of our 2008 Parents' Picks
quest to find the Best Museum for Big Kids
in New York City, the New York Hall of Science
is one of America's very best science museums, and worth a visit from almost anywhere. Everywhere you look, there's something kids are longing to get their hands on, and here, they can.
The Hall hosts a number of must-see exhibits
, including Marvelous Molecules, where kids can wander under a 35-foot long glucose molecule hovering over the Central Pavilion. An infra-red camera visually maps out the hottest spots on their bodies, and kids can build their own molecules using hands-on models. Hidden Kingdoms
, a natural follow-up to molecules, invites kids to explore the world of microbes. They can make their own drop-of-water slides and see their organisms projected on a video microscope. A number of high-quality, easy-view microscopes are available for kids to look through as well. The Science Playground
(open Apr 1-Dec 31, weather-permitting), is the killer ap, because here kids get a chance to really ROMP. This 60,000 square-foot exhibition invites not just hands-on, but whole-body participation. There's a water play
area, light-activated kinetic sculpture
, a construction zone, a 3-D spider web, and an area designed specifically for kids ages six and under. Summer camp
programs include Science of Magic for children in Grades K, 1-2, and 3-4; Gemology and Mineralogy for Grades 5 & 6; and Spy School for Grades 7 & 8. Call or visit the Hall of Science website for dates and fees.
The Rocket Park Mini Golf
course requires a little rocket science to make it through gravity wells, wormholes, warped space, and asteroids. The course reveals that the same laws of motion and gravity that guide the path of a spaceship control the motion of golf balls here on Earth! The outdoor course charges a fee of $6 for adults; $5 for kids.
Camp programs are also offered during winter break.
Super Science birthday party
packages are available for children ages three and up. Parties include museum admission for up to 12 children; 15 party invitations and envelopes; free parking (with invitation); a Party Host/Hostess to facilitate itinerary and set-up, an "explainer" to facilitate guided tours and activities; a private party room, set up for the children with tablecloths and plates, cups, napkins and utensils;and a science novelty bag with three age-appropriate science toys per child. Visit the website
or call for information on pricing and themes.
A limited number of wheelchairs