Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Arts with kids
Visiting New York is fun. Visiting NYC with kids is even more fun. But the usual question I have when I come here with my 5 y.o. and 16 m.o. is: Where to go? What to do? So many options-so little time!
That's why I wanted to share with all future travelers an insight on our trip to the Met - New York's most prominent, and I'd argue most famous art museum. It is always a highlight of our trip and is so much fun!!
Coming to the Met
The easiest way to come to the Met is of course to take a subway line 2,4,5,6 and walk couple of blocks from the station to the museum. However, if you're bringing a stroller (which is highly recommended because there's lots to see and the Met is rather large), or if there's more than 3 of you, a cab or Uber/Lyft might be an easier and more economical option.
Main entrance to the Met is located at the 82nd and 5th Ave in Manhattan. But what I find most people don't know, is that for us - moms with babies who ride strollers - the best entrance is at the 81st and 5th. It is on the ground level, and is easily accessible.
What to do at the Met
There're multiple options and you can't go wrong. It all depends on your own personal interests, as well as age of your children.
If they like reading or listening to stories, then there's "Storytime in Nolen Library", schedules here. You can leave your baby gear at the door, and enjoy the kids-centric library area on the left.
You can choose to attend a family-focused tour or activity. You can figure out what to do either in advance on their website, or already at the museum – where you can find this info neatly organized in a booklet available at all the entrances.
You can also choose to just stroll through halls, showing kids art that they can relate to or show interest in. The Met does a good job of putting lots of it at the kids’ eye level - so that they can see it up close, but also usually behind a glass - so they can't touch :))
How to make the Met trip more enjoyable
My main piece of advice is to not rush and try to see it all. Concentrate on one area so little ones don’t get tired too quickly. When they do – you have a lounge and a cafeteria with a decent food selection (salads, soups, oatmeal, fruits, along with the usual fries and chicken nuggets).
One more thing to know, is that they have multiple family restrooms which are very clean and convenient to use:
And finally, do not bring all of your baby gear stuff from home. Rent it from local parents in New York. I found a cool stroller for $15 a day, and added a high chair to make my life easier ☺ All of the things were spotless and delivered to my Airbnb apartment by the time we arrived by a nice local mom Allison who was super welcoming, and gave lots of suggestions.
What to do after the Met visit
Once you’re done with exploring art, and your little ones are tired, and everyone is ready to relax – leave the museum, and step into the Central Park where you will be able to enjoy a picnic, or let kids run around on a playground while checking your social feeds.