As soon as I started seeing advertisements pop up for the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in New York, I knew we had to go. It looked AMAZING!! However, I dunno about your kids, but mine... they're not exactly into art museums and galleries, so I decided to get creative with some pre-activities to get them more involved and excited! Watch our video (embedded just below) for the full experience from our educational pre-activities to exploring Chinatown to the Van Gogh exhibit itself, and read on for all the details!!
Learning about Van Gogh at Home:
My kids had already done Starry Night based art work at school (2 years ago), but I decided to print out some coloring pages for them from JustColor.net. We didn't look at the real Starry Night beforehand, because I didn't want it to bias our color choices :) I let them choose from crayons, colored pencils, and markers (no paint because I wasn't feeling like a big set up / clean up, but you certainly could do it!). You'll see (in the video above) we all ended up with very different masterpieces, which was fun to talk about!
Next we found a short kid-friendly biography on Van Gogh (embedded below). I was SHOCKED to learn that he died at 37, and had only ever sold 1 painting! How famous and priceless his works are now, it's just unbelievable (and sad)!!
Family Fun in Chinatown!
Now that we learned about Van Gogh, we were ready for the exhibit! But we don't live in Brooklyn anymore, remember? Heading into NYC from Hudson Valley is quite a trek - a 90 minute drive! So, I planned out a nice full afternoon for us to explore the area of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in New York's Lower East Side aka CHINATOWN! We hadn't walked around Manhattan with our kids since pre-pandemic, so it was an incredibly special and fun adventure! Our first "Sunday in the City" went so well we plan to do it on the regular (stay tuned, and comment below which activities and neighborhoods we should explore next)!
First, we luckily found free street parking near Pier 36, where the exhibit is held (you can pay $$$ at the pier for valet parking if you're not so lucky, or feel nervous with street parking). Then took off on foot to explore NYC's Chinatown, which included stops at:
Other things nearby you may want to check out that we didn't have time for:
IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH EXHIBIT
OK, so first let me make sure you are clear that there are currently TWO Van Gogh exhibits in NYC! I didn't realize this til I started planning our day IN THE WRONG NEIGHBORHOOD! Ooooops!!!
This one is THE ORIGINAL and it's "Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit New York" at Pier 36 in Lower East Side, created by Massimiliano Siccardi with Hamilton's David Korins as Creative Director! It's the largest Van Gogh exhibit in the world!!!
In a nutshell, it's 3 massive rooms of art installations like you've never seen before. 500,000 cubic feet of projections. 60,600 frames of video. They move, they surround you, the music hits deep in your SOUL! It was just breathtaking!! I could have sat there all day... were it not for our kids...
In first room, which has some big silver inflatable balls and large mirrored towers, we sat down and watched the entire full video which was wayyyyyyyy too long for our kids (maybe 20 minutes? I'm really not sure). They were really into it and sat nicely for the first 5 minutes and gradually got more and more antsy til they were rolling around and being totally crazy by the end of it. Looking back we probably shouldn't have made them sit through the whole thing but I'm glad us adults didn't miss anything.
The second room had some really cool reflective structures which stunning the way the lights and videos bounced off them. We walked around but didn't spend a lot of time in here.
The third room was breathtaking! The art was projected onto the walls and floor and you were just immersed and surrounded by it. Just beautiful!!! Walk around, take photos, take a seat, go upstairs for the overview. Enjoy!!
After that you go through a hallway with some costumes before returning to the lobby where you can buy (really pricey but amazing) merch, like a Starry Night tumbler for $46. You'll exit to a stunning view of the Hudson and Manhattan Bridge!
All in all we spent about an hour in there and I highly highly recommend it! If you live nearby and have a sitter I would say consider leaving the kids at home and make it an incredibly unique (stress free) date. Then you can relax and spend way more time there soaking it all in. With the kids it's a different experience but still we all had a great time and I don't regret taking them!
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!
Tickets prices vary (off peak / peak / prime) for $40 - $70 and the show is running through September 6 (though Aug 30 - Sep 6 are already sold out).
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!