….
Kid-Friendly NYC Museums: The New York Transit Museum
According to their web site, “Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the stories of mass transportation – extraordinary engineering feats, workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, communities that were drastically transformed, and the ever-evolving technology, design, and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the Transit Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block, and is home to a rotating selection of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907.
Visitors can board the vintage cars, sit at the wheel of a city bus, step through a time tunnel of turnstiles, and explore changing exhibits that highlight the cultural, social and technological history – and future – of mass transit.”
The day I visited, I was totally entertained walking in and out of subway train cars, beautifully preserved. There were several children in the museum, and they squealed with delight as they raced from car to car, sitting in the conductor’s seat, and getting a true interactive experience.
If you are planning to be in NYC at the end of October, the New York Transit Museum Nostalgia Rides will transport straphangers to another age, using the same equipment that city dwellers would have ridden more than a century ago. Riding in an authentic IND R1-9 vintage subway car, on October 27th, 2018, visitors can sit on the seats, hold onto the handrails, read the vintage advertisements, and travel through time to the early days of the New York subway system, all the way to the Green-Wood Cemetery at twilight. The web site encourages visitors to “pack a picnic and take a guided tour to learn the fascinating stories of Green-Wood’s permanent residents, including famous actors, politicians, artists and inventors from the Victorian era and beyond.” Sounds like perfectly spooky and awesome fun to me!!!
Kid-Friendly NYC Museums: The New York City Fire Museum
My husband and I visited this fabulous museum together, and agreed that is is a total gem! According to the website, the New York Fire Museum “displays illustrate the evolution of firefighting from the bucket brigades of Peter Stuyvesant’s New Amsterdam through the colorful history of volunteer firefighters to modern firefighting techniques and equipment.
The Museum also houses a special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who made the Supreme Sacrifice on 9/11 and features a number of firefighting artifacts recovered from the World Trade Center site. A video room and a mock apartment with an artificial smoke machine and black-lighted fire hazards are used in the museum’s fire education program for school children ages K through 12.
Retired FDNY firefighters proudly volunteer to relate stories of New York City’s “Bravest” and with the help of the Museum’s stunning collection, tell how they got to be that way.”
The artifacts in this small museum are fabulous, and kids and adults will thoroughly enjoy seeing the tradition and history of the FDNY, as well as the evolution of fire-fighting equipment over the years.
- Location: The Transit Museum is located in Brooklyn. You can easily reach the museum from Manhattan on the 4 or 5 line, and if you are unsure about using the subway, check out this post. It’s EASY!
- The New York Fire Museum is located on the far west side of SoHo.
- Both museums have GREAT gift shops…and y’all know I’m a big advocate of shopping in the gift shop, because you are directly supporting the museum.
- While every visitor is different, I’d suggest allowing two hours in the Transit Museum, as the collection is large, and kids will have a lot of fun getting in and out of all the subway trains. Allow about an hour for the New York Fire Museum.
I hope these Kid-Friendly NYC Museums make your must-do list on your next trip to The Big Apple!
If you’d also like guidance on where to take your family to eat while in NYC, my NYC Restaurant Guide is only $10, was updated in October, and has over 30 restaurant suggestions, organized by part of town, and includes phone numbers, and information about those that participate on Open Table. Worth every penny y’all!!!!
If you enjoyed this post, and want to receive all The Curious Cowgirl’s Travel Blog posts in your inbox, click here to join the list!