By Caroline Hallemann
Updated: January 24, 2017
Nick Sebastian Photography

Anyone who's ever taken a child to a fine art museum knows the nightmare that is a "Please Don't Touch" sign. It's a sentiment not without reason—the institutions want to protect and preserve works for generations to come... but try explaining that to a curious three-year old; frankly, the logic doesn't stick.

Fortunately, New York's Public Art Fund is upending the restrictive convention with a new exhibit in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Please Touch the Art, a park-wide installation by Danish artist Jeppe Hein offers kids (and kids-at-heart) the opportunity to get truly hands-on with its pieces. 

The program features 18 sculptures—each designed for public interaction—in three distinct styles: "Modified Social Benches" are scattered throughout the grounds in shapes and forms intended to facilitate conversation between strangers; "Mirror Labyrinth" is an Instagram-worthy, spiraling maze reflecting the Manhattan skyline; and "Appearing Rooms," offers a constantly changing series of water walls that's the most sophisticated splash fountain in town.

The exhibit will be on view through April 17, 2016 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, though we recommend checking out "Appearing Rooms" in the scorching summer heat to get the full effect. Oh, and don't forget to hashtag #PleaseTouchTheArt.

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James Ewing
James Ewing
James Ewing

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @challemann.