7 Great Museums on Long Island for Kids
From art to nature and everything in between!
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Visitors to this museum will quickly learn that it’s not just one museum, but several different offshoots that include a planetarium, a historical mansion, and ocean-themed exhibits. At the planetarium, kids can learn all about the stars and planets and get a closer look at the Earth’s climate system. You can also take a mansion tour and learn about the history of William K. Vanderbilt II’s 24-room, Spanish-Revival mansion. The museum exhibits house findings from Mr. Vanderbilt’s oceanic expeditions, including a 32-foot whale shark, the world’s largest taxidermied fish.
This museum was started by several Long Island mothers who wanted to create more educational experiences for kids on the East End. The museum offers mommy and me classes as well as a ton of activities for kids each month. Permanent exhibits include an art studio, a tree house, a windmill, and a Main Street where kids can take part in some imaginative play. There is also a mini-golf course that is entirely wheelchair accessible.
Train lovers, rejoice! This trains-only museum has two locations on Long Island, in Greenport and Riverhead. Visit the Riverhead site for interactive exhibits of historic rail cars and locomotives, guided tours, and a ride on the museum's 1964-1965 New York World Fair's miniature train. Visit the Greenport site to see the passenger station, railroad dock, turntable, and exhibits of railroad artifacts.
This museum houses several permanent exhibits, a planetarium, and a motion simulator. Its mission is to educate visitors of all ages on aerospace science and technology. Exhibits feature replicas and models of 75 air and spacecrafts, 30 hands-on experiences including several flight simulators, and six cockpits that visitors can sit in. Fly with the Blue Angels or board a deep-sea submarine in the X-Ride Theater, a 30-seat, giant motion simulator.
Main image: X-Ride at Cradle of Aviation Museum, courtesy Cradle of Aviation Museum