New York City is just like a child. It’s hyperactive, noisy and unpredictable and refuses to go to sleep. It’s also one of the most educational destinations in the world for your offspring. Consider not just its museums and art galleries, but the vast cultural tapestry with threads intertwining from Chinatown to Harlem, the people-watching opportunities, the cuisine. Yes, NYC has a whole lot of fun things on offer for kids. You’ll be the one struggling to keep up on this artsy odyssey.
Image by Randy OHC, used under Creative Commons license
Cultivate an aesthete by bringing your child to one of the city’s vast, elegant museums. To save some money on entry, pick up a Museum of Arts and Design voucher online, and visit this contemporary building in which Venetian Murano glass glistens elegantly beside rainbow silkwork. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, venture to one of the free Museum of Modern Art family workshops, where you can be inspired by some of contemporary art’s greats, then attempt to emulate their techniques with a cornucopia of paints. Prepare to get messy!
With its ever-changing roster of fresh exhibits, in a city like NYC, there’s always something fresh afoot on the art scene. Kids will love the Animazing Gallery in SoHo, an art space which focuses on the great US illustrators and cartoonists who have created characters like Snoopy, Dr Seuss andWhere the Wild Things Are. For fresh perspective, check out Casey Kaplan; their shtick is displaying super-modern artwork in unusual, quirky ways.
Once you’ve inspired your little ones to get talking about art, it’s time to debrief, and what better way than going to one of the city’s bookstores to pick out a book by their newly-discovered favourite artist or illustrator. Leaf through the past 60 years of contemporary art at 6 Decades, get lost in the iconic Strand bookstore, or find a freshly-inked hero in JHC Comic Books.
Vibrant, beautiful and accessible, New York wears its artistic scene with pride, and you’ll find no shortage of ways to entice your kids to get involved, even from a young age. Art appreciation is an essential activity when in the city, and you might just find you inspire your child to examine the world from a whole new perspective.