One of our favorite cold-weather pastimes is to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We’re about an hour n’ a half away from Midtown Manhattan by car, so day trips to the city are a welcome treat! Every time we visit, we discover and rediscover awe-inspiring art from throughout history.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is simply awesome. It’s one of the quintessential tourist stops in NYC, so it gets BUSY. Here are some tips to help keep your kids happy and engaged during your visit.
Plan your visit for an off-peak day
To avoid crushing crowds, plan your visit for off-peak days and hours. That means avoiding holidays, weekends, and special events. Our favorite times to visit? Non-holiday weekdays and early on the weekends. Like get-there-when-the-doors-open early. The lines and crowds of a busy day can be stressful when you’re wrangling kids, so opt for off-peak.
Purchase your tickets in advance
This museum is one of those amazing places where entry is by donation. You can donate what you want, but you will only be able to purchase your tickets in advance if you opt to pay the suggested donation fee (currently $25 for adults and free for kids 12 and under).
Plus when you pay the suggested donation amount, you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with supporting an organization you admire!
You can also get entry (at a savings!) with any of these combination NYC sightseeing ticket options:
Map out your visit
Don’t miss these kid-friendly (and super recognizable) favorites for maximum engagement!
- The Temple of Dendur (Egyptian Art)
- Knights’ Armor (Arms and Armor)
- Van Gogh (19th- and Early 20th-Century European Paintings and Sculpture)
- Picasso, and Matisse (Modern and Contemporary Art)
Take some time to review the Family-friendly map of the museum and plan out your visit, that way you can build in pit stops throughout the day. Family Guides are available at information kiosks at the museum, but you can also print them out here (including one that’s perfect for any Percy Jackson and the Olympians series fans).
Optimize your route for bathroom breaks, visits to essential galleries, and of course, lunch. You’ll get less crankiness and more enjoyment from your brood! Something we haven’t tried but would like to explore for a future visit is one of the classes or family programs offered— they seem like a great way to immerse your family in all the Met Museum has to offer.
More Photos from the Museum
Lunch at the Petrie Court Café at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
This restaurant is located on the 1st floor, and features views of Central Park.
Bonus photos of ramen!
We enjoyed a delicious meal at West Side Noodle Company (here’s their Yelp listing— 4/5 stars) on the Upper West Side before we headed back home to the Hudson Valley. 🙂