Opened in 1973 and relocated to the Upper West Side in 1989, the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is a place of discovery and delight. CMOM aims to inspire children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through a unique environment of interactive exhibitions and programs.

CMOM is committed to making its exhibits and programs available to all, and with nearly 50 sites around New York City, it reaches thousands of families who might not otherwise be able to benefit from its services. CMOM’s four priority areas are: early childhood education to prepare children to enter Kindergarten; creativity in the arts and sciences to inspire creative and analytical thinking skills for lifelong learning; healthy lifestyles programs to provide a blueprint for a family's physical, emotional and environmental well being; and the exploration of world cultures. These priorities are met through exhibitions, classes, workshops, performances and museum-sponsored festivals.

CMOM’s programs and exhibits are designed to address the multiple ways children learn and to help parents understand and support their children’s development. Highlights include the PlayWorks™ floor for preschoolers; the exhibition Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece, designed as an introduction to art, science and literature; and the Healthy Living programming produced with health care providers to encourage good nutrition and daily exercise. Professional Development training is offered to early childhood and school educators as a means to broaden CMOM’s influence in reaching children and their families effectively.

Every week more than 80 workshops, classes and performances are offered free with admission to the museum, deepening the CMOM experience with related literacy-based activities, diverse cultural experiences and the performing arts. Every CMOM program is based on research, evaluation and testing.


Throughout the year, 75-minute art and music classes for children ages 1 ½ to 3 years are offered, giving parents and caregivers an opportunity to join youngsters as they explore paint, collage, sand, water and clay. Movement, singing and playing rhythm instruments reinforce language and body awareness. Drop-in programs availabe for children four years and younger. Sign-up workshops available for five years and older.


Working with strategic partners, such as CUNY, the United Way of New York City and the Administration for Children’s Services and public libraries, CMOM provides training to childcare providers, nurse practitioners, Head Start employees and others in early childhood education, healthy lifestyles and art-based learning.

Museum Visits: Exhibit-based, curriculum-related programs focus on a topic chosen by the teacher. Choices include media and communication; literacy and reading; the arts; and the environment. Each visit includes a creative art or media workshop at the museum, a guided tour of an exhibit or activity center led by a museum educator, and free museum passes for participating students to return with their families. Duration: one hour (Pre-Kindergarten through grade 1); 90 minutes (grades 2 through 9).

Museum and Classroom Visit:
This two-session program combines a museum visit (see above) and a 90-minute visit to the school classroom by a museum educator. Projects based on the museum visit are created in the classroom. Suitable for children in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 7.

Arts Festival:
Guided tours and hands-on activities allow students from six or more school classes to visit the museum and enjoy a day of creativity and fun. For grades 1 through 5; 21/2 hours long.

Outreach Programs:
These are multi-session museum-and-school-based visits led by museum staff and artists. Curriculum-related classes are designed by the museum staff and the classroom teacher. Programs include Museum Educators-in-Schools, multi-sessions in which students design their own museum exhibition; and Intergenerational Program, multi-sessions in which students work with senior citizens to create a visual, performing or media arts project. For most grade levels, 90 minutes per session.