Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Avenue (at 103rd Street)
East 103rd Street station (6 train)
Why not learn firsthand about the city's history while you visit New York? This is one of two museums (along with the museum of the New-York Historical Society) devoted to the history of the city it calls home. With an enormous wealth of materials of all types, this is perhaps the more fun of the two galleries paying homage to New York City.
Set in a massive mansion looking out on the northern portion of Central Park, the Museum of the City of New York offers provocative special exhibitions along with a wide range of permanent exhibits celebrating different aspects of the city. It's a good idea to choose your favorites, as you'll never get to all of it in one day.
Major exhibits found in the vast museum include the prints and photography collection. The thousands of photographs, plus the largest known collection of Currier & Ives lithographs, trace the history of New York City. An ongoing multimedia presentation,
You don't have to be a theater aficionado to appreciate the stunning collection celebrating the Great White Way, Broadway, and American theater. Costumes and memorabilia, set designs, posters, paintings, and photographs recount the legends of the Broadway stage as well as Yiddish theater, which thrived in New York in the early twentieth century.
To save money, take advantage of the many free, suggested donation, and pay-what-you-wish deals offered by museums. Some are open-ended, and some are only for a few hours at some point during the week. This is wonderful if you have kids who can't handle more than that. Access a long list of deals at
A decorative arts collection includes precious metals and other rare items. The highlight is a look at New York's domestic interiors with furniture from 1790 through 1890.
The New York Toy Stories exhibit is a tribute to toys of the children of the city, dating back to the 1800s. Cast-iron toys, wooden soldiers, mechanical toys, rare dolls, boats, and renowned dollhouses are on display in this unique exhibit that all ages can enjoy.
The museum shop sells items relating to the exhibits and to the city of New York, including books, videos, and toys (not the ones on display, but some good reproductions). You can buy New York City photo reproductions or reproductions of Currier & Ives prints that provide a nice reminder of your trip (even better than postcards). There is no restaurant in the museum and few choices in the surrounding blocks, so eat before or after your visit.Hours and Fees
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday (and holiday Mondays) from 10