NYC has so many unique interactive experiences/pop-ups, perfect for special occasions, bad-weather days and out-of-town visitors.

Also see our guides to hands-on museumsfamily-friendly shows and other upcoming events, plus spots for memorable sweet celebrations.


Sloomoo Institute

📍475 Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets
Mon-Fri 10 am–6 pm
Sat 9 am–8 pm
Sun 9 am–6 pm

🎟 $48

Explore a sensory playground centered around slime. Walk & crawl through an obstacle course with a vat of slime, take photos with slime-inspired art, play with a slime catapult and more.

Turn into slime in an augmented reality glow-in-the-dark cove, smell dozens of scents and chill in ASMR booths. Make a custom 8 oz. slime at a 150-yard-long DIY bar with a variety of bases, scents, colors & so many charms.

Get slimed in the Enhanced Experience ($80). Don provided waterproof poncho and goggles (it’s a process, so plan for extra time) and be rained on in Sloomoo Falls.



📍26 Clinton St
Wed-Sun 11 am–3 pm & 4 pm–8 pm
🎟 $25

Play with roaming (adoptable) cats in three cat-centric spaces: the sunlit Upper Cattery, the warm and cozy Lower Cattery, and a first-of-its-kind outdoor Catio.

General hours are for ages 8+ only, younger kids can visit Thursdays 4-6 pm.

🍽 Food from a Japanese- influenced menu, house-made desserts, plus beer, wine and sake available for purchase.


Small Is Beautiful

📍718 Broadway
Wed-Thu 12 pm–7 pm
Fri-Sun 10 am–8 pm

🎟 $27-$30/ages 13+, $22-$25/ages 6–12

See the biggest international exhibition entirely devoted to mini art with +130 exclusive pieces from +30 artists. Look for several pieces created exclusively for the event and hidden in unusual corners. Watch videos of behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the art.  


Museum of Ice Cream

📍558 Broadway at Prince Street
Daily 9 am–8 pm
🎟 $25-$52, free/ages 2 & under

Save 20% with code BACKTOCOOL20 Explore a colorful pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors (plus a 3 story slide) that’s fun for sweet lovers of all ages. Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms. Play in a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, jump or slide into a rainbow sprinkle pool and try…


Cricket’s Candy Creations

📍200 Hudson Street
Wed-Fr 1 pm–5 pm
Sat-Sun 11 am–6 pm

🎟 $65, $45/spectator

Craft edible candy art while immersed in a variety of candy-themed activities including Edible Slime Studio, Candy Kitchen, Lickable Fingerpaint Gallery, Chocolate Chamber and Accessories Arcade. Come home with five creative candy creations. Lots of fun for lovers of crafts and sweets.

The experience takes approximately 60 minutes. In a large space with cute decor and photo-ops throughout.

No ticket needed to shop in candy gift shop with a side selection of creative treats.


Color Factory

📍251 Spring Street
Daily 9 am–8 pm
🎟 $36-$59, free/ages 2 & under

This truly interactive colorful pop-up with fun activities and sweet treats in twelve unique rooms designed by different artists is an all-ages adventure for babies to grown-ups.

Well designed, thoughtful and, at over 20,000 square feet, less crowded than many other pop-ups with activities, not just photo-ops (though plenty of those, and we love the strategically placed cameras with timers so parents can get in the pic).

Stay as long as your want – we once spent over two hours in the giant blue ball pit with a slide – though you can only move forward through the rooms, which include a confetti party, drawing activities and a display on the history of 26 different colors.


The Cauldron Magical Pub

📍47 Stone Street
Tue-Fri 2 pm–9 pm
Sat-Sun 11 am–9 pm

🎟 $44.99-$64.99/adult, $44.99-$54.99/child for tea & potion making

A two-floor, wizard-themed bar and restaurant with indoor dining and outdoor terrace seating on the cobblestones of historic Stone Street hosts interactive experiences perfect for Harry Potter fans. Don a provided robe and use a hi-tech magic wand to cast a pouring spell to receive a welcome drink from the maw of a magical creature.

Sign up Wizard Tea or Potion Making classes, or stop by anytime to dine among fantasy-inspired decor.



📍415 Broadway at Canal St
Mon 10 am-9 pm
Tue-Thu 12 pm-9 pm
Fri-Sun 10 am–10 pm

🎟 $35.10+/ages 13+, $21.60+/ages 5-12

Go on an artistic, interactive journey over two stories of luminous and immersive environments and a series of generative digital art. In the new IMMERSION dome, use 3D technology to become an artist and transform the space.

Relax, be curious, and have fun.


