A day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a wonderful way to provide young children with fun-filled, hands-on entertainment for hours on end. While the museum’s five floors provide numerous, engaging activities, the majority of the exhibits are geared toward younger children, about six years and under.
Admission and Appearance
Upon entering, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) offers a pleasant, though somewhat dimly lit, atmosphere. After paying the admission fee of $10 a head, excluding babies under one year, strollers, bags, and coats can be checked in by friendly staff members. The exhibits are attractive and most of them provide hands-on activities and games; some offer whole body experiences, such as the ‘tornado house’ in the Wizard of Oz exhibit and the giant Dora playhouse on the Dora the Explorer floor. The cleanliness and organization of the museum is fair, considering the multitude of children playing with the many removable pieces from the different stations.
While the CMOM can easily satisfy younger children for hours, children above six years old may not last as long. Most of the exhibits are geared toward very young children; an entire floor is dedicated to babies’ activiites and another to Dora the Explorer play stations. The top floor library reading rooms are also better suited to younger children. Older children will definitely enjoy the experience, but the excitement may wear off pretty quickly.
The wide variety of games, toys, climbing structures and reading material are sure to offer lots of mental and physical stimulation to children. There are also a number of ‘make-believe’ play stations, such as the grocery store set up, fire fighter dress up, truck and pole, and the large MTA play bus.
My mother, my sister and I took my seven month old daughter, two year old niece and eight year old nephew to the CMOM one chilly winter afternoon. We did miss out on the water exhibit, which is only open in the summer, because it is outdoors and involves splashing water. We stayed until all three children were ready to leave, approximately four hours. The 8-year old tired the fastest, but still enjoyed himself. I was very pleased with all it had to offer my very young daughter; it is hard to find an all day event that will satisfy an infant. I would say that my 2-year old niece probably got the most out of it, though three to six years of age seems ideal for this museum. It was worth the price, and somewhere I will definitely be taking my daughter to again one day.