My son and I and some friends were invited to check out the awesome exhibits at The Discovery Museum Time Square in New York City. The museum is located on West 42nd Street right in the heart of Time Square. Since my son has autism museums can be tricky for us. I have to be prepared for the unexpected. I went online to their website discoverytsx.com to prepare him for the visit the best I could.
They currently have three different exhibits going on, Star Wars and the Power of Costume, The Vikings Exhibition and Gunther Von Hagens' Body Worlds. We talked a little bit about each one and I showed him some pictures. This really helps him understand what he is going to be seeing. Each exhibit starts with a short film, which was very important for me to know in advance. When lights go out and things get loud he tends to have some anxiety, so knowing this in advance was very helpful for us.
When we arrived at the museum he seemed very excited and ready to start. As we started in The Star Wars exhibit, he seemed very intrigued by the life size costumes in all the interesting colors. He really enjoyed being able to touch the different sample fabrics that were on display. He recognized some of the characters and even made some verbal comments, which is always great! If your child is a Star Wars fan they will absolutely love this! You can even take their picture (without a flash) in front of their favorites!
Our next exhibit was The Vikings. If this is something your child is studying in school, or if your child is a fan of the movie How to Train Your Dragon, which took place in a mythical Viking world, they will surely find some familiar things here. The boats, the artifacts, the interactive activities, all were very appealing to my son. He especially loved the digital boat making activity. It really held his attention and would not move on until he completed the entire task. It was great to see him so focused!
The final exhibit was the very fascinating Body Worlds. There were definitely things in here that grabbed my son's attention right away. Since he is very familiar and somewhat intrigued with the human body it was easy to get him to comment on things in here. I pointed out specific things to him and we would have a little back and fourth, which is always great. When he saw the large intestine, he said "It looks like a snake."
It took us about an hour to go through all three exhibits, and overall I think it went really well. We went in the afternoon on a weekday which is much less crowded then other times might be. There were no lines at all, however, to avoid lines in general, you can go online and purchase tickets in advance. The museum is multi-level but there is an elevator should your child need one. All the exhibits have benches in case a taking a break is necessary. There is also a DC Cupcakes Cafe located in the museum if you want to get a yummy snack.
I know that for my special needs child museums trips can be unpredictable, even sometimes with the best prep I can do. The Discovery Museum is the perfect size and was very accommodating. The exhibits change about every 6-9 months so I will definitely be keeping my eyes open to see when we can plan our next trip back there!
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