School Tours are 90 minutes long with a hands-on component. The cost is $125 for a maximum of 35 children and 5 adults. All groups are required to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit by credit card at the time of confirmation. 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 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

City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection

60 Minute Guided Tour for Grades 4-12
During a gallery tour of the City As Canvas exhibition, students will view highlights from the Museum's rich collection of 1970s and 80s graffiti art in New York. By analyzing the drawings, paintings, photographs and blackbooks collected by Martin Wong, students will learn about New York City artists known as "writers", like Keith Haring, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, and Daze, and the historical context in which their work was created. Students will be able to elaborate on the multiple perspectives surrounding street art, discuss the various styles represented, and will respond creatively to the pieces by drafting their own sketches.

Taking a Stand: History of Social Activism in New York

Discover how New Yorkers have stood up for what they believe in and fought for change over the past 350 years. Students will explore the Activist New York exhibition, which is full of photographs, buttons, pamphlets, signs, and banners, to learn about a variety of topics, including abolition, suffrage, immigration, civil rights, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to create a badge championing a change they want to make that addresses an issue facing New Yorkers today.

Amazing Arches: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces (opening March 2014)

for Grades 4-7

From Ellis Island’s Registry Hall to Grand Central Station, Rafael Guastavino, Sr., and Rafael Guastavino, Jr., created vaulted ceilings and archways seen in many civic and public buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century. Students will learn about the Guastavinos’ extraordinary designs and techniques, which combine engineering strength and architectural beauty. During the program, students will construct an arch to understand the importance of the structure and how it transfers weight in buildings and bridges throughout New York City.

Program materials for Amazing Arches: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces are provided by The Members of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union Local 1-NY.

Who Is New York? Mapping Immigration Then and Now for Grades 4-8

New York became the quintessential immigrant city in the early 20th century, but today even more immigrants live here than a hundred years ago – the largest number in the city’s history. Following a viewing of Timescapes, a 22-minute multimedia documentary on the city’s history, students will use the history of early 20th-century mass immigration as a springboard to discuss immigration today, examining maps, charts, and census data to learn where immigrant groups come from and where they settle. Students will leave knowing more about how immigration has impacted each of the city’s boroughs and how the city’s character has been shaped by diversity and transformation over time.

Picturing New York City History: Highlights of the Museum

60 Minute Guided Exploration for Grades 2–12

Experience the art and artifacts displayed in the Museum’s latest exhibitions. The interactive tours will be arranged according to grade level with opportunities for students to sketch or write their reflections during the experience. Teachers should specify if they wish to include a viewing of Timescapes.

Upcoming temporary exhibitions at the City Museum include: Picturing Central Park: Paintings by Janet Ruttenberg (opening September 2013), I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (opening October 2013), Gilded New York (opening November 2013), City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection (opening February 2014), and Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces (opening March 2014). Click here to learn more about our upcoming exhibitions.

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.

Upcoming temporary exhibitions at the City Museum include: Picturing Central Park: Paintings by Janet Ruttenberg (opening September 2013), I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (opening October 2013), Gilded New York (opening November 2013), City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection (opening February 2014), and Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces (opening March 2014). 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 $125 for a maximum of 35 children and 5 adults. Schools from School District 4 receive a fee waiver. All groups are required to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit by credit card at the time of confirmation.

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 schoolprograms@mcny.org. 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.