There’s a perfect storm of art exhibitions going on right now. Some of our most esteemed museums like the Guggenheim and MoMA have mounted shows aimed at adults that kids will dig just as much. While at the same time, some children’s institutions like the Children’s Museum of Art are showcasing artwork for kids that you’ll love, too. Here are eight exhibits featuring top-notch artists that will ignite the imaginations of both you and your kiddos.

Chris Burden’s “Extreme Measures” at the New Museum

The Art: Chris Burden’s art can be described as edgy and daring. (In one performance art piece, he was shot in the arm.) But have no fear: the New Museum’s decade-spanning exhibit of Burden’s art, called “Extreme Measures,” is also wildly accessible to and safe for kids. Considered to be one of the most important American artists to emerge since 1970, Burden uses everyday toys - both big and small - in his sculptures to express his worldview.

Fun for Kids: Each floor (the exhibit fills all five floors of the New Museum) has its own showstopper. If your kids like cars and trucks, don’t miss 1 Ton Crane Truck, which is a restored 1964 Halloween-orange Ford truck, and Porsche with Meteorite, where a meteorite and a real car hang on gigantic balance scale. On the second floor, behold A Tale of Two Cities, a mini-metropolis in a 1,200-square-foot sandbox that is populated by 5,000 toy armies, trains and buildings. For Lego and K-Nex fanatics, stop by the fourth floor to see three gigantic bridges all constructed with toy or erector set parts.

Insider Tip: Steer clear of some of the videos that document Burden’s performance art pieces, which may be disturbing to younger kids. Otherwise, all of the artist’s sculptures are safe for children’s consumption.

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, Ny
Phone: 212-219-1222
Exhibition Dates: Now through Jan. 12, 2014
Hours: Wed., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m. -9 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $16/adult; free for kids. Pay what you wish on Thurs., 7-9 p.m.

Image courtesy of Alice Perry

Have you seen an awesome art exhibit with your family recently? Tell us about it in a comment below.

-Alice Perry