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This spring, my kids had quite the long spring break – 7 days off of school! I’m not going to lie, I looked into going back to Naples or Orlando, but the flights were so astronomical.We had an overnight planned but the remaining days we spent close to home, a stay-cation if you will. I had planned out several activities that I knew my kids would like (and wrote about them here). On the last day of vacation, we planned a day trip to Manhattan to see dad’s office, have a fancy lunch and to visit the Museum of Mathematics.
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Museum of Mathematics
This was our first visit to the Museum of Math, which opened in 2012. The museum is located just north of Madison Square Park, at 11 E. 26th Street (between Madison and Fifth). We took the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station and then a cab to my husband’s office, which is around the corner from the museum. As a parent and a former math teacher (now math tutor) I was super excited to visit this museum.
The Museum of Mathematics opens at 10am and we arrived a few minutes early. Before the official opening, we were allowed to look around the gift shop and purchase our tickets – $16 for an adult, and $10 each for the kids. We were then given our access badges and were let in to explore.
PRO-TIP: Save a dollar per ticket by purchasing your tickets in advance, online. Click HERE to purchase.
The museum is two stories, each floor packed with many different exhibits. Each exhibit is interactive. Upon entering, we hit the two most popular instillations – the boat “ride” and the square-wheeled tricycle. I would recommend trying these first, or when you see a break in the line. Also, you MUST wear closed toe-d shoes to ride the tricycle. We saw a little girl get turned away because she was wearing sandals.
Besides the larger kinesthetic attractions, every feature is hands on. From a guess your number puzzle, to a visual proof of Pythagorean Theorem, to an interactive fractals wall every exhibit you have to DO something not just LOOK at something. Which was awesome, but a little frustrating for my five year old. She had a great time at the museum, but she isn’t so keen on stopping to read instructions, or waiting to have mom read the directions. Something to keep in mind with little ones.
Around the museum there are interactive tablets that allow you to learn more about 3 or 4 nearby exhibits. The docents did not do a good job explaining this upon entry, and it took about half an hour into our visit that I figured out that you could use the unique pattern on your entry badge as your code to save any work you created along the way. On the position/velocity/acceleration game you could save your score with your ID (P.S. the calculus teacher in me LOVED this exhibit, it was hands down our favorite, and of course my 5 year old knows nothing about calculus!).
Other Museum of Mathematics activities included:
Overall we spent a little over two hours at the museum. I would say three hours would probably be the maximum, there is a lot to do, although its not huge. My kids, age 5 and 8 really enjoyed this museum, as did I. The museum has bathrooms (duh!), a gift shop, but I did not see a dining area. So plan your meals around your visit.
After exploring the Museum of Mathematics, we headed two blocks west to Eataly for an amazing lunch at La Pizza e La Pasta restaurant, and some delicious gelato at the Nutella Bar. We ended the day with a stop at the Lego store, which is located at the corner of 23rd and Fifth. We had a great morning exploring math, an amazing lunch and my kids loved our day in Manhattan! I would highly recommend a trip to the Museum of Mathematics on your next NYC visit!
Have you visited the Museum of Mathematics?
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