Children’s Museum of Manhattan Reopening, Promising ‘Safe, Socially Distanced and Educational Activities’

By Carol Tannenhauser

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) on 83rd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway is reopening to the general public on Friday, October 16th, a spokesperson for the Museum alerted WSR.

“CMOM has reimagined the museum experience through time-ticketed, small group experiences, offering safe, socially distanced, and educational activities that inspire children to learn through play,” according to a press release. “Each group will be led by a CMOM educator through two floors of the museum on one of two adventures:

“Superpowered Creators” invites children and their caregivers to make artwork and play within CMOM’s Inside Art and Superpowered Metropolis exhibitions. In Inside Art, children will experience large-scale, interactive installations and sculptures by eleven contemporary artists, encouraging new understandings of art and environment. In the recently unveiled Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning City, children are transported into a comic book version of New York City. This exhibit builds children’s executive function skills, including self-control, working memory, and mental flexibility, by practicing these “superpowers” with pigeons Zip, Zap, and Zoom. Together, they guide visitors on adventures through the city, exploring parks, music, travel, treehouses, and more.

“Playful Explorers” will embark on adventures with Dora the Explorer and learn as they play in CMOM’s PlayWorks exhibition. The group will first visit Dora and her friends, as they help Diego rescue animals in need. In PlayWorks, young learners will build confidence, independence, and awareness with activities including feeding letters to a giant talking dragon; shopping and cooking at a NYC deli; riding and driving a firetruck and an MTA bus; a soft space for crawling, and more. The visit will include story-time, music, and personal activity kits that each family can use during their time at the museum.

In addition to these small group adventures, private playgroups and learning pod visits are available for up to 10 children and a caregiver. For more information, please visit www.cmom.org.

CMOM will be moving from its current location to a landmark church on 96th Street and Central Park West. Plans for its renovation went through multiple modifications before being approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission in June.

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    1. SA_NYC says:

      Sad to say I moved my family out of NYC early on in the pandemic, and am definitely missing the city. But this story reminds me how tough it would have been to stay in the UWS with three small children – – CMOM was our go-to! I can only imagine how difficult it would have been the past seven months in a small apartment with no CMOM outlet. My best wishes to everyone, hope you can stay strong. And great to see CMOM reopen, it’s a wonderful place.

      • Luisa says:

        The city, at least on the UWS with our wealth of green space, has continued to be a rewarding place for families. We are doing things outside more — I routinely see children taking violin lessons in Riverside Park, dads playing basketball with their sons on a weekday afternoon, birthday parties and baby showers in Central Park. I am the primary caregiver for our two small children, and I have always leaned on the city to entertain and stimulate the children as well as myself. Having more people move their life outdoors has been, for me, fun, and it has done a lot to stave off any boredom or stir-craziness I suspect I would feel elsewhere.

        I understand why someone at the outset would feel the need to go somewhere with more space, especially if a parent or both parents need to work a 9-5 in the home (not our case as my work is mostly mom work and my husband works alone in a Columbia lab). But the city is adapting as you might expect. This CMOM plan is a good example. It sounds like the plan is well thought out, taking into consideration both particulars of disease prevention (the first experience sounds hands off, and both experiences are led by an employee who can enforce rules) and the population (being pod-friendly). CMOM has been great for us, too, and with these new procedures paired with the city’s low positivity rate, I think they’re positioned well to continue supporting the community.

        Wishing you and your family good health. Hope you can still get in to the city for a visit.