Hall des Lumières

📍49 Chambers St
Sun–Wed 10 am–6 pm Thu–Sat 10 am-10 pm
🎟 $42/adults, $20.50/ages 5-17, Free/ages 5 & under, $115/family (2 adults + 2 youth)

Take a  multi-sensory journey with state-of-the-art audio-visual projections on marble walls, towering columns, stained glass skylights and coved ceilings of a historic former bank. Exhibits change every few months. Currently take a multi-sensory journey through the work of prolific painters in Chagall, Paris – New York, Kandinsky, The Odyssey of Abstraction & Infinite Horizons.


Balloon Museum at Pier 36

📍299 South Street
Tue–Thu 2 pm–9 pm, Fri 2 pm–10 pm, Sat 10 am–10 pm, Sun 10 am–8 pm
🎟 $45+/adults, $35+/kids, free/ages 2 & under

This massive 80,000-square-foot exhibition boasts inflatable installations created by 13 renowned international artists. Play, touch and feel your way through atmospheres with hypnotic visual effects, moving from light, colorful worlds like aerial installation Lava Lamp, an intoxicating kaleidoscopic fountain, and a giant ball pit.




📍439 W 15th St
Daily 10 am–10 pm
🎟 $25/ages 15-54, $17/ages 4-15, $20/students & seniors, free/ages 3 & under

Go inside rotating immersive exhibits in an intimate digital arts space a 100-year-old restored boiler room beneath the iconic Chelsea Market. Experience original art designed by creatives who use technology as a medium, displayed with the largest seamless megapixel count projections of any cultural institution and integrated hyperreal, spatialized sound technology. Cushions availble to sit or lie on the ground and let the trippy images…


Harry Potter New York

📍935 Broadway
Mon–Sat 9 am– 9 pm
Sun 9 am –7 pm


Find magical photo opportunities over three spacious floors while shopping for the largest collection of Harry Potter products in the world, from pocket money items to rare collectibles.

Strike a pose inside a London phone box as if transporting yourself to the Ministry of Magic or step into Hagrid’s boots. Scan Enchanted Keys around the store to bring the magic to life. Browse over 50 wands inspired by characters.

Reserve online to transform into a Hogwarts student and cast spells with your wand or fly on a broom in two (fun but very short) VR adventures (ages 10+, $34).

🍽 Stock up on chocolate frogs and try Butterbeer ice cream other treats in an area inspired by Honeyduke.


Museum of Illusions

📍77 Eighth Avenue at W 14th Street
Daily 9 am–10 pm
🎟 $22, $20/students, seniors & essential workers, $18/ages 2–13

Walk on walls, put your head on a platter and play with size and perspective in over a dozen interactive illusions. A small museum that can be explored in less than an hour. Blows most young minds.

🎟 A family discounted rate of $75 (before taxes and processing fees) is automatically applied to orders of 2 adult tickets and 2 children’s tickets.



Rockefeller Center Shops

📍30 Rockefeller Plaza
10 am-8 pm

Play in iconic interactive stores at Rockfeller Center.

Dance on the giant piano at three-story toy store FAO SCHWARZ. Explore immersive environments for historical and contemporary high-end dolls at AMERICAN GIRL. Say hi to life-size Mario, Luigi and Bowser and try the newest Switch games at NINTENDO. 



📍928 Eighth Ave at W 55th Street
Mon–Fri 12 pm–8 pm
Sat 11 am - 8 pm
Sun 11 am - 7 pm

🎟 $39-$44/adults,  $32-$37/ages 6- 14 & students, free/ages 5 & under

Learn a variety of spy skills in an interactive museum and experience for all ages.

Test skills like code-making, code-breaking and lie-detection skills resulting in an assignment to a spy role like Hacker or Special Ops. Work on agility in a cool laser tunnel Special Ops Challenge. 

Also explore the history of spying with artifacts like a U2 spy plane camera and flight suit, micro bugging devices and lots more. Learn about double agents, tap out messages on a replica and look out for a deceptively cute rainbow kitties.


Lego Store Rockefeller Center

📍636 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street
Daily 10 am–8 pm

Take photos with taxis, subway stations, the Statue of Liberty and other NYC icons built out of LEGOS. Make mosaics, create a custom Minifigure ($11.99), look for hidden treasures in the enormous Tree of Discovery and shop for exclusive sets, hard-to-find bricks and elements that you can select by hand at the rainbow Pick A Brick wall. Don’t miss the detailed replica of Rockefeller Center…


Harry Potter The Exhibition

📍50 W 34th Street
Daily 9 am–8:30 pm
🎟 $29.99-$58.50, $25-$27/kids, free/ages 2 & under

This touring exhibition celebrates the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts as seen in the Harry Potter film series and the Wizarding World through immersive design and technology, plus original props and costumes.

