School Tours are 90 minutes long with a hands-on component. The cost is $175 for a maximum of 35 children and 5 adults. Schools from School District 4 receive a fee waiver. The Museum of the City of New York is a New York City Department of Education vendor (vendor number MUS015).

School programs support the following Common Core Standards:
SL.4.3. – have opportunity to explain events/concepts in a historical text based on information in the text
SL.5.1 – engage in collaborative discussions with the educator and with each other
SL.5.1c – participate in discussions by asking and answering specific content related questions
SL.5.2. – summarize information presented visually

Hip Hop Revolution For Grades 2-12

60 minutes
Participants will learn about the origins and evolution of hip hop in New York City during a gallery tour of this exciting exhibition. Students will view the work of 3 photographers who documented artists and innovators such as DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and the Rock Steady Crew, who shaped hip hop as a cultural movement that brought together DJing, MCing, B-Boying, and Graffiti Writing. At the end of the tour, students will create their own Mash-Up collage, drawing from a portrait of one of their favorite artists in the exhibition.

Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half For Grades 2-12

60 minutes
Learn about Riis as a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer and his influence at the turn of the 20th century while exploring the exhibition. During the tour, students will analyze his photographs and prose, and write a short editorial making connections between Riis’s photographs and concurrent housing legislation.

Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival For Grades 2-12

60 minutes
Learn about musicians such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta who wrote and performed folk songs that became the anthems of the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and ‘60s. Students will then write song lyrics drawing from musical traditions featured in the exhibition.

Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy For Grades 4 - 12

60 minutes
Trace over a century of affordable housing and the ways reformers, policy makers, and activists have fought to transform their city. Participants will complete a scavenger hunt in the exhibition to create a visual timeline documenting the diversity of New York City’s subsidized housing and its long history of creating below-market housing for its residents.

Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks For Grades 2 - 12

60 minutes
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Preservation Law that empowered the city to designate and protect individual buildings and historic districts that have architectural, historical, or cultural significance. Students will learn about important sites throughout the five boroughs such as Grand Central, Wyckoff House, and Weeksville, and will create a flyer advocating to landmark a site in their neighborhood.

Taking a Stand: History of Social Activism in New York For Grades 2 - 12

90 minutes
Discover how New Yorkers have fought for freedom and equality over the past 350 years. Students will explore photographs, artifacts, and more in the Activist New York exhibition and then create a button championing a change they want to make.

Capturing the City Through the Camera For Grades 5 - 8

Two hours
Participants will examine the works of renowned New York City photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Jacob Riis, Samuel Gottscho, Bruce Davidson, and Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao—all of whom have captured city life on camera. Students will use of digital cameras provided by the Museum to undertake a photographic study of Central Park exploring the park’s rich history and role as an urban sanctuary.

Picturing New York City History: Highlights of the Museum

60 minutes
Learn about New York City’s rich history through the Museum’s current exhibitions. According to grade level, students will sketch or write their reflections during the interactive tour. Teachers should specify if they wish to include a viewing of Timescapes, the 22-minute multimedia documentary on the history of New York City.

Upcoming special exhibitions include: Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival, Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks, Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy (opening September 2015), Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s “Other Half” (opening October 2015), The Great Race: New York’s Marathon (opening October 2015), New York’s Yiddish Theater: An American Story (opening March 2016).

History Lab Programs

These programs take place in the Museum classrooms and involve hands-on activities around core themes in NYC history. Teachers may request a 20-minute addition to any program listed below. During this additional time, students will be led through a Museum exhibition on view.


New York became the quintessential immigrant city in the early 20th century, but today more immigrants live here than at any time in the city's history. Following a viewing of Timescapes, a 22-minute multimedia documentary on the city’s history, students will discuss immigration today. The group will use maps and census data provided by the Department of City Planning to chart migration patterns by connecting countries of origin on a world map to distinctively ethnic neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

Offsite Program for Brooklyn Schools

Become an Archaeologist:
Exploring 19th Century Brooklyn Through Artifacts for Grades 1-7

Touch, see, and smell history through real artifacts from the past! Participants will explore objects found in an archeological dig on Ten Eyck Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as they learn about the development of the borough during the mid-late 19th century. By handling ceramics, embossed glass medicine bottles, grooming objects and children’s toys, and analyzing photographs and census data, students will make discoveries about daily life in Brooklyn as it developed into the nation’s third largest city.
Artifact kits were created by the New York City Department of Education Bronx Teaching American History Program. The Museum is also grateful to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the use of these objects.

Self-guided Visits

Teachers may choose to bring their students to the Museum on their own, without being led by a Museum educator. When making a reservation for a self-guided visit, teachers will be asked to decide which exhibitions they are interested in visiting and if they wish to view Timescapes, an engrossing 22-minute multimedia experience that traces the growth of New York City from a settlement of a few hundred Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans to its present status as one of the world’s great cities. Visits typically take 60 to 90 minutes and groups larger than 35 must be separated into smaller groups, each escorted by an adult chaperone.

Click here to learn more about our upcoming exhibitions.

Preparing for Your Visit

School tours are content-rich, hands-on experiences that support the New York State social studies standards and align with the Common Core Standards. Students explore primary sources through inquiry-based discussion and activities facilitated by museum educators. All tours can be modified for groups with special needs.

School Tours are 90 minutes long with a hands-on component. The cost is $175 for a maximum of 35 children and 5 adults. Schools from School District 4 receive a fee waiver.

School tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 am, 12:30 pm, or during afterschool hours from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the visit. Payment must be received at least one week prior to the visit. Tours will be shortened for late arrivals. Please arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before the scheduled visit. One chaperone must accompany every group of 10 students; a maximum of five chaperones may accompany each class.

Request a Reservation

Please note that submitting a request for a visit is not a confirmation of your reservation.

  • Send an email to You will receive an automated response asking for you to complete your request.
  • We require scheduling at least two weeks in advance.
  • Payment is required at least one week in advance.
  • Requests will processed in the order received.
  • You will receive a confirmation letter by email once the visit is scheduled.
  • Your email address will be added to our e-newsletter.