Review King Tut Exhibition in NYC with Kids

I saw the King Tut exhibit in the 1970s, traveling from Arizona to San Francisco just for the occasion. That exhibit brought 50 of King Tut’s tomb items around the country, causing mob scenes (well, a lot of people anyway) in the form of record attendance. I saw a fair amount of Tut goods in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum when traveling there in 1995. And then when another Tut exhibit came through in 2010 (with 50 moretomb items), and I saw it again in San Francisco AND New York (the advantage to living in both places during their run). Read more about that King Tut exhibit here.

Premier Exhibitions in NYC. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Premier Exhibitions in NYC. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

So when I heard that King Tut was back in the Big Apple, with a new kind of exhibition, of course I jumped on the opportunity. I went for a press preview of the Discovery of King Tut, and then took the family back this past weekend.  The big difference between the exhibits is that this exhibition focuses on the discovery of Tut’s tomb, and displays only replicas (more than 1,000 of them, versus the 50 genuine artifacts brought over previously). While it sounds a little disappointing that they’re reproductions, rest assured, you will not feel cheated. Here’s my review – King Tut exhibition with kids. Continue reading “Review King Tut Exhibition in NYC with Kids”

Review: Meow Parlour in New York City

We don’t have any pets at our house (unless you count fish), but I do like dogs and cats. I first heard about cat cafes while watching the Amazing Race. And then I found out there was one in New York City – it’s called Meow Parlour. My kids freaked out and couldn’t wait to go.

The Meow Parlour in New York City. Photo copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan.
The Meow Parlour in New York City. Photo copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan.

What is a cat cafe? Basically it’s a store front with adoptable free-roaming cats (from a shelter). You can play with them. Continue reading “Review: Meow Parlour in New York City”

Review: One World Observatory

To be honest, I was a little nervous to go to the top of One World Trade Center. I wasn’t in the East Coast on September 11, 2001 but it’s impossible not to think about what a target this building is, and how high I would be, trapped if something similar happened. Okay, getting the creepy feelings out of the way early!

One World Observatory opened to the public in late May, 2015. The building opened to tenants the previous November.

world trade center 2
Looking up the One World Trade Center building. Photo by Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The entrance to One World Observatory is on Continue reading “Review: One World Observatory”

Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll see I’m a big Broadway fan (see our reviews of Broadway shows and our family friendly Broadway show pageBroadway for kids). So I was super psyched at a recent Disney Social Media Moms On the Road conference to get the “Behind the Magic” tour at the New Amsterdam Theater.

theater1
The New Amsterdam Theater is the oldest Broadway theater in NYC. It’s owned by the city of New York, but operated by the Disney Theatrical Productions. Photo by Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This tour is open to the public to those with or without Disney Broadway tickets Continue reading “Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway”

Liberty Science Center’s New Infinity Climber, Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Exhibit

While I did a more comprehensive review of taking the kids to the Liberty Science Center for a previous post,  I was there recently and wanted to fill you in on some of the changes and new exhibits. The most exciting is the new Infinity Climber, which finished installation a few weeks ago. This “multi-story play space” is suspended 35 feet above the ground. It has 64 petal platforms (they look like lily pads), to climb on, taking you higher and lower. It’s surrounded by a net, which is stiff enough to keep you in, but not so stiff that it hurts.

a infinity climber

The Infinity Climber is the world’s first suspended climbing space of its kind, and can fit 50 adults and children in there at one time. You have to be 42 inches or higher to go in. It’s great for groups to go in together.  Continue reading “Liberty Science Center’s New Infinity Climber, Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Exhibit”

Review: Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney – Should you Bring Kids?

I had one thought when walking up to the Whitney Museum, to see the Jeff Koons’ retrospective. Thank God we were getting in via the corporate sponsor ticket line. That regular line snaked out the building and around the corner, and it was LONG. We only had to wait behind four people who were either members or also worked for corporate sponsors. The lesson here: if you aren’t either category, expect a long line.

The vacuum cleaner room
The vacuum cleaner room

I learned a bit about Jeff Koons during my modern art history college classes, but after going through this four story retrospective, I realized just how little I actually knew. Get the free audio guide (you can listen to parts of it here) or take a tour. The signage is good too, but it’s nice having a little extra information. The retrospective covers 1978 to present, with 150 objects on display.

