True New Yorkers know how to score the best deal on anything; New York parents can be especially savvy about getting the most bang for every buck. One way you and your brood can save big in the city is with Family Memberships — which also happen to make great gifts, whether you’re giving or receiving. Perfect for family visits, one-on-one time with a kid, play dates, or even killing some time between appointments, a family membership to one of the following spots can make your life easier (and cheaper) all year long.
photo: Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society
Most kids love animals, but going to the same zoo over and over (no matter how awesome) can get a bit tired — not to mention expensive! Wildlife Conservation Society has created an easy, convenient, cost-effective way to visit NYC’s five zoos as often as you’d like, for one price: The Family Premium Membership.
For the deluxe package (and the best value) go for the Conservation Supporter level, which gets two adults, one guest and all your under-18 children free unlimited access to the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo and attractions, such as shows in the zoos’ theaters (with free parking), New York Aquarium (again with free parking), Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo, plus entry into a range of special events. Cost is $299.95.
The organization’s efficient website even makes it easy for the grandparents to gift you a family membership (hint, hint). Additional perks: early admission to the parks and a discount on Central Park’s wildly popular holiday and summer camps.
Inside tip: If Conservation Supporter is too rich for your blood, consider the Family Zoos and Aquarium level for $209.95, which gets your admission for two adults and up to four children.
The Museum of Modern Art
MoMA is a NYC institution, beloved by art aficionados, tourists and yes, city families. That’s because the museum does a brilliant job of making art accessible and interesting to visitors of all ages. Among the many family-friendly programs and events at MoMA are regular Family Gallery Talks, hands-on art workshops, family visit days, family-friendly art films, MoMA Art Labs and a number of apps and websites that allow kids and their grownups interact with the works of art housed at MoMA.
For older kids, the museum offers classes created just for teens. MoMA’s collection of bright, intriguing art is just the kind of stuff kids love to look at, and you will, too. The MoMA does contain a few works of decidedly adult themes. Go to the exhibitions page beforehand so you’ll know what to expect; there may be areas of the museum you want to skip.
Inside Tip: The museum has also established itself as a place for must-see art events such as Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present and “Rain Room” (a kid-friendly art event if there ever was one), the waits for which often become extremely long. Members get early entry and line-skipping privileges, which you will be so glad you have when you need them most!
Cost: $175 for the Family Level, which is for two adults and all children who live in the same household.
What you get: Free entry to the MoMA and MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, free no-wait entry to the both museums, free entry into family-friendly events, including Family Films, Little Member Mornings and the Family Festival. Plus: members-only early hours, members-only shopping days, discounts at the MoMA gift store, museum cafes and restaurants, group tours and parking. And, you’ll get a hands-on educational activity guide.
11 W. 53rd St.