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.

Gawk at a Giant and Read Colorful Words

The Art: At the Jewish Museum, “Mel Bochner: Strong Language” makes synonyms fun and silly, while “Diane Arbus’ Jewish Giant” pulls back the curtain on a sideshow “freak.” Using a thesaurus as his source material, Bochner riffs on a single word and all its meanings. Technicolor-painted words run along the canvases, building in momentum and meaning. The Arbus show contains photos of Eddie Carmel, once billed as “The World’s Tallest Man,” and, most interestingly, some of his personal effects like his huge shoes and rings.

Fun for Kids: For the Bochner show, kids will like the Small Fart painting as well as the intense colors. While at the Arbus exhibit, both you and the kids will be amazed at the “giant’s” size 35 shoes.

Insider Tip: The Bochner show is called “Strong Language” for a reason. Besides the word “fart,” some paintings contain that other F-word.

Go: The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St., Upper East Side
Phone: 212-423-3200
Exhibition Dates: “Mel Bochner: Strong Language,” now through Sept. 21, 2014. “Diane Arbus’ Jewish Giant,” now through Aug. 3, 2014.
Hours: Sun.-Tues., 11 a.m.-5:45 pm; closed Wed.; Thurs.,11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Cost: $15/adults, free for children. Pay what you wish Thurs., 5-8 p.m. Free on Sat.
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What art exhibit have you taken your kids to this summer? Share your favorite in a Comment.

-Alice Perry

All photos by Alice Perry