Take a moment to review our frequently asked questions to help make your visit easier and more fun!
What is the Westchester Children's Museum? +
The Westchester Children's Museum is a vibrant, interactive learning space providing children, families and school groups the opportunity to nurture curiosity, enhance knowledge and ignite imagination through creative hands-on exploration. The Museum is committed to broadening knowledge of the arts and sciences, the environment, multiculturalism, and the local and global communities in an educational and recreational atmosphere.
The mission and higher purpose of the Westchester Children’s Museum is to provide STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, and math) experiences to the broadest audience of children possible, most particularly those without access to this kind of enrichment in their own communities and schools. The Museum welcomes among the most diverse audience in the region, and encourages critical thinking skills equally to cooperation and collaboration.
What age group is the Museum appropriate for? +
Our Museum exhibits are designed for ages ranging from 0-13, and we offer programming and volunteer opportunities for older children. All children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must be accompanied by a child
Where is the Museum located? Where is the entrance? +
The Museum is located in the historic landmark Bathouses on the Boardwalk at Playland Amusement Park in Rye, NY.
Please note: While we are located at the Playland campus, we are not part of the Amuseument Park. Ticketing is separate, however we do share a parking lot. Please park in the Main Lot - we offer memberships that include the summer parking fees. Our entrance is located on the Boardwalk side of the Bathhouses - identifiable by the two white towers overlooking the beach. Just head towards the beach from the parking lot and follow the signs
Is the Museum stroller and wheelchair accessible ? +
Yes, the Museum is stroller and wheelchair accessible. We are constantly striving to make the WCM as accessible as possible for children with all abilities. We can make adaptations of activities/programming for field trips of groups with a particular need. We strongly advise you to call ahead and talk to us about your child's needs if you have concerns or issues. We can help you plan the most successful visit. Reach out to us at 914-421-5050
Is the Museum for little kids only, or can big kids enjoy it too? +
The Museum can be enjoyed by children with their caregivers from ages Toddlers -12. Our exhibits are designed to challenge children of every age group. Visitors of multiple ages can all participate in their own way. We do however have a dedicated area for pre-walkers called Toddler Beach for gross motor play and safe risk taking
Can I drop my child off unattended? Is there day care? +
Our policy is that every child must be accompanied by an adult and every adult must be accompanied by a child. Please do not plan to leave your child unattended at all during your vist to the Museum. Additionally, we do not at this time have day care.
Do you have a cafe or food service on site? +
We have dedicated space available for you to bring your own snacks and covered beverages. We offer a vending machine with a variety of beverages and easy snacks. By the way, proceeds from sales of beverages and snacks directly support the Museum. *We ask that you keep all snacks and beverages within the designated snack area to keep our exhibit areas crumb and spill free.
Is the Museum air conditioned/heated? Are you open year round? +
Yes and yes, We are open all year long. its nice and cool here in the summer and warm in the winter. Our site offers the best of being outdoors with our location along the Boardwalk of the Long Island Sound, but we are the only site in the region that provides a welcoming and safe indoor play and learning environment for children with their families, caregivers, schools or groups - no worries about rain, cold, snow, or extreme heat!
Is there enough for us to do? +
We have noticed that the average length of stay at the Museum is 2.5 hours, and many of our visitors come back time and again. We offer a broad range of interactive exhibits and an ever changing Makerspace with activities dedicated to art and to science and technology. Check our Current Exhibits page to learn more. We also offer drop-in science, engineering, arts, and crafts programs throughout the week. Check our [calendar] to see what is offered.
Are there special programs or activities in additon to the exhibits? Is there a separate fee to participate? +
We offer special drop in programs throughout the week. It is best to check our calendar to see what is being offered. All our programs are INCLUDED with Museum admission.
Is the Museum appropriate for children with special needs? +
The museum is accessible and appropriate for all children. We can make adaptations of activities/ programming for visits/field trips for groups with particular special needs. We strongly advise you to call ahead and talk to us about your child's needs if you have concerns or issues. We can help you plan the most successful visit. Reach out to us at 914-421-5050
Where should I park and why is there a fee to park? +
Parking is available in the main lot adjacent to Playland Amusement Park. The parking lot is managed by Playland and at this time, we are subject to the fees determined by Playland during the amusement season May-September. Good news - We do offer memberships that include parking and will make repeat visits much more cost effective. There are no parking fees during the Fall and Winter.
Do you have changing tables, restrooms, water fountains? +
Currently we have 4 restrooms, including 2 larger family restrooms that are handicap accessible and equipped with changing tables. We have 2 water fountains and water bottle fill spout. We are currently in construction and will be adding more restrooms to the expanded museum space.
We understand that emergencies happen, but we do ask that you use the restroom to change diapers rather than out on the Museum floor.
You are located next to the beach, can we come in barefeet and swim suits? +
While we do have a wonderful location along the boardwalk at Rye Playland and overlook the public beach of the Long Island Sound, we do not allow guests to wear only their bathing suits in the Museum. During the summer, we encourage you to make a day of it by visiting the beach together with the Museum, but please use the Playland Beach locker rooms to change from your bathing suits into your regualr clothing. Shirts, shorts/skirt/pants and shoes are required.
We have a coatroom/stroller storage space where you can leave your belongings (space is unattended)
Is the Museum part of Playland? Can I buy a joint admission ticket? +
We share the same beautiful location along the Boardwalk and the Long Island Sound, and share a parking lot, but the Museum is independent from Playland Amusement Park. We do not have a joint ticketing program at this time.
What's next? Are you planning to add more exhibits? +
The Westchester Children’s Museum is in the midst of the renovation and capital improvement of its historic landmark building.The infrastructure improvement project planned by the Museum converts the entirety of the site to a soaring, sunlit year-round facility that provides incredible opportunity for hands-on exhibits and STEAM programming not found anywhere else in the region. The undertaking increases available operating space from the current 6,500 square foot Hoch Laager Boardwalk Galleries to 22,000 square feet and will allow for up to 250,000 children per year! The Museum’s current operating space will remain open throughout the construction period. Learn more here