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Take the Kids to a Children’s Museum during Winter Break

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2022-12-23 22:52:00

It’s mid-winter in Upstate New York, and whether or not the weather is frightful, it’s easy for kids to start feeling the same cabin fever that adults do after months spent mostly indoors. This winter break, let them learn, explore, and burn off some energy at one of Upstate New York’s many museums geared specifically toward kids.

In the Capital Region, the New York State Museum  one of downtown Albany’s prime attractions, is home to all things New York: from history to art to children’s exhibits, special programs, and more. The museum boasts the distinction of being the country’s largest and the oldest state museum, with millions of cultural and scientific artifacts and objects, and displays and exhibits that are interesting to both kids and adults. But that’s not the only museum in this area that kids will love. The Children’s Museum of Saratoga and the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology, formerly located in Troy, have joined forces and now offer all their programming at their Saratoga location. This updated collaboration combines arts and crafts with science and technology to allow kids to explore, experience and learn about everything from arts and crafts to science and technology. A bit further north, in Glens Falls, the World Awareness Children’s Museum offers cultural exhibits and experiences geared for kids, allowing them to learn about the customs, fashions, and heritage of countries around the world. And to the south, the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum in Poughkeepsie offers exhibits on science, literacy, math, art, music and community in the Hudson Valley.

Central New York is also home to several children’s museums, but perhaps the best known is the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (the MOST), located in Syracuse. The 35,000-square-foot museum is packed with exhibits and interactive activities on science and technology topics like space, energy, earth science and life sciences, including special areas dedicated to teaching kids about dinosaurs, pollinators, gems and minerals, and more. It’s also home to the ExploraDome, a combination planetarium and theater with surround sound and a giant screen that makes it feel like you’re in the presentation you’re watching.

Further west, in Oswego, the Children’s Museum of Oswego  features activities, programming and exhibits about everything from health care to recycling to waterways and industry to creative arts to weather and more; there are educational and interactive play spaces and exhibits that tie it all in together for kids. And in Binghamton, the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier brings a similar approach to teaching kids about the grown up world, with interactive exhibits that allow them to learn about the natural world, pets and veterinary care, planes and firetrucks, and more, as well as shop at a kid-sized grocery store and make deposits at a kid-run ‘bank’.

In the Western New York city of Rochester, The National Museum of Play at the Strong is a celebrated favorite for kids of all ages, including the adult ones; the museum is home to the International Toy Hall of Fame, as well as dozens of exhibits and activities that blend hands-on fun and interesting educational opportunities. The Rochester Museum and Science Center offers up exhibits on local interests and scientific pursuits as well as a planetarium and nature center. In nearby Buffalo, Explore & More: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum features exhibits on Buffalo’s local history, heritage and culture, with seven different hands-on play zones that allow kids to explore topics like being a good neighbor, farming and agriculture, architecture, waterways, STEM, sports, and even interactive car wash and driving exhibits, as well as a treehouse, all with a focus on Buffalo.

Wherever you are in Upstate New York, you’re not too far away from a children’s museum to make an outing this winter, whether for a day trip or mini vacation. Just make sure to check before you head out to make sure you have the latest information on hours, admission, and more—then you’ll be ready for a fun activity that will shake the winter blues for kids of all ages.


Strong museum aerial view photo credit The Strong Museum
Child doing arts and crafts photo credit Mid Hudson Discovery Museum
MOST exploradome photo credit the MOST
Kids play area photo credit The Strong Museum
Agriculture exhibit photo credit Rochester Museum and Science Center

posted at: 2022-12-23 22:52:00, last updated: 2023-03-03 21:29:02

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