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Now, don't do this on the weekend or on any national holiday, but definitely take a kid up to the Museum of Natural History. It's always surprising to me how many childless adults haven't been there, but it's even more surprising to me when adults do have children, but still haven't gone. The dinosaurs are great and all, but the really fun parts are the dioramas in the Hall of African Mammals and the Hall of North American Mammals. The backgrounds are so exquisitely rendered and these animals will open up a much more interesting dialogue with your kid than any other stuffed animal would. End your visit in the Hall of Ocean Life where the light is dark and blue. Lie down with the kid you're with under the enormous hanging whale and then scare the shit out of him by wondering out loud what would happen if it fell on you both.