Baby, it’s cold outside! But when you have kids in NYC, staying in is not really an option. Thankfully, fun activities don’t die down during the winter months and that includes the happenings at museums all over the city. We’ve gathered inside spots featuring a favorite returning exhibit, a week dedicated to kids on a ship, and outta sight gallery shows you gotta see.
Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris
Anytime there’s a chance to check out multiple Joseph Cornell boxes we get excited. While clearly fine works of art, they’re also not unlike the dioramas so many kids make either in — or out — of class. A collection of nearly a dozen Cornell shadow boxes is featured in “Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris”; the works were inspired by the artist’s visit to a Manhattan gallery in 1953, where he saw the Gris Cubist collage, “The Man at the Cafe.” A white-crested cockatoo plays a starring role in the miniature masterpieces, and Cornell’s inspiration, Gris work, will also be on display. Go see it and then go home and make your own “Cornell” creations!
Through April 15
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave.
Upper East Side
Window to the Heart
Look: we’re not gonna lie. We don’t completely get what is going to happen this February in Times Square as part of the Valentine Heart Design, curated by the Design Trust for Public Space. But we’re pretty sure it’s going to be cool. (In more than one way — this one is outside.) Every year, Times Square Arts invites architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating love in Times Square in February, and the winner for 2018 is “Window to the Heart”, by ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho.
In their words, here’s what’s in store: “Window to the Heart places the world’s largest lens in the center of Times Square. The 12-foot in diameter Fresnel lens was designed with 3D-printing manufacturer Formlabs to distort and capture the image of Times Square, optically bending light – and attention – to the heart-shaped window at its center. Visitors can look through the window or photograph themselves within it, completing the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of the camera.” Got it? (Either way, worth a stop and a selfie!)
Feb. 1 - Feb 28
Father Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Streets)
Collecting Women's Marches
All fired up from the recent Women's March in NYC (and around the country?) The New-York Historical Society marks the anniversary of the 2017 event with "Collecting Women's Marches", an exhibit featuring items from the first march such as signs, sashes, those knitted pink hats, and colorful props. The show also highlights some of the political and visual themes that emerged from the protest, as well as the efforts of individuals and groups that worked behind the scenes. An adjunct display of protest clothing by Olek (Agata Oleksiak), an artist who works in crochet, and Brick x Brick, a public art performance group, will be on view.
Through June 3
New-York Historical Society
Tickets: $21/adults; $6/kids 5 - 13, free/kids four and under
170 Central Park West (at West 77th St.)
Upper West Side
Did you miss this interactive playground last time it rolled into the Brooklyn Academy of Music? Well, it's back—and bigger—this winter. (Grab your tickets now; it sold out last year.) Described as an "interactive multi-space digital arts showcase", Teknopolis is a digital playground designed to inspire creativity and explore new frontiers in interactive technology. Featuring both local and international digital artists and technologists—including Google Spotlight Studios and Fingerlab—the selected installations use technology to inspire the same exploratory and creative impulses satisfied by more traditional arts like theater and music. Expect lots of cool, interactive light installations, virtual reality storytelling and experiences, and 360° interactive films, music apps, and augmented reality books. (One of the pieces will be "Melting Wall" by Marpi, similar to the installation pictured here.) Tickets are for timed entry, with 90 minute session during the day, and two-hour sessions in the evening.
Feb. 24 & 25; Mar. 1 - 4, Mar. 9 - 11
Ages 6 & up
Tickets: $18/day entry; $25/evening
321 Ashland Pl.
Block Party at the Brooklyn Children's Museum
The Brooklyn Children's Museum is bringing the party inside with its latest visiting exhibit, "Block Party," created in collaboration with Anderson Zaca. Kids can kick it old school with interactive games and activities like hopscotch, jump rope/Double Dutch, and Skelly, and even man a DJ mixing table. A wall adorned with drawings of Brooklyn Brownstones provides the perfect background for stoop selfies. (Be sure to tag it #BKStoopSelfie!)
Through June 10, 2018
145 Brooklyn Ave.
Ben Jones Road Trip II
There's just a short time left to catch this one, so get on it! From the fertile mind of artist/animator/sculptor, etc. Ben Jones, "Road Trip II" is an immersive video piece visitors walk into. Described as "a bootleg VR experience" the piece is modeled after early driving video games like "Out Run" and "Pole Position" — the "road" unfurls before you. Road Trip II features lo-fi 8-bit sounds and imagery, as well as a sunrise and a moonrise.
Through January 28
Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is doing you a solid and hosting a week full of fun during February break. All week long, the museum will offer interactive programming that demonstrates how "Science is Everywhere." Activities will show the science in sports and games, art, theater, music, and more. Expect lots of hands-on learning and workshops, performances and special guests. Those schedule to come by include Jarod Miller, a zoologist and naturalist who has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, along with his amazing animals; NASA spacewalk flight controller and lead trainer Allison Bollinger, former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino; astronomer Jason Kailari; iconic New York Mets mascot Mr. Met; popular Nickelodeon characters Shimmer and Shine, and a lineup of popular children’s book authors and scientists.
Feb. 18 - 24
Tickets: $19/adults; $17/kids 5 -12; free/kids under four (NYC resident prices)
W. 46th St. and 12th Ave.
David Zwirner 25 Years
The hugely influential David Zwirner gallery is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Since launching in SoHo in 1993, the gallery has moved and expanded to multiple spaces in Chelsea, uptown, London, and in January, Hong Kong. Artists such as Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, Josef Albers, and Yayoi Kasuma (whose Festival of Life: Infinity Mirrors—not on view now—are shown here) are just a few of the mega art stars to stage Zwirner shows.
A retrospective featuring the work of many of the groundbreaking artists shown throughout the gallery’s history will be on display in all of the Zwirner Chelsea spaces. In addition, new, never-before-seen works commissioned especially for the occasion will be on display.
Through February 17
David Zwirner Galleries
519, 525 & 533 West 19th St.; 537 West 20th St.
Ian Berry: The Secret Garden
In addition to all the interactive and arty fun to be had at the Children's Museum of the Arts, visitors can explore a secret garden made entirely of denim! “The Secret Garden” by Ian Berry invites visitors to explore the flowers, plants, and animals that make up the exciting installation in the museum's bridge space. Visitors can sign up for a shoes-off tour on select days. Also on view is Ellen Harvey's solo exhibition of "ornaments and other refrigerator magnets." According to CMA, ornamentation, the action of decoration, acts as a starting point for a wide-ranging exploration of the uses, abuses, and relevance of human desire to ornament. Harvey has created an installation featuring works that apply ornamentation to scenes of both city life and nature.
Through April 29
Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton St.
The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History
Step into a summer escape at the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. Inside a 1,200-square-foor vivarium, visitors will mingle with up to 500 fluttering, iridescent butterflies. Better yet, you will be among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation in 80-degree temperatures! In this enchanted garden, monarch, zebra longings, paper kites and other butterfly species flutter among visitors and plants. The butterflies come from various parts of the world including farms in Florida, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Thailand. Not only is this a beautiful experience, you and your tots will learn about the roles butterflies play in ecosystems, the relationships between butterflies and other animal species, and even about the color scales that form on butterfly wings. (Be sure to check out the amazing exhibit "Our Senses" while you're there!
Through May 28
Tickets: Butterfly Conservatory additional cost from general admission; pricing varies. Visit web site for options.
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West & 79th St.
Upper West Side