Nestled in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country, The Corning Museum of Glass offers a unique opportunity to explore glass from all angles: Live hot glassmaking demonstrations, Make Your Own Glass experiences, hands-on glass technology exhibits, and the world’s largest collection of contemporary and historical glass. Kids and Teens FREE Admission!
Kids can explore the galleries with gallery hunts,see live demonstrations, experience technology in our innovation center, and fire up their creative side with make your own glass projects.
Admission is valid for 2 consecutive days, Kids and Teens are FREE admission (19 and under). Discounts for AAA, Seniors, Military, and Students.
Corning Museum of Glass is a great place to take the kids. Where we live we get commercials for it, and my kids (ages 8, 7 and 4) would always say, "We want to go there!" Well, this summer we decided to go camping in Watkins Glen/Corning, and surprised them with a trip to the museum. First off, it's great that kids up through age 19 are FREE. All you have to pay for is the adults. Simple enough. Then, you get your little badge (that you throw in their recycling container when you leave) that shows you are allowed to be there. Not only does that badge let you walk around and view the exhibits and shows that day, but if you hold onto it you can use it for the next day. It is good for two days! They are color coded so they know when they gave what color out.
So, we took advantage of the two days. Seriously, the two days is definitely needed if you want to take full advantage of all (or at least most) of what the museum has to offer. We went out to breakfast and then headed to the museum on day one. We walked through some of the exhibits and watched the flame works show, where they created a squid from someone's drawing. That's another great part about the museum. In the front there are tables where you can sit down and, using their paper and markers, draw something you would like them to make during one of their shows. If your drawing is picked, not only will they make it in front of the crowd, but they will give it to you for free. Unfortunately, the drawings my kids made were not picked, but it was a lot of fun watching the other pieces being made.
There are so many demonstrations throughout the day, and each of them are amazing. The kids couldn't wait for the glass breaking demonstration, and they loved watching the glass blowing in the outdoor theater. You can also choose, for a price, to make your own glass. We decided against it, but would love to do it some time. They have a range of prices, so it's sure to fit in anyone's budget depending on what you are looking to do.
Glass and it's functions, be it art, practicality, or interesting innovations, can be found all over the place. They have videos you can watch, or signs that will tell you about the different processes of making glass (past and present), the uses of glass, and even a story about how the first light bulb was created.
There is so much to see, do, and learn there. Kids and adults alike will love it.
I've driven through Corning, NY many times, but today was my first stop at the Corning Museum of Glass. I had heard great things about the museum, and this year the museum is participating in the Blue Star Museum program (meaning it was completely free for us as a military family) -- so stopping by was really a no-brainner. However, I didn't realize that even after a a two hour visit my six and seven would not want to leave. It's a great museum - absolutely brilliant!
My children sat mesmerized through both the 15 minute "Breaking Glass" Demo and the 30 minute glass blowing demo. I'm glad that the person at the admission desk encouraged us to go to these programs -- they really are the highlight of the museum.
Scattered around the museum were eight different carts where museum staff taught a simple hands-on lesson about glass. There was a "passport" stamp book associated with these carts on the day of our visit. My kids were completely determined to get the stamps at all eight carts. This is what occupied most of our time at the museum. The exhibits around the carts looked like they could have been in any top art museum around the country - but the teaching staff really made all the difference.
Don't skip the gift shop - at least not entirely. There is a large, enclosed marble run that my kids absolutely loved down in the gift shop. They could have watched it for a very long time.
There are several good quality exhibits that teach scientific concepts. My kids liked these -- but they were probably more interesting for older kids.
If you're in the area plan on stopping at the Corning Museum of Glass - and plan on spending at least two hours there. It is one of the country's top museum experiences.
I realize that glass museums and families don’t sound like a perfect mix, but I assure you, it is worth the visit! The collections are amazingly beautiful. To keep the kids interested in browsing the collections, pick up a scavenger hunt. The kids will enjoy searching the galleries to find the pictures on their list. It really kept my kids engaged! There is also a “Top 10” pamphlet that leads you through some of the coolest pieces in the museum including a glass baseball bat, glass slippers (like in Cinderella!), a glass gown, and more, if you’d like to take an ultra-quick tour and just hit the highlights.
The demonstrations are not to be missed. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the glass blowing demo where a beautiful pitcher was created right before our eyes. The unique camera views even give you a look inside the ovens as the glass blowers are working! Some demonstrations include raffles and a lucky someone in the audience will go home with a blown glass piece. Another show is when they feature a You Design It, We Make It! piece. Visitors can submit drawings and at a selected demo, one drawing will be chosen to be made.
The innovation center is a hands-on area to show how glass works. Look through a periscope, check out telescopes, and more. The kids enjoyed taking their time through this area and it gave them a chance to see that glass isn’t just for looking at or drinking from.