Experiences include the Hogwarts Castle Gallery, featuring an immersive multimedia experience with dementors, the use of a Marauder’s map, the whomping willow and more; Hagrid’s Hut and The Forbidden Forest with an interactive Patronus charm; a Hogwarts Houses gallery that will prompt you to select your own house complete with the iconic Sorting Hat and photo opportunities; Quidditch drills; wand battles and actual classroom galleries that will be filled with costumes, creatures and props.

In October, save 25% on groups of 5 or more.



📍160 W 45th Street
Daily 10 am–8 pm
🎟 $35/ages 13+, $32/ages 3-12

Take a spectacular soaring ride for a unique bird’s-eye view tour of the Big Apple. Hang suspended 30 feet in the air and glide over NYC’s iconic skyline and landmarks while inside a 180-degree, 40-foot projection dome featuring 8K aerial footage that creates the sensation of flight.

Also see a film by award-winning documentarians Ric Burns and James Sanders, narrated by Jeff Goldblum, showcasing NYC’s history and its global impact. Enter a re-creation of the city’s first subway station at City Hall circa 1904, a fully immersive theater with visual and special effects.

Journey through NYC’s vibrant pop-cultural evolution in seven distinctly themed galleries – Finance, Skyline, TV/Radio, Fashion, Music, Broadway and Film – featuring historic artifacts, memorabilia and engaging educational displays.

The ride has a 40 inch height requirement, but the film and galleries are open to all.


American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

📍101 Park Ave at West 41st Street
Wed-Sun 10 am–6 pm
🎟 $15, $5/ages 11 & under

Dog-lovers can explore canine-related artwork with cutting-edge technology and interpretation, plus items from the library, archives and collection of the American Kennel Club headquarters. See canine-related paintings, ceramics and other fine art & artifacts.  Explore AKC registered breeds at an interactive table. Discover which dog breed looks most like you through visual recognition software.

Pick up activities and worksheets in the library, including a Breed of the Month craft.

Pets welcome Friday 6–8 pm ($5)




📍621 Court St
Wed-Fri 3 pm–11 pm
Sat-Sun 11 am–11 pm

🎟 $21.99/ages 13+, $16.99/ages 3-12

Play an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course and go on an adventure through four pirate-themed areas complete with theatrical scenery, lights, and sound. Use a bag of gold tokens ($5) to bring the story to life through animatronics, video, and special effects as you make your way through the course. The course is ADA compliant and fun for all ages.

Also shoot some hoops, give skeeball a go, attempt claw games or battle Shredder’s evil crew as a hero in a half shell at the arcade or try a 1 hour escape room adventure with 3 mini (private) escape rooms.


Area 53 Adventure Park

📍616 Scholes St
Wed-Fri 5 pm–11 pm
Sat 10 am–12 am
Sun 11 am–9 pm

🎟 $44/weekdays, $54/weekends

Try ropes courses, multiple rock climbing walls, roller skating, laser mazes, zip lines, ninja courses, slides and more at an indoor adventure park. Book a 3-hour time slot to divide among your choice of activities.

48 inch minimum height limit for the Sky Trail (Ropes Course) and Sky Rail (Zip Line).


Area 53 Laser Tag

📍53 Bridge St
Thu-Fri 3:30 pm–11 pm
Sat-Sun 11:45 am–10 pm

🎟 $39/weekdays, $49/weekend

Dive and dodge through the shadowy dual-level factory basement in a next-level laser tag experience. Aim at opponents between rustic columns while weaving around obstacles. Choose from two game options, gunless z-tag and long range laser guns.

Each booking takes around an hour and a half and allows for three 10-15 minute games. Between games, take breaks in the second-floor lounge which has seating and game tables. Bring in or order food and drinks.


Frying Pan Brooklyn Game Room

📍51 35th Street
Sat-Sun 12-2:30 pm & 3–5:30

Play Ping Pong, Skeeball, air hockey and arcade style games in a colorful retro-style game room. Eat lobster rolls, poke tacos at the New England-inspired seafood-focused Frying Pan next door or check out diverse food options throughout Industry City. Explore colorful art and enjoy free rock n’ roll for kids on some Saturdays.  


Beat The Bomb NYC

📍255 Water Street
Tue-Sun 11 am–10 pm
🎟 $51

Suit up in hazmat gear, dodge lasers, and crack codes in a 1 hour video game escape room with a signature paint bomb ending. Take on Hack Attack, Laser Maze, Echo Chamber and Floor Grid, before reaching the bomb room game Cyberbot where you must drive a bomb-disposal robot through a maze to acquire the 10-digit code to deactivate the Bomb. Ends in an explosion of paint or foam (less messy options also available).