Family Guide to Long Island Museums Beyond Children’s Museums

For parents with children that have outgrown the children’s museums in Long Island, don’t despair; there are plenty of other museums to take children to. While they may not cater specifically to children, these museums have exhibits and/or programs that will appeal to younger patrons. We’ve listed some of our favorite Long Island museums for visitors of any age.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum seeks to conserve Long Island whaling history, as well as Cold Spring Harbor’s maritime history. It features a fully equipped 19th century whaleboat with original gear – the only one in New York State, a large scrimshaw collection, and 6,000 maritime and whaling artifacts mainly from Long Island. The museum has many programs for children. For pre-schoolers, they have a bi-monthly pre-school program with a storytime, ocean and nature crafts, and hands-on activities. For children ages 5-12, they have the monthly series “Ocean Science Sundays” where kids can learn about different maritime based topics. For teenagers, the museum features the program “Sketch by the Sea” where teens, along with adults, use museum art as inspiration to create their own piece of art in various media.
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm, open daily Memorial Day thru Labor Day
How Much:
$6 Adults/$5 Seniors/$5 Students ages 5-18/$19 Family/Military Free
Where: 301 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Contact Info: (631) 367-3418


Cradle of Aviation
The Cradle of Aircraft museum features aircrafts used in World War I and World War II as well as a Lunar module. There are docents available, some who are former employees of Grumman and who worked on the Apollo Moon Missions, to give tours of the lunar exhibit. The kite exhibit and the wind machine will help children understand the beginnings of flight and how airplanes work. In the area of Edutainment, the museum has a simulation ride and a Giant Screen Theater. For younger patrons asge 6 and under, the museum offers the Junior Jet Club play area.
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 5 pm
How Much:
$14 adult/$12 child or $19 adult/$17 child with film
Where: One Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY
Contact Info: (516) 572-4111


Heckscher Museum of Art
The Heckscher Museum of Art features 2,500 pieces of art by American and European artists, with a significant collection of pieces by Long Island artists. There is also an extensive photography collection. Every year, they feature the Long Island’s Best: Young Artists Exhibit showcasing artwork from high school students across Long Island. The museum also has a summer art programs for kids where they can learn art history and create arts and crafts.
Wednesday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm, extended hours first Friday of the month until 8:30pm
How Much:
Resident Prices – $6 Adults/$4 Seniors/$4 Students 10 and up/under 10 free; Non-resident Prices – $8 Adults/$6 Seniors/$5 Students 10 and up/under 10 free
2 Prime Avenue, Huntington, NY
Contact Info: (631) 351-3250


Art Museum
The Islip Art Museum is a contemporary art museum featuring works from national and international artists, as well as up-and-coming Long Island artists. The museum presents five exhibits per year. This year’s exhibits features an exhibit on suburban versus urban art, an exhibit on art made from garbage, and a potato-based art exhibit.  The museum offers fine-art classes specifically for children.
Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, Noon to 4 pm
How Much:
Suggested donation of $3
Where: 50 Irish Lane, East Islip, NY
Contact Info: (631) 224-5402


Long Island Museum
The Long Island Museum features 4,000 works of art from the 1800s to the present. The museum also has a collection of 200 horse drawn carriages with 100 on display at any given time. Onsite there is a 19th century carriage-making shop with original working machines as well as a recreation of the old Stony Brook train station. The museum holds craft workshops and monthly kids programs.
Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm
How Much:
$9 adults/$7 seniors/$4 children ages 6-17/under 6 free
Where: 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook, NY
Contact Info:
(631) 751-0066

Nassau County Museum of Art
The Nassau County Museum of Art is housed on a former Gold Coast estate from the 19th century. Not only will children find the museum building fascinating, but also the grounds which are home to the largest sculpture garden on the East Coast. Inside the museum, one will find works of 19th and 20th century works of art from Europe and America. In addition, the museum brings in rotating exhibits each year. On Sundays, the museum presents Family Sundays. Parents and children are taken on a short gallery talk followed by a hands-on craft. The museum also hosts other child-centric events, such as puppet shows and museum art-inspired craft workshops.
Read our full Long Island Mamas Review Here
Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 4:45 pm
How Much:
$10 Adults/$8 Seniors/$4 Students/$4 children ages 4-12, Parking $2 on Saturday and Sunday
Where: 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor, NY
Contact Info: (516) 484-9338


Parrish Art Museum
The Parrish Art Museum features American art from the 19th century to the present with a focus on artists from Long Island’s East End. This museum has numerous programs for children, including a weekend art workshops for kids, after school art programs where kids can tour the museum exhibits and create their own works of art, and a summer art camp in July and August. The museum also offers family gallery tours where parents and children can tour the museum together. Also unique to this museum is a series of outdoor sculptures based on the children’s game of jacks.
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm, open Tuesday and Wednesday 11 am to 5 pm from May 22 to September 10
How Much:
$5 Adults/$3 Seniors/$3 Students with ID/Children under 18 free
Where: 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, NY
Contact Info: (631) 283-2118

By Mikaela Walker

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