The inflatables room, with mirrors
The inflatables room, with mirrors

The exhibit is broken up into sections based on his genre of work/time period. They were all quite different and diverse, and the way they organized it provides an excellent way to see his progression of art and what concepts he worked with at that time. The first section (The New) was the vacuum cleaner one – first picture on top. He was exploring the interaction between the viewer and the object, using only new vacuum cleaners that had the added anthropomorphic ability to express life/death, male/female (phallic bag/womb of suckage) etc. Not such an interesting gallery for us, I’ll say. Continue reading “Review: Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney – Should you Bring Kids?”

Review: The Art of the Brick – LEGO at Discovery Times Square

While not an exhibit intended specifically for kids, The Art of the Brick definitely appeals to kids. And to adults too. The positive message extolling the virtues of art, and Nathan Sawaya’s optimism, “art can be anything” brings a fresh air to the exhibit. You can even be a successful artist like Sawaya, after going to law school and doing corporate mergers for several years. My son now wants to be a LEGO artist. Well, he did before too, but now he wants to even more.

See below for discount ticket information for the Art of the Brick.

Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The sign when you enter is probably the only thing in the exhibit NOT made of LEGOs (okay, the signs and tables aren’t LEGO either). Room after room continues to delight and surprise.

Opening the exhibit was the Paint by Bricks section Continue reading “Review: The Art of the Brick – LEGO at Discovery Times Square”

Review: Body Worlds: Pulse – Good for Kids?

If you’re unsure whether to bring your kids to Body Worlds: Pulse at Discovery Times Square, look at the pictures below. If you think they can handle these pictures, then go (more details below). This is the second “body” exhibition I’ve taken my kids to. The last one was probably in 2007 or 2008 when my kids were much younger. They still remember it, especially seeing the black lung from smoking. That had an impact on them.

If you’re not familiar with the Body Worlds world, there is a lot of history behind it. Briefly, these people donated their bodies for plastination (controversial), the technique used here to preserve the body in various shapes. I’ll go into the process in more depth later. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the Bodies exhibitions, ranging from whether people indeed DID donate their bodies, to the ethics of displaying bodies this way, to religious complaints, to the sale of plastinated organs and bodies. You can read more here – it’s quite interesting.

You’ll start out with a video which I found stressful. It talked about stress and the pace of life these days. The video was captivating (and frenetic) in that it was made with drawings of people and things that were done during the video (but sped up). For the first time in history there are more people that are over age 60, than under age 5. The show uses the plastinated bodies and organs to talk about health, how the body shows its health, how to stay healthy, focusing on areas like happiness, blood pressure, exercise, stress and food. And it shows how the body works.

Not comfortable in his own skin. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Not comfortable in his own skin. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The first display was a bit shocking. Continue reading “Review: Body Worlds: Pulse – Good for Kids?”

Review: Shipwreck: Pirates and Treasures – Good for Kids? Discovery Times Square NYC

If you perk up when you hear about divers finding sunken wrecks full of precious metals, Shipwreck: Pirates and Treasure exhibit at Discovery Times Square would be a good one for you.

Learn about pirates and deep sea exploration at Shipwreck. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Learn about pirates and deep sea exploration at Shipwreck. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Groupon has discounted tickets as I post this, but act quickly. If you’re new to Groupon, get the tickets here. If you’re already a Groupon user, get the tickets here. Search under Long Island, NY in the search bar on top for “Shipwreck.” Tickets on Groupon are $12-15 (kid/adult), which is a savings. Read the Groupon fine print before buying.

As you might imagine, treasure seeking is a high tech affair. The exhibit focuses on finds from Odyssey Marine Exploration, a deep ocean exploration public company (NasdaqCM: OMEX) that salvages items from shipwrecks and does mineral exploration. They choose from the 6,500 shipwrecks in their database, evaluating them based on archeological importance, claims to the property, and other factors.

WHAT YOU’LL SEE Continue reading “Review: Shipwreck: Pirates and Treasures – Good for Kids? Discovery Times Square NYC”