5 New Interactive Family-Friendly Exhibits at Long Island Museums

New family-friendly museum exhibits are popping up all over Long Island. This is where we can find cutting edge flying electric vehicles, go on a scavenger hunt, build a tower that can withstand hurricanes, make our own crafts and much more.

“People need to go to museums to see others like them in paintings, exhibits and as part of history. It helps them think about their own possibilities,” says Joshua Ruff, Deputy Director from the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.

With that in mind, here are five museums with inspiring summer exhibits.


“There is a revolution in aviation underway,” says museum curator Josh Stoff. There are four Personal Air Vehicles (known as PAVs) in the museum’s “The Future is Now: Personal Flight” exhibit. You can stand one foot away from a small electric plane with wings that can hover like a helicopter, electric flying motorcycle, flying car and electric backpack.

Although it is not safe for visitors to fly these vehicles in the museum, there is a simulator next to each with the same aircraft controls so visitors can get a feel for how they drive.

“It’s the first generation of these vehicles,” says Stoff. “They are going to get better and better. They are designed for leisure and simple transportation. Companies are developing air taxis that can carry two to four passengers… This will lead to flying cars.

While in the museum, take a seat in a new cockpit similar to that of the Spirit of St. Louis, piloted by Charles Lindbergh. Maneuvering controls in the dash as it did.

DETAILS Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City; 516-572-4111; www.cradleofaviation.org; Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays. Admission: Adults $16, $14 from 2 to 12 years old.


Visitors are invited to watch, talk and create various types of art with artists from the Shinnecock Indian Nation from June 27 through Labor Day weekend. Each week, a different artist from the group will present their art form. One week it might be beads, the next might be photography, followed by paint and badges for Shinnecock Nation celebrations.

Maureen Mangan, Director of Communications and Marketing, explains the reason for this unique programming: “Children have a clear idea of ​​what an artist could be. They might only think about painting. With the rotation of art forms, children will understand that art is created by a variety of people in different ways. Artists will showcase projects they’re working on, while kids will be offered materials to create their own versions.

The exhibition includes interactive art activities and a storytelling space where artists talk about how the environment, colors and feelings inspire them. It really is an artistic experience on many levels.

For an outdoor activity, families can visit the back porch. There’s a sensory garden, interactive water play area, weather boat and more. Children will have hands-on experiences with wind, water and weather.

DETAILS: 11 Davis Ave, Garden City; 516-224-5800; licm.org. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Sunday; closed on Mondays. June 27-Labor Day: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission: $15 from 1 to 64 years old


In this interactive museum, the new exhibition “In Search of the Wisdom of the Stars” focuses on space and beyond. Visitors will discover how space, science and research help us understand the Earth and our role in the world. Today, engineers are designing more robust buildings with new materials that protect against natural disasters. Likewise, visitors will participate in a hands-on build-to-design activity that will help them understand how to build a tower that can withstand hurricane-force winds.

In a new interactive math activity, visitors will walk into a room and see black shadows on the walls. Using blocks, they will be challenged to build objects whose shapes match the shadows. Ethan Rodriguez, 8, from Huntington, says, “My favorite is the block game. I’m good at math, but it didn’t feel like a math game. His mother, Lisa Rodriguez, the museum’s director of digital media, says, “That’s what Explorium is all about. Foster the love of learning from the very beginning, so it will be a friend for life.

DETAILS: 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson; 631-331-3277; longislandexplorium.org. Opening hours: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Admission: $5


Treasure hunts accompany two new museum exhibitions: “Impressionism, a vision of the world” (until July 10) and “The supernatural in art” (from July 23 to November 6). Laura Lynch, director of education, describes how museum staff present exhibits for all ages. “We believe that children can look at real art, not just children’s art. We do not distinguish between the two. The “Supernatural” exhibit will include some surreal art, but it’s not scary. It’s the real world in an imaginary way.

To help children take a closer look at the paintings, treasure hunts are linked to the artwork. Children can be asked to search the gallery for a windmill, a stormy sea, and a horse, or they can be asked, “What sounds would you hear if you were in this painting?” »

On Saturday, after the “Impressionism” exhibition, families can enter the art studio. Materials will be provided to create artwork based on what inspired them in the gallery (until June 11). For those wishing to spend some time outdoors, there are 40 sculptures in the sculpture garden and another scavenger hunt to go with it.

DETAILS: One Museum Dr., Roslyn; 516-484-9338; nassaumuseum.org. Hours: Sculpture garden open daily from 9:00 a.m. to dusk. Museum open from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Admission: $15 adults, $5 4-12 years old.


Families are invited to discover two new exhibitions. The first, “Two Centuries of Long Island Women Artists”, fills the gallery with paintings (abstracts, portraits, landscapes), as well as quilts, sculptures, collages, photographs and silk-on-linen embroidery – all created by women between 1800 and 2000 The museum’s deputy director, Joshua Ruff, explains: “We have works by artists who have painted at different stages of their careers. This includes the silk-embroidered linen of an 8-year-old girl from 1817, to an artist who continued to paint until the age of 82.

The gallery is designed to appeal to tweens, teens, and adults. Under many works of art there are labels with questions that will also inspire 8-10 year olds. Ruff describes the heart of the exhibition: “Women artists have played an essential role in the history of art in this region and have had a considerable impact everywhere. We wanted to present something that people can see and help them dream big.

The second summer exhibit, “From Atoms to Cosmos: The Story of Brookhaven National Laboratory,” is a celebration of the lab’s 75th anniversary and an exploration of where scientists made life-changing discoveries.

A section of the exhibit includes lab equipment scientists used to create the first PET (positional emission tomography) machine. Brookhaven scientists also created equipment that led to high-speed maglev trains around the world. The exhibit includes over 100 artifacts, historical photographs, films and interactive elements.

DETAILS: 1200 NY-25A Stony Creek; 631-751-0066; longislandmuseum.org. Opening hours: noon-5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. Admission: $10 adults, $5 6-17 years old.

Julia P. Cluff