Another not to be missed experience is the Make Your Own Glass Experience. (book online ahead of time to ensure availability). In the studio you can choose from a variety of projects including a glass blown ornament, a flower, and fusion projects. This was the highlight of our visit. Glass pieces need time to cool and set so you will either need to come back the next day for pick up or have them shipped home. We chose to have ours shipped and we were ecstatic when the package arrived and we could discover our completed pieces. Since we collect Christmas ornaments on our trips, having a hand-made, blown glass ornament adorn our tree will be a special memento from our visit to the Finger Lakes area. Be sure to plan this into your day and budget (projects currently range from $20-60. Some have age restrictions for safety)
Did I mention that kids age 19 and under are free? Yes, even teenagers are free! This helps keep a visit to the museum affordable for families. What a great offering!
Definitely add a visit to the museum to your itinerary while visiting the area.
Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary admission and a Make Your Own Glass Experience for purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
The Corning Museum of Glass brings glass to life. There is a focus on education, but it does not detract from the hands-on excitement and beauty that pulses through the museum. With hands-on learning activities, live demonstrations in glass blowing and glass breaking, and workshops that let you create your own glass pieces, this museum stands out as a must-do in the NY finger lakes region.
I know the idea of taking your kids to a glass museum sounds absolutely crazy but I promise you they will have a great time at the Corning Museum of Glass! The museum is filled with exhibits at how glass is made as well as collections of beautiful pieces of glass (which might be the part that the kids find to be a bit boring) but the best part for us was getting to see the glassmaking demonstrations.
Some of these are held in small theaters where you can watch a craftsman take a glob of hot molten glass and spin it into a bowl or a platter, all while another glass maker explains that process in a way that the kids can understand. Our kids also loved some of the smaller exhibits where you can see a craftsman creating a small glass figurine. And one of the cool things that they do each day is they allow a young guest to draw a picture of an animal on a piece of paper and submit their idea to the museum, and then once a day they select one lucky person's drawing to be created in glass by one of the craftsman at a live demo.
But the best part of our whole day was getting to create blown glass ornaments ourselves! We were paired up with a glassmaker, and we got to choose our colors and then blow though the tube while they were shaping the ornament. Yes there is an additional fee for this, ($29 per) but we will have the keepsakes for forever. We absolutely loved our visit to the Corning Museum of Glass.
Comment from millerk of Corning Museum of Glass - March 11 2013
Thank you for the great review! I'd like to share this link for visiting with a family to give readers a single click to our website for more info. We really appreciate your extensive review and hope we see you again soon for more affordable family fun! -Kerry Miller http://www.cmog.org/visit/families
This museum is quite interesting. The actual museum aspect may not be all that thrilling for younger children but they do have activities to do inside. At Christmas time you can make your own Christmas bulb. They also have a glass blowing show everyday which is fun to watch. The price is also fair because I believe that anyone under 18 is free.
THis museum has so much to offer everyone in the family. There is a lot to see and do. The hot glass demo. is the best. You can get a tour guide which enhances the experience. For extra money you can go next door and make your own glass flower, sun catcher , or a piece of sand blasted glassware.
Although a "glass museum" might not sound like a great activity for small kids, our family really enjoyed it. We visited with our 7 year old girl, 4 year old boy, and 7 month old baby. There is a scavenger hunt available for the kids, which is a plus in any museum. We watched several different glassblowing demonstrations which the kids enjoyed; our shy 4 year old even volunteered at the "glass breaking" demo, and got a little souvenir to take home. We didn't get to do the make-your-own projects; maybe next time. The gift shop is really big with lots of great items to bring home; the kid section is really nice as well. I definitely recommend this spot to anyone traveling through the area - with kids or without!
This is a great place for everyone at least 6 and older. I took my kids and nephew here and they were mostly bored. I was under the impression it was for all ages. Everyone was impressed by the glass blowing demo. The gift shops were nice as was the cafe area. We will do it again in a few years.
My family visited the museum a few months ago. Our favorite parts of the visit were the glass blowing demonstration and the hands on activities across from the museum. We did a variety of activities at the hands on experience. We made picture frames, did sand blasting of drinking glasses and a plate. It was an awesome experience because we got to make our own keepsakes on this trip. The actually museum was nice for adults but younger children 4 and under get bored after a while because they don't really understand a lot about how the glass was made. The food court was awesome and the shops were very nice.
Gaze at 3,500 years of glittering glass, gleaned from the museum’s collection of more than 35,000 priceless objects displayed in the Art and History and the Sculpture Galeries. Glass you can touch, bend, and play with can be found at the glass innovation center, with a variety of interesting interactive tech and manufacturing exhibits. the amazing hot glass show, where artisans craft crystalline creations, is not to be missed! finally, tour the steuban factory, the only place in the world to see steuban glass being melted, molted, cut, polished, and engraved. children can make their own glass products.