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How to Spend the Day at Children’s Museum of Manhattan

How to Spend the Day at Children’s Museum of Manhattan

This is what you need to know about visiting CMOM with your kids—and the museum’s must-see exhibits.

With loosening restrictions and rising vaccination rates, the first place my daughters and I wanted to visit when we (safely) hosted family from out of state was the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for a fun afternoon. Founded in 1973 as a neighborhood organization, CMOM has grown to be a major museum destination welcoming 350,000 visitors each year. Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s mission is to develop immersive exhibitions and programs designed to spark children’s imagination, curiosity, and intellect. Its commitment to equity must be recognized, most especially its collaborative partnerships with shelters and Head Start centers throughout New Year City. The museum truly brings early childhood magic to its exhibits.

Family Tours at Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Starting June 2, families can reserve 2-hour time slots to explore all of the museum’s exhibits, but until then, CMOM is offering 3 family tours. It is recommended to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled visit to ensure a full experience. These family tours are specially curated for hands-on exploration and are differentiated based on the ages of children. 

Superpowered Creators

On this tour, kids can make, create, and play in CMOM’s Inside Art (ages 3-10) and Superpowered Metropolis (ages newborn to 6) exhibits. They’ll climb through original 3-D artworks and make their own art to take home, then visit a comic book inspired by NYC with a two-story treehouse headquarters for Zip, Zap and Zoom, the superpowered pigeons. Experience a wind blowing fountain, create city sounds in the magical subway car and drive a superpowered pigeon mobile for some fun, hands-on activities. This tour lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

During our visit, we participated in the Superpowered Creators family tour with my daughters, who are ages 10 and 5. One of our favorite parts of the visit was checking out a special piece by East Village artist Leah Tinari, called Limitless. Limitless is a collection of realistic portraits of remarkable American women made using gouache paint on watercolor paper. Be sure to check it out on the ground floor—and be prepared to be inspired!

Lea Tinari's Limitless at Children's Museum of Manhattan

Dynamic H2O at CMOM’s Sussman Environmental Center

Kids can play, learn, and splash in CMOM’s seasonal outdoor exhibit Dynamic H20, which is suitable for children of all ages. Visitors will learn more about NYC’s amazing water cycle as they play on the museum’s new expanded 22-foot-long water table. On this 75-minute tour, families can interact with the table’s waterfalls, spinners, and spouts; build bridges and direct water flow; pretend to fish; and construct a city by the water’s edge. 

Playful Explorers

If you have a Dora the Explorer lover, this one’s for you! Kids will play, learn, and explore in CMOM’s Playworks (ages newborn to 4) and Adventures with Dora and Diego (ages 2-6) exhibits. Visitors can climb into a red fire engine, drive an MTA bus, feed the alphabet-eating dragon, and shop and cook in an NYC deli. They can also meet some of Dora’s friends and help Diego rescue animals in trouble while learning about their habitats! This tour lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How Children’s Museum of Manhattan is Keeping Guests Safe

In response to the pandemic, CMOM has adopted the following health and safety guidelines, among others:

  • All visitors must reserve timed tickets online
  • All adults and children over the age of 2 must wear masks
  • Guest and staff must have their temperature checked
  • Social distancing is enforced by reducing capacity for family tours
  • All staff members wear masks and a shield
  • Staff frequently wash hands and regularly disinfect equipment
  • Hand sanitizer stations are available on each floor
  • No food or beverages are allowed

Visiting the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Where is the Children’s Museum of Manhattan located?

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is located in the Tisch Building at 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side.

When are the Children’s Museum of Manhattan hours?

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is open Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30am-4:45pm. Visitors must reserve a timed ticket online prior to visiting. 

How can I get to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan?

In addition to driving, you can get to CMOM by various public transit options:

  • By Bus: If you’re on the west side, you can take the M7, M10, M11, or M104 to 83rd Street. If you’re on the east side, you’ll want to get to the Upper East Side and take the M79 or M86 across Central Park and get off at Broadway.
  • By Subway: You can take the 1 to 79th or 86th streets, or the B or C to 81st or 86th streets.
  • Accessible Travel: For an accessible subway station, take the 1, 2, or 3 to 72nd Street, then either head 9 blocks north on Broadway, or transfer to the uptown M7, M11, or M104 bus to 83rd Street.

Is there parking at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan?

There is no parking on-site. A parking lot nearby is SP+ Parking, located at 157 W. 83rd St, Upper West Side

How much is admission at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan?

Tickets are $15; $12 for seniors ages 65 and older and visitors with disabilities; and free for children younger than 1. These prices are per tour; each tour must be booked separately.

Can I become a Children’s Museum of Manhattan member?

Absolutely! The Children’s Museum of Manhattan includes five levels of memberships. Benefits include unlimited free admission, free admission for nannies and caregivers, invitations to members-only events, access to private playgroups and learning pods, discount at a local parking garage, and more.

Is the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on social media?

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

For more information, visit or call 212-721-1223.

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Vera Sirota

Author: Vera Sirota is a third wave feminist, writer, teacher, and proud mama of two beautiful girls. She graduated from the University of Michigan and CUNY Brooklyn College. See More

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