School Tours are 90 minutes long with a hands-on component. The cost is $175 for a maximum of 35 children and 5 adults. 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

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.

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: Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700 – 1860, New York’s Yiddish Theater: An American Story (opening March 2016), Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs (opens April 2016).

Paintings by DAZE: The City Is My Muse (April 25 – June 19) Grades K – 12

60 minutes
By exploring paintings, photographs and ephemera in this gallery tour of Chris Daze Ellis: The City is My Muse, students will learn about the trajectory of Chris “Daze” Ellis’s career from street writing to a professional studio practice. They will analyze his paintings and discuss how DAZE drew inspiration from New York City scenes, spaces, culture, and memories. Participants will examine DAZE’s technique, and either touch and feel the different materials in his paintings or create their own layered drawings that capture a memorable experience that they had in New York.

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.
Fee: $200.00

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.

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.

School tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 am, 12:00 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.