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Tenement Education

GENERAL INFORMATION

PLANNING A VISIT

Where do I buy tickets?
We recommend purchasing tickets in advance through our website or call center at 1-877-975-3786. Tickets are also sold at the Museum Shop and Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis. Wheelchair tickets for Shop Life must be reserved through our call center at 1-877-975-3786.

Are reservations required?
Many of our tours sell out, so reservations are strongly recommended, especially during weekends, holiday seasons, if you have a large group (5 or more), or a tight schedule.

If online tickets are no longer available for a tour, is the tour completely sold out?
Yes, the website lists the number of tickets available for each of our tours. If it states, "Tickets available at the museum on a first-come, first-serve basis" then the tour is only available for sale in the Museum Shop and Visitor Center on the day of the tour.

The tour I want to take is not available until 1pm. Why?
The Museum hosts school and private groups during most morning hours so the widest availability to the general public is during the afternoons.

What should I know before I arrive?
The Tenement Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Unlike many museums, our exhibits are not contained within glass vitrines or surrounded by velvet ropes. Therefore, it is essential for our visitors to help us protect this landmark. We ask all visitors adhere to the following rules for the duration of their visit:

  • Please remain with your educator at all times. In the case of an emergency, your educator will escort you out of the building.
  • Large bags, backpacks, or luggage is not permitted inside 97 Orchard Street. If you have large bags, they can be stored in lockers in the Visitor Center. Please allow enough time to store your bags before the tour.
  • Please do not touch walls, objects, or other areas of the building unless invited to do so by our educators.
  • Photography is not permitted inside 97 Orchard Street. Pictures can be taken outside during our Neighborhood Walking Tours and in our Visitor Center and Museum Shop.
  • Eating, gum-chewing, and drinking are not permitted inside 97 Orchard Street. Bottled water may be consumed during your tour.
  • Cell phones, beepers, and other electronic devices should be turned off prior to the start of your tour.

Is the Museum accessible?
We recognize the diverse needs of our audience and are committed to enabling all visitors to explore the shared American experiences we interpret at the Museum. View a complete list of our accessible programs and services on our accessibility page.

Is the Museum air conditioned?
The Tenement Museum is not completely air-conditioned. The following spaces/programs are air-conditioned: The Museum Shop and Visitor Center, theater, and evening program spaces at 103 Orchard; Meet Victoria Confino; Shop Life; and the indoor version of Foods of the Lower East Side. The other areas of the building are cooled using fans. All visitors are permitted to drink bottled water on their tour to help beat the heat.

Does the Museum have a cafe?
The Museum does not have any eating facilities. Water and select soft drinks are available for sale in our Museum Shop located at 103 Orchard Street and there are water fountains on the lower level. The Lower East Side is also home to a number of excellent restaurants. Please visit our Area Guide for suggestions or pick up a copy at the Visitor Center when you come for your tour.

Can I take pictures in the Museum?
Photography is not allowed in 97 Orchard Street. Members of the press who would like to take photographs or visit the Museum should contact Jon Pace at jpace@tenement.org or 646-795-4747.

Do you have free parking?
The Museum offers two hours of free parking at a nearby lot. For more information, visit the directions page.

CHOOSING A TOUR

Do I have to take a tour?
Yes, the Tenement Museum is accessible by guided tour only. Reservations are recommended for all tours.

Which is the best tour?
Each of our tours talk about different themes, so we recommend choosing a tour that speaks to your personal interests or family history. There is no general tour of the museum, and all tours are great for first time visitors. If you are coming with young children, we recommend the Meet Victoria Confino tour.

What will I experience on a tour?
Building tours visit the recreated homes of former residents who lived in our tenement building. Our Museum Educators will help you to imagine each family's experience at 97 Orchard and place that experience within the context of immigration past and present.

Meet the Residents Tours of 97 Orchard Street visit the recreated homes of former residents, and feature an interaction with costumed interpreters portraying those residents. These tours are recommended for families, and are suitable for all ages.

Neighborhood walking tours explore Lower East Side streets, communities, and institutions. As you walk around the neighborhood, you will learn how it has changed generations of immigrants and how generations of immigrants have shaped what you see today.

Where do tours start and end?
Tours begin and end at the Museum Shop and Visitor Center, located at 103 Orchard Street, on the corner of Delancey Street.

How can I spend the day at the Tenement Museum?
Most tours are between one and two hours long. If you'd like to take more than one tour in a day, we recommend combining a building tour with a neighborhood walking tour. You can contact our call center for assistance at 1-877-975-3786. Additionally, we offer a free documentary film in our Visitor Center about the history of the neighborhood, which is a wonderful complement to all of our tours.

INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES

I want to bring my whole family, including our 4 year old. What's the best tour for us?
Children 5 and under are only allowed on the Meet Victoria Confino program. The Tenement Museum is best suited to children at least 8 years of age, who have a concept of history and are able to compare and contrast. However, we offer a very interactive program, Meet Victoria Confino, which is a great tour for families with younger children.

Please note: strollers are not allowed inside 97 Orchard Street. Alternative carriers may be used.

Your website says that children under 6 can attend a Walking Tour. Is that the best choice for us?
Neighborhood walking tours are a good option for parents who would like to carry their children or bring a stroller along. Please note: the content of the program is designed for adults and older kids. We are more than happy to help you make the best decision about how to visit our museum. Please contact our call center at 1-877-975-3786.

Why does your website list different recommended ages? Our family background is Irish and I'd like to bring my 7 year old on that program.
Our recommendations are based on content, duration of program, and the sophistication of conversation on each program. Our recommendations are our best effort at assuring that all visitors have a great time at the museum. Please contact our call center at 1-877-975-3786 for more information on tour content.

INFORMATION FOR DAYTIME GROUPS

PLANNING A VISIT

Do I have to take a tour?
The Tenement Museum is accessible by guided tour only.

How many people can I bring?
Group visits are for 15 people or more. If your group is smaller than 15, please see our public tour schedule. Depending on the number of people in your group and program availability, your group may be split on different programs. Please visit our group reservations page for more information on program capacities.

Where do I check in?
All groups check in at the Museum Shop and Visitor Center at 103 Orchard Street, at the corner of Delancey Street.

Which tour should I take?
We recommend choosing a tour based on the themes that best fit your group's interests. If your group includes small children, we recommend the Meet Victoria Confino Tour. Please note: children 5 and under are not permitted on tours of 97 Orchard except on Meet Victoria Confino.

How long are the tours?
The length of your program depends on the tour(s) you choose and your group size. Most programs last one to two hours.

What if I'm running late on the day of my tour? Whom should I call?
If you are running late on the day of your tour, please call the Museum Visitor Center and shop at 212-982-8420 and select option 8.

Please be aware that we are unable to extend or reschedule your tour in the event that you are running late. If your group arrives 30 minutes late or more your tour will be cancelled. The Museum cannot issue refunds to groups whose tours are cancelled due to lateness.

Can my group visit the Museum Shop?
The Museum Shop and Visitor Center cannot accommodate large groups. If your group would like to visit the Museum Shop, please split into smaller groups of ten people or fewer and be prepared to take turns going inside. If you are a school group, students will need a chaperone with them if they choose to visit the Shop. A visit to the Museum Shop is not included in your tour programming.

Does the Museum have lunch facilities?
The Tenement Museum does not have any eating facilities available to groups. If you are planning on bringing your own food, nearby Seward Park provides benches and plenty of space for groups to spread out and eat. Seward Park is located five blocks southeast from the Museum at Hester & Essex streets.

The Lower East Side is also home to a number of excellent restaurants. Visit our Area Guide for suggestions.

Are there restrooms available?
Restrooms are available in the lower level of our Museum Shop and Visitor Center. If possible, please have your group use the restroom prior to your arrival at the Museum.

Are tours offered in languages other than English?
All group tours of the Tenement Museum are given in English. In some cases, the Museum may be able to provide a foreign language tour to your group. Written guides are also available for some tours in French, Italian, and Spanish. If your group speaks a language other than English, please contact a Reservations Representative to discuss your options.

BOOKING A GROUP

How do I make a reservation?
Groups interested in booking a reservation can use our online request form, email groups@tenement.org, fax their request to 212-388-0297, or call our Reservations Associate at 646-795-4748.

When can my group visit?
The Museum is open to private groups seven days a week. Please note: group visits are only scheduled at certain times during the day. Please refer to group reservations page for more information.

I don't know my exact numbers yet. What happens if my group size changes?
Please book your tour once you have a good estimate of your group size. We will attempt to make adjustments if you notify us of changes ahead of time. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate more people than anticipated. Certain minimum payments may apply.

My group doesn't have a lot of money. Are free tours available?
Group rates are greatly discounted from regular admissions. Due to the generosity of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Tenement Museum is pleased to offer a limited number of free tickets to New York City Title I Public Schools. To apply to be a part of our Good Neighbor program, you must first schedule a private group tour, then complete and return the application. If your group is especially in need, please discuