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Field Trips

Engage, inform, and activate—this is at the heart of all school programs at the Museum of the City of New York! For over a decade, the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Education Center has facilitated programs for hundreds of thousands of children and adults to teach them about our city: the challenges and solutions we’ve encountered, the unique contemporary issues we face as New Yorkers, and the complexity of how the decisions we make today impact our city’s future.

Booking a program: The Museum of the City of New York is a New York City Department of Education vendor (vendor number MUS015). These interactive programs are available all day, but must be scheduled by emailing schoolprograms@mcny.org.

Times: Programs are available Monday through Friday beginning at 10:00 am. 

Cost: Programs are $175 for a maximum of 35 children and 6 adults.

With generous support from the Gray Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, underserved Title I public and charter schools in all five boroughs will have their field trip fee waived.

There is limited availability for waivers—first come, first served. Maximum of three program fee waivers may be used per booking request. Groups using waivers that cannot make their visit must cancel by email at least two weeks before the scheduled time or they will not be able to reschedule. Groups with more than one cancellation will eliminate the use of the fee waiver for the entire school. 

All students will receive free family admission passes to return to the Museum.

Programs: Gallery programs provide 60-minute interactive tours in the Museum’s exhibitions. History Labs are 75-minute programs that provide content-rich, hands-on experiences in the Museum’s classrooms that are specially designed for elementary school students. Programs can be modified for groups of all needs and abilities.


    New York at Its Core Field Trips

    New York at Its Core traces the history of New York City and looks ahead to its future. Choose one of the following three galleries for a 60-minute program for grades K–12, with the option to book multi-session visits.

    Advance reservations are required and must be made by emailing schoolprograms@mcny.org.

    The Making of New York: From Mannahatta to the Five-Borough City
    Gallery: Port City, 1609–1898

    Students will discover and interpret original artifacts including a Lenape ceremonial club, archaeological findings from New Amsterdam, and original models of the Statue of Liberty that tell New York stories about the people who shaped the city over the centuries.

    What Makes New York New York? People, Technology, and Culture 
    Gallery: World City, 1898–2012

    From heirlooms brought by immigrants to the shovel that broke ground for the first subway, one-of-a-kind objects capture transformational moments in New York, including record-breaking immigration at the turn of the century, the Harlem Renaissance, and the city’s response to the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. Through investigating objects that tell rich stories, students will discover the creativity and resiliency of New Yorkers as they met the challenges of the 20th century.

    Future City Lab

    Experiment, debate, and play in the Future City Lab! In alignment with STEM curriculum goals, students will use tactile objects and interactive digital games to step into the role of planner to respond to the real-world challenges such as housing, transportation, and environmental challenges in New York. By designing waterfront parks, streets, and apartment buildings, students will discover first-hand the trade-offs required to balance costs with community and environmental needs as they create their future visions of New York.

    Additional Gallery Programs

    Activist New York

    60-minute program for Grades 2–12

    Engage your students in New York’s long history of social activism spanning 350 years.  Inspired by original artifacts and visuals, students will debate and discuss topics ranging from immigration to Civil Rights, LGBTQ activism, and the current Movement for Black Lives, and will participate in the tradition of activism by creating a button championing the change they would like to make.

    For a list of episodes, objects, activists, and lesson plans, visit http://activistnewyork.mcny.org/

    Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis 

    60-minute program for Grades K–12

    Sign up for a unique interdisciplinary investigation bringing science and history together. Students will explore how New Yorkers’ response to infectious disease has changed the city over centuries. This unique experience will reveal how medical professionals, urban planners, and activists have worked to combat germs, from early contagions such as cholera and smallpox to HIV and Ebola.

    Interior Lives: Contemporary Photographs of Chinese New Yorkers 

    60-minute program for Grades 2–12

    Interior Lives features the work of three photographers, Thomas Holton, Annie Ling, and An Rong Xu who have documented their Chinese-American subjects’ search for belonging, home, and community in New York. Through interactive discussion, students will explore how these photographers captured moments of family, migration, and home.

    A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman's New York

    60-minute program for Grades K–2

    Join us for a hands-on, interactive program that brings to life the adventures of Corduroy and friends while exploring the sights and sounds of New York City through storytelling and the illustrations of Don Freeman.

    Special Exhibitions Tour: Highlights

    60-minute program for Grades K–12

    See more of the Museum by visiting two or three current exhibitions on topics that are distinctly New York. Tours may include:

    History Lab Programs in the Museum’s Classrooms

    History Labs are 75-minute programs that provide content-rich, hands-on experiences in the Museum’s classroom spaces that are specially designed for elementary school students.

    The Grid: Urban Planning in New York City

    75-minute program for grades K–5. Can be adapted for Pre-K: 45- 60 minutes

    Participants will learn about the origins and evolution of Manhattan’s street grid system and how it changed over time. The group will construct a model neighborhood that conforms to this more-than-200-year-old plan using contemporary zoning and land use regulations.

    Mannahatta: The Lenape and the Land

    75-minute program for grades 1–5
    Explore the relationship between the Lenape and their surrounding landscape using maps, images, and objects from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Welikia Project.

    The Life in New Amsterdam program will be offered as a special drop-in activity on select dates. Please email schoolprograms@mcny.org to learn more.


    Preparing For Your Visit

    Bring the Museum into your classroom! Educator Resources and Pre- and Post-Visit Lesson Plans to extend the conversations from the field trip into the classroom are available online:

    Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks 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.

    School programs support the following Common Core Standards:
    SL.4.3. – have the opportunity to explain events or 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 

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