New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a wonderful place to visit with your family. The evolving collection contains almost 200,000 works from around the world from the last 150 years. It’s an impressive museum and the accessible, bright, and often whimsical modern art makes it one that every family should enjoy.
Make the most of your visit to this tremendous modern art museum with these helpful tips and advice:
Before You Get There and What to Do First
Avoid the long lines and purchase your tickets in advance online. This is especially important for special exhibitions, such as the Picasso Sculpture show, which require timed tickets. (Note: Kids 16 and under get in free!) The museum is open everyday from 10:30 to 5:30, and until 8:30 on Friday, plus occasional late nights for special exhibits. Once you arrive, get in line to check your coat and bags (free) and then go explore!
MoMa With Kids
MOMA offers many wonderful free programs for families with kids ages 4 – 14. The Education and Family Information Desk is located on the 2nd Floor:
- Activity Cards: Print-friendly guides with activities, questions, and ideas for looking at works of art.
- MoMA Places and Spaces Passport: Use this open-ended activity booklet to engage in drawing, writing, and close-looking activities using works of art that depict places and spaces. After completing an activity, stop by an information desk and get your passport stamped.
- MoMA Audio: Kids: Kid-friendly recordings (for ages 5 and up) to listen to while standing in front of works of art. Pick up a free audio guide and map at MoMA Audio desks on the 1st or 6th floors. Available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin.
- The Everyone’s a Critic game: Before you visit the museum, download this fun game, in which players assume the roles of Artists or Critics and try to outwit and outplay their opponents while discovering works of art.
Also good to know: Have a baby in tow? Baby-changing stations are located in both the women’s and men’s restrooms and a private restroom on the fifth floor is available for breastfeeding. Strollers are permitted throughout the gallery, just not on escalators…obviously.
On View Through Sunday, February 7: Picasso Sculpture Exhibit
The Picasso Sculpture exhibit (4th floor) , an incredible collection of more than 100 of Pablo Picasso’s 3-dimensional works, closes on February 7. If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend you go. MoMA is making it easier by opening special final weekend hours: The museum will stay open until midnight on February 6 and 7, plus you can get half-price admission after 5:30 pm!
This exhibition is especially appealing for families, as children really seem drawn to the whimsical sculptures.
Highlights From the Collection
I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love Van Gogh’s A Starry Night. Seeing it up close is an experience. My 8 year old kept asking, “Is this REALLY the same painting that Vincent Van Gogh made with his own hands?”
Other kid-favorite works are Monet’s Water Lilies, Matisse’s Dance, Rousseau’s The Dream, John’s Flag, and Pollock’s Number 1A. And that’s just a few!
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street, New York, NY
Getting there / Tip: If you drive in, park at one of these garages, validate your ticket, and get a discount.
Open Daily at 10:30 / Closes at 5:30 pm, except for Friday (8 pm)
Admission: Adults $25 / free every Friday from 4 – 8 pm/ / Kids under 16 free
Where to Eat
MoMa has three dining options in the museum, but our pick for families is
Cafe 2 on the 2nd floor of the Museum. The full-service cafe with communal tables offers good Italian food —panini, pastas, salumi, salads, soups, etc.. It’s a great choice for families with younger children with a children’s menu and highchairs. Note that it can get crowded, and seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so consider eating on the early side. Bonus: Cafe 2 has an Espresso Bar!
During the warm months, there is a cafe (and gelato!) in the outdoor Sculpture Garden.
(Top photo: Flickr)