It’s no secret.  There’s so many great NYC Museums!  But how many are truly kid-friendly museums?  A very good question!  Particularly for my readers who are taking grandchildren or young children to NYC.  If you want to keep little tourists happy, while visiting two small museums in NYC that children, and adults will love, here’s everything you need to know!

First Published: August 31, 2018 Last Updated: July 3, 2019



Antique Fire Wagon on display



Kid-Friendly NYC Museums

Culture, and the opportunity to see history come alive is a fundamental activity while in NYC.  And, while adults can easily spend hours perusing the galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, kids often struggle to stay engaged and  in-step with their parents or grandparents. If you plan to visit NYC, even during the holidays, and your plans include spending time in one of the many NYC Museums, there are two small museums in NYC I highly recommend!


Antique NYC Rail Car

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.”

Be sure to check out their web site, as this is one of the coolest museums in NYC, and offers many special seasonal tours, exhibits, and even nostalgic train rides to various locations in the area, like Coney Island!


Tips for Visiting:

  • 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.
  • Hours are 10:00-4:00 Monday-Friday and 11:00-5:00 on Saturday and Sunday.  The museum is closed on Mondays.
  • Admission is $10 for Adults and $5 for children under 17.


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.


The underground subway entrance to the NYC Transit Museum

TIP: The Entrance to this Kid-Friendly Museum is underground!



Now….onto one of the best small museums in NYC!


Facade of the 1904 Firehouse that is now the New York City Fire Museum


New York City Fire Museum

The New York City Fire Museum is not strictly in the category of children’s museums, but I can’t think of a child who is not, at some point in their life, fascinated by fire engines!  Small museums in NYC can be wonderful, and this museum is no exception!  The historic fire engines, fire helmets, and other turn-of-the-century artifacts are truly amazing!  Kids, and adults, will be amazed by the collection in this NYC Museum.


Tips for Visiting:

  • The museum is located at 278 Spring St., on the western edge of SoHo, in a renovated 1904 firehouse.
  • The museum is open seven days a week, 10:00-5:00.  Closed on all National Holidays.
  • Admission is $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors and Firefighters, $5 for Children.
  • Active and Retired FDNY/NYPD/DSNY/PANYNJ  and Active and Retired US Military service members and Merchant Marine get in FREE.
  • The museum shop has excellent fire-service related kid-friendly costumes, toys and souvenirs.


My husband and I visited this fabulous museum together, and agreed that is is a total gem!


Black and White photo of the FDNY


Important Tips:

  • Both kid-friendly museums are accessible via the Subway.  You can easily reach the NY Transit Museum from Manhattan on the 4 or 5 line, and the New York City Fire Museum is a few short blocks from the Spring Street Station on the A, C, or E lines.
  • 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.
  • If these NYC Museums leave you feeling hungry, my NYC Restaurant Guide has over 30 restaurant suggestions throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.




a woman in a blue dress with text overlay




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