There are a lot of family-friendly museums in the Hamptons to choose from, and there is something for all ages—from learning about history, science, and nature to art and Native American culture.
The Hamptons are known for its beautiful beaches, but they also offer a variety of family-friendly museums. From art galleries to nature centers and even a lighthouse, some of the best museums in this area are worth visiting with kids. Hampton’s family-friendly museums offer children and adults a chance to learn more about the area’s history, art, and wildlife. Here are some of the best places for families in the Hamptons.
Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE)
The Children’s Museum of the East End is a museum for children and families right off the Bridgehampton Turnpike. The museum offers exhibits that encourage children to explore and learn through play. The museum has several exhibits designed especially for younger visitors, including a miniature golf course. Other exhibits at CMEE include:
- A seagoing ship will take you across the oceans.
- Learn more about wind power at a windmill.
- You can run a farm stand!
- Assist in the operation of the CMEE Food Truck and Diner.
CMEE also offers a summer camp and a variety of annual events for adults and children.
It is open year-round except on major holidays.
The Guild Hall Museum is located in East Hampton and features changing exhibitions, educational programs, and an art library. The museum has exhibits covering various subjects such as photography, American history, and natural science. Visitors can also enjoy live music performances at the Guild Hall throughout the year.
The museum also offers programs for children and teens, including summer camp classes in creative arts like drawing, painting, and photography. There are about eight to ten exhibitions throughout the year.
The Permanent Collection at Guild Hall houses over 2,400 pieces of art. It focuses on the 20th century in all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation art by regional artists.
Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon with your family. It’s located in the middle of Montauk, so it’s easy to get to, and there’s plenty of parking nearby. There are exhibits on the lighthouse’s history and information about the surrounding area, including the wildlife and marine life found in Montauk.
The museum also has a gift shop with various souvenirs and gifts, including books about the area’s history. This is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about maritime history in New York State or just want to spend some time outside with your family.
The museum closes for the winter.
Parrish Art Museum
The Parrish Art Museum off of Montauk Highway is a treasure trove of art and culture for the whole family. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Marcel Duchamp, David Hare, and other American masters.
The museum features rotating exhibitions. In addition to its permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, the Parrish Art Museum also offers a variety of programs for children and families, including drop-in art activities, hands-on workshops, and special events such as vacation workshops, where kids can get up close with artists at work in the studio or enjoy an interactive performance.
The Parrish Art Museum also offers an art and film camp during the summer months.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Located off of Old Country Road, Quogue Wildlife Refuge, a non-profit nature preserve covering 305 acres, was established in 1934. It is home to diverse wildlife. You can walk seven miles of trails for free, and they are open 24/7 from sunrise to sunset. There are many educational events on the calendar throughout the year.
The Outdoor Wildlife Complex is home to permanently injured wildlife, including owls and falcons, that need human care to survive.
The Charles Banks Belt Nature Center provides spectacular views of Old Ice Pond, wildlife exhibits, live animals, a nature library, a gift shop, and various other amenities. The preserve is not allowed to have dogs, bicyclists, or picnicking.
The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum
The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum is located in the heart of the village’s historic district. This museum will be a hit with adults and kids alike. The museum features artifacts from the town’s rich whaling history and includes several exciting exhibits, including the Bowhead Whale exhibit on the fourth floor.
The museum closes for the winter. Note that the last entry to the museum is at 4pm in-season.
Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum
The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum off of Montauk Highway features exhibits on the culture, history, and people of the Shinnecock Nation. The center also hosts cultural events such as dance performances, concerts, and storytelling sessions.
The Shinnecock people have always been known for their hospitality and generosity, so the museum is open to anyone who wants to learn more about their unique culture. Visitors can explore exhibits that feature original works of art by contemporary Native American artists and historical photographs and documents detailing essential moments in Shinnecock’s history, such as when they were granted federal recognition.
There are also interactive displays that encourage children (and adults) to get involved in hands-on projects like creating your own beadwork design or learning how to make cornbread without cornmeal!
The museum closes for the winter.
Southampton African American Museum (SAAM)
The Southampton African American Museum (SAAM) is located in the heart of Southampton Village. It features exhibits that explore African American history and culture through art, artifacts, and oral histories.
The mission of SAAM is to foster cultural understanding through the presentation of the past, present, and future experiences of African Americans on Long Island.
The museum’s permanent collection includes paintings by local artists such as Jerry Pinkney and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as historical artifacts from slavery times through present-day civil rights movements in America’s history.
The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center
The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center is a great place to spend the day with kids, with many different activities. The museum is one of the oldest on Long Island, with exhibits focusing on local geology and history. There are also films and lectures available.
The nature center has a few different trails around its property that kids can explore, discovering all sorts of plants and animals along the way.
The South Fork Natural History Museum offers nature programs for children of all ages throughout the year. These include campfire programs, hikes through fields, woods, and wetlands, birding walks, kayak trips, full moon hikes, and more!
Open year-round except for major holidays.
Water Mill Museum
The Water Mill Museum is the oldest operating museum in Suffolk County. It is dedicated to the history of water mills on Long Island and the people who built them. The museum features a collection of antique tools and machines, as well as displays about milling technology and the social history of millers and their families over time.
The museum closes for the winter.
Nature, art, and culture are significant parts of the family-friendly lifestyle in the Hamptons. By taking advantage of resources such as these museums, young and old will benefit from exciting exhibits, programs, and workshops.
There’s something for everyone in the Hamptons—from children to adults, from families to singles. Whatever your interests may be, there’s likely something that will interest you as well at one (or several) of these local museums—and with so many family friendly museums in The Hamptons to choose from, visiting one is bound to be an enjoyable experience.