It was one of those 95 degree days — so hot that, as my friend Sara says, “might as well be a blizzard outside.” On impulse, I packed up the kids and drove to Jersey City to try the Liberty Science Center, which is on nearly every “what to do with kids in NYC” list. Best of all, it was air-conditioned.
First surprise: The Liberty Science Center is right next to Liberty State Park, a sprawling green space with stunning views of lower Manhattan, the East and Hudson Rivers, and Lady Liberty herself; a quick ferry ride will take you to Ellis Island. So a fun-packed day could include a visit to both, although the Liberty Science Center has more than enough to keep your little ones busy for the day.
Kids 4 and under will enjoy the iExplore room, which offers a rice table and light-up floor, among other things, and there’s more for them to enjoy throughout the museum: water tables, science-themed story times, glass cases with creepy crawlies, a room filled with oversize blocks for building, a giant bubble machine.
Kids 5 and up will also love the Liberty Science Center for other reasons. You can climb through duct-tape tunnels (yes, duct tape), hop into a simulator to zip through space or speed down snowy hills, or watch one of several IMAX movies. The Infinity Climber was the coolest. Here, you could climb through an infinity symbol suspended from the ceiling; seriously, it’s wild.
Outside, there’s an area where kids can scurry like squirrels, climb like spiders, or worm through holes in an obstacle course. Best of all, there are shady spots for you to sit and take in breathtaking views of the city skyline. Inside, an interactive Skyscraper exhibit gives kids a chance to learn what goes into building the soaring structures.
There’s a cafeteria for lunch, or pack your own. You can buy your tickets online to save a wait on the giant line. It took exactly an hour to get there, but leave wayyy before rush hour, or else! We got stuck crawling over the GW Bridge. Have fun!
Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City; 201-200-1000