Engage, inform, and activate—these are 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 we’ve encountered, the innovations we’ve created, the unique contemporary issues we face as New Yorkers, and the complexity of how the decisions we make today impact our city’s future.
Each field trip is a unique experience, driven by student inquiry, dialogue, and hands-on activities.
Booking a Program: Advance reservations are required. To request a reservation, complete the Field Trip Request Form.
School Year Field Trip Request Form
- Step 1: Review field trip offerings below and have your information ready
- Step 2: Fill out the Field Trip Request Form above
- Step 3: After you receive an email from the Museum’s scheduling team with available dates and times, respond to complete your reservation
- Step 4: Check your final confirmation letter and share the trip itinerary and responsibilities with your chaperones
Times: Programs are available Monday through Friday beginning at 10:00 am.
- Gallery programs provide 60-minute interactive tours in the Museum's exhibitions.
- History Labs provide 75-minute hands-on experiences in the Museum's classrooms that are specially designed for elementary school students.
Cost: Programs are $175 for a maximum of 35 children and 6 adults.
The Museum of the City of New York is a New York City Department of Education vendor (vendor number MUS015).
Programs: Our field trips are for grades K-12 and 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.
The Making of New York: From Mannahatta to the Five-Borough City, 1609–1898
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 stories about New Yorkers who shaped the city over the centuries.
Change Over Time in New York
Travel back in time to see New York through the centuries! Experience our immersive streetscapes wall with larger-than-life images of the five boroughs then and now. See artifacts ranging from archaeological findings from 400 years ago to original models of the Statue of Liberty.
City of Innovation: Art, Culture, and Invention in New York, 1898–2012
From record-breaking immigration to the Harlem Renaissance to Hip Hop, discover transformational moments when New Yorkers responded to adversity with creativity.
Communities, Skyscrapers, and Transportation
From skyscrapers to the development of the subway, see the major elements of the city– its buildings, transportation, and people! Through investigating artifacts from the past 100 years, students will explore challenges and innovations that have shaped the city’s communities.
Future City Lab
Experiment, debate, and PLAY in the Future City Lab! In alignment with STEM curricular goals, students will use sensory objects and digital games to design waterfront parks, streets, and apartment buildings. Stepping into the role of planners, they will respond to housing, transportation, and environmental challenges, and discover 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
Discover 350 years of social activism in New York and discuss topics such as immigration, civil rights, trans activism, the Young Lords and health activism, and the Movement for Black Lives. Participants will create a button championing the change they want to make.
For a list of episodes, objects, activists, and lesson plans visit http://activistnewyork.mcny.org/
Urban Indian: Native New York Now (offered beginning November 3)
Examine the impact that Native American people have had on New York City over the past 30 years and explore the shared meaning of being a Native person living in New York today through artwork, photographs and community memorabilia. Create art inspired by the work of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith investigating identity, geography, and pop culture.
Special Tour: Native Presence in New York (offered at 1pm or later Monday-Friday beginning November 3)
Originally Lenapehoking, the land of the Lenape, New York has been home to Native American people for thousands of years. This tour explores aspects of Native presence in New York from the original Lenape inhabitants, to the 20th century Mohawk community of Little Caughnawaga, to contemporary art by Native American New Yorkers in our exhibitions New York at Its Core and Urban Indian: Native New York Now.
Special Exhibitions Tour: Highlights
See more of the Museum by visiting two or three current exhibitions on topics that are distinctly New York and interpret how the city has been a site for inspiration. Tours may include any of the following exhibitions, based on availability:
- Cultivating Culture (opens October 18, 2019)
- Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers (opens November 22, 2019)
- City/Game: Basketball in New York (opens February 14, 2020)
Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers
(offered beginning December 3)
Explore the intersection of art and data as students learn the importance of the U.S. Census and discuss debates around the impact of data on our lives.
City/Game: Basketball in New York (offered beginning February 20)
From more than 1,800 public courts to high schools, colleges, streetball tournaments, and NBA teams, New York has long been a mecca for basketball. Explore the social geography of the game and the stories of players and coaches who invented a distinct style—and legacy—of basketball in the city.
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.
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 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 six chaperones may accompany each class.
The Museum does not have facilities for students to eat lunch, so please plan accordingly.
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