The dog days of summer are here. (Remember yearning for days like these during the polar vortex?) Now, it’s hot and sticky outside, and you and the kids need to beat the heat. Escape to one of the city’s amazing (air-conditioned) museums and galleries. Not only will you and the kids cool off, but, best of all, these exhibits – from Marvel superheroes to Play-doh sculptures to indoor waterfalls – will ignite your kids’ imaginations.

Say Goodbye to the Whitney Museum

The Art: As the last exhibition at the Whitney Museum before it moves to its new High Line location, “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective” closes out the museum’s tenure at Madison Ave. with a bang. One of the most controversial contemporary artists, Koons is an iffy one for parents. While Koons’ bunny inflatables, balloon dogs, and supersized toys are perfect for kids’ viewing, his forays into sexuality are rated X and for adults only.

Fun for Kids: Stick with the second floor and part of the fourth floor. On the second floor, kids will love the Dr. J Silver Series, which features basketballs floating in aquariums. On the fourth floor, kids will gravitate toward the mountainous Play-doh sculpture (it’s not real, but it sure looks like it) and Cat on a Clothesline, a gigantic, kitsch cat in a sock.

Insider Tip: Avoid the third floor, which contains sexually explicit paintings and photos. If you see the words “Made In Heaven” (the series’ title), run!

Go: Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave., Upper East Side
Exhibition Dates: Now to Oct. 19, 2014 Phone: 212-570-3600
Hours: Wed.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri., 1-9 p.m.; Sat.–Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Mon. & Tues.
Cost: $20/adults, free for kids

What art exhibit have you taken your kids to this summer? Share your favorite in a Comment.

-Alice Perry

All photos by Alice Perry