The Nassau County Museum of Art blurs the line between nature and art. Surrounding a two-story museum full of 19th- and 20th-century American and European masterpieces are 145 acres of lush gardens. Visitors who view works by acclaimed artists will also bear witness to the brushstrokes of Mother Nature as they walk eight trails and visit a formal garden designed by renowned landscape architect Marian Cruger Coffin. On these paths, they'll find a meticulously restored water tower, a historic garden trellis and more than 40 sculptures by lauded figures such as Richard Serra and Tom Otterness.
But such a collection of beauty both natural and handmade didn't just fall out of the sky. The estate originally belonged to long-time editor of the New York Evening Post and patron of the arts William Cullen Bryant. It then changed hands several times before becoming a gift from US Steel co-founder Henry Clay Frick to his son, Childs. It was Childs' naturalism that made the grounds what they are today.
Today, Nassau County carries this tradition forward with its permanent collection of more than 500 pieces, as well as rotating exhibitions. In addition, the museum hosts plenty of programs and events for youngsters and adults alike, including artist lectures and drop-in art workshops.
Flanked by seven other aircraft, a Grumman F-11 hangs suspended in a shallow dive over the main entrance to Cradle of Aviation Museum?s four-story glass atrium. Three viewing levels on wraparound balconies afford views of the aircraft that only fellow pilots in close formation ever saw when it was in service. The 150,000-square foot facility?s eight exhibits grant similarly intimate glimpses of more than 75 aircraft and spacecrafts that trace the historic path of Long Island?s aviation contributions since 1870. Those artifacts include a replica of the Wright Brothers? 1899 kite, five aircraft made in Long Island for World War II, and the Grumman Lunar Module LM-5 ?Eagle,? which transported Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin to that soundstage that looked like the moon.
Patrons also get a chance to soar skyward in the X-Ride Theater, a 30-seat motion simulator whose ?Fly with the Blue Angels? film mimics the piloting of a U.S. Navy squadron jet. Over in the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium and the Leroy R. & Rose W. Grumman Dome Theater, the immersive screens bring to life subjects such as Lewis and Clark's journey and National Geographic's Wildest Weather in the Solar System. After riding the Historic Nunley's Carousel, which was built in 1912, guests can reenergize over a meal in the Red Planet Cafe, whose space station d?cor evokes a Martian cafeteria in the year 2040.
An entire city can be built within Long Island Children's Museum. All it takes is a little imagination, and a basic understanding of architectural principles like balance and proportion. Luckily, the "Best of Long Island"-winning museum's Bricks & Sticks and Building Boom with KEVA exhibits teach those very concepts. Museum educators and interactive software provide inspiration as kids (and adults) design and shape skyscrapers, castles, bridges, and more out of blocks.
Those building activities are just two of the 14 hands-on exhibits that take families across the museum's grounds. The TotSpot area lets the youngest visitors slide and play on age-appropriate equipment, while other galleries let kids explore outdoor gardens, step inside giant bubbles, and film mock-newscasts, complete with hard-hitting expos?s on just who is the real John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Even the onsite theater has an interactive element. Here, actors and musicians often invite kids on stage to join in on the performance.
Reflecting the diverse scope and scale of science itself, the exhibits at the New York Hall of Science range from massive NASA rockets to holographic depictions of the infinitesimal atom. Originally built for the 1964 World's Fair to showcase technological advancements, the center has since transformed into an interactive museum and leading innovator in exhibit technology and educational programming that, since 1986, has seen more than 7 million visitors. Today, more than 450 interactive exhibits, along with 3D movies and live daily demonstrations, invite visitors of all ages to explore the world by watching living microbes thrive and evolve in a miniscule zoo, discovering the powerful mathematics hidden in everyday objects, and testing their understanding of physics and Plutonian trash talk in the science playground, along with the mini-golf course inspired by the cosmos. The youngest visitors can also enjoy a developmentally-appropriate science education of their own in Preschool Place.
From a stone mosaic that lined the floors of a 5th-century synagogue to the final rhyme spit out by a Jewish hip-hop artist, the span of the Jewish Museum's collections is as diverse as it is expansive. What began in 1904 with 26 artifacts has blossomed into a collection of 27,000 paintings, sculptures, and multimedia exhibits that together present a collage of art and Jewish culture from across centuries and continents.
The centerpiece of the Museum is Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, a permanent exhibition teeming with artifacts, videos, and art that collectively celebrate Jewish identity and the culture's ability to persevere through sometimes tragic circumstances. Artists?from 20th century French master ?douard Vuillard to contemporary American painter Kehinde Wiley?enliven the galleries in rotating exhibitions.
Interactive exhibits such as the Archaeology Zone bring kids within earshot of ancient times as they don ancient costumes and weigh, magnify, and analyze vessels just like anthropologists or careful ancient housewares shoppers. Family activities include holiday-themed art classes and workshops, and The Wind Up series invites adults into the Museum for an after-hours menagerie of cutting-edge music, film, and theatre. After a day of soaking up history, attendees can nosh at Lox at Caf? Weissman, a certified-kosher caf? whose stained glass windows shed light on the edible portion of the Jewish journey.
New York City has her bustling waterways to thank for a rich history of art, industry, and cultural development?perhaps more than any other factor. The sea carried in a stream of tens of millions of immigrants and fueled the industrial age in one of the country?s most accessible portals to the world. South Street Seaport Museum?s massive gallery space in Schermerhorn Row Block pays tribute to a bygone age while bridging it to the city?s modern aquatic-shipping and transport industry. Some exhibits illuminate the past, such as the pseudo-marketplace at Coffee, Fish, and the Tattooed Man and the immaculately preserved hotel at Remains of the Stay, while others highlight modern issues such as the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Weighted with history, the museum?s fleet of tugboats, schooners, and sloops stays stalwartly afloat, each with its own story to tell; built in 1885, the Wavertree was one of the last wrought-iron sailing ships commissioned, and the Pioneer has spent more than 120 years feeding the economy with boatloads of lumber, stone, brick, oyster shells, and tourists. The majestic four-masted bark Peking represents the famous German Flying P-Liners, designed to be crewed entirely by birds.