8 – New York for Piccolas and Piccolos : Museum of the Moving Image

Not far from Kaufman Astoria Studios—the home of Sesame Street—sits the Museum of Moving Image, one of the coolest attractions for kids of any age. The Museum is located in Astoria, Queens – just three subway stops away from Lexington Ave/59th Street in Midtown Manhattan. A former movie and TV studio houses a unique treat, a museum devoted to the development of moving pictures from flip books to the digital age. Parents often are as intrigued as the kids at the chance to see exhibits that tell of the development of film and television cameras, projectors, television sets, video games, and sound recording equipment.

The main attraction is “Behind the Screen,” an exhibition that showcases 1,400 artifacts (like a real Chewbacca mask from Star Wars) and interactive exhibits that let kids make their own stop-motion animations, sound effects, and flipbooks. Another hit is the permanent Jim Henson exhibit that displays original puppets and behind the scenes footage from his pop-culture contributions.


Museum of the Moving Image provides curriculum-based educational experiences to approximately 70,000 students each year, as well as an array of dynamic, engaging tours, talks, workshops, and screenings for children, teens, families, adults, and seniors. Image credit: Museum of Moving Image


Visitors can play vintage arcade and console games and have a variety of interactive experiences like recording a sequence of still photos that can be printed to make a flipbook or creating stop-motion animation that can be saved and emailed to friends.


At the Museum of the Moving Image, you can dub your voice over dialogue from a film or add sound effects and music. A simulated TV control room is the chance to watch the director call for varying shots to cover a baseball game. Clips from some of the earliest films are displayed, and modern films are shown at the museum’s theater. The newest major permanent exhibit features Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets.


More than 300 exhibits include storyboards, film and TV clips, costumes and 47 puppets, including favorites like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird and Elmo. Kids can even have a try at being a puppeteer.

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How to get here

Take the Queens-bound N or W trains to 36th Street, Astoria or the R train to Steinway Street.


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