fun things to do with kids upper east side new york city - family travel   Travel for Kids
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New York - Upper East Side


Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Met is a “biggie,” so start your visit with kids early in the day. Museum is open daily, children under 12 are free. There are cafes inside the museum, but you can go in and out with your day ticket. Take a break and pop out to Fifth Ave. food trucks for a quick snack or lunch, spread out on outdoor tables and chairs.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Photo Album
      Start on Floor 1 with extensive ancient Egyptian galleries and the Temple of Dendur, Greek and Roman art. Head over to Arms and Amor collection for European and Asian armor, jeweled weapons, knights on horseback.
      On Floor 2, in the 19th century and early 20th century European painting galleries find paintings by Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse. Don't miss the incomparable Rembrandts and Vermeers in European Paintings 1250 to 1800. Relax in the Astor Chinese Garden Court (room 217), and explore the Assyrian Palace at Nimrud in Ancient and Near Eastern Art.
      Tip: The ground floor 81st Street entrance to the museum has shorter security and ticket lines. Use your New York CityPass to bypass ticket lines.

The Cloisters - The Cloisters is a branch of The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art). For a nice afternoon adventure, head up to Fort Tyron Park, at the northern end of Manhattan.

    The Cloisters, built in the style of a traditional French cloister from the Middle Ages, has collections of medieval art from Europe. Kids will especially enjoy the incomparable Unicorn Tapestries, tapestries portraying King Arthur, medieval lion, camel and dragons.
      This is a fun outing at any season, and great in winter if the weather is bad. Take the M4 bus, the last stop is Fort Tyron Park – The Cloisters.
    Cleopatra's Needle – After checking out all the Egyptian goodies in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, go out into central park to see a real Egyptian obelisk. Go out of the museum, walk west, go cross East Dr., and walk north. Covered with hieroglyphs (honoring the sun god Ra, at 69 ft. high, it's impressive (and is the oldest monument in New York City, more than 3,500 years old).
    Playgrounds – After you’ve visited the museum, there are several playgrounds close by (the Museum is situated on the edge edge of the park).
      Pat Hoffman Friedman Playground – Just south of the Museum, is a charming playground for little ones, with three bronze bears to climb on, climbing structures, swings and slide. The noses and arts of the Group of Bears are all shiny from children climbing on the bears.
      Ancient Playground – This playground just north of the Museum at 84th St. and 5th Ave has a water play area, baby swings, climbing structures, tire swings, a little stone obelisk for toddlers, pyramids for bigger kids, and picnic tables.
    Guggenheim Museum – The reason to visit the Guggenheim is so kids can walk up and down the huge spiral interior of the museum. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the building is sensational, and it's something for kids to experience first hand.
  Tramway to Roosevelt Island – Use your Metro card to ride the aerial tramway across the East River to Roosevelt Island. The ride is short, but you get a bird’s eye view of the bridges and buildings from up above. Bring a picnic (or buy picnic makings at the local supermarket or deli) and take the bus north to Lighthouse Park, with grassy areas. Or walk the esplanade around the island, there are benches, shade trees, and great views of the United Nations building across the river. This is a quiet haven in busy New York.
family tours metropolitan museum art new york city

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a great and glorious museum, but it has tons to see, and just how do you make the masterpieces come alive for your kids? Take a charming three hour private family walking tour, with activities such as drawing and treasure hunts:

    Met Museum Tour for Kids
kids books metropolitan museum art new york city manhattan
lost in the museum  
The Met Lost in the Museum
Will Mabbit, Aaron Cushley

Stevie is lost in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you help her find her way through the museum, and meet her family in the Great Hall? Explore Greek and Roman, Ancient Egyptian, Arms and Armor galleries, and locate artworks. A fun introduction, before visiting The Met. (Picture book)

Also: My MET Sticker Collection



Claudia and Jamie go to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sleeping in a Renaissance bed and taking baths in the fountain. The kids are hot on the trail of a mysterious statue – is it really by Michelangelo? A wonderful museum adventure. (Chapter book)


mystery kids metropolitan museum art From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Fun with Hieroglyphs  
Fun with Hieroglyphs
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Catharine Roehrig

Find out what hieroglyphs mean and how to say them, then write like an Egyptian with 24 different rubber stamps, plus counting and hieroglyphic word puzzles. Illustrated with Egyptian artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Activity pack and book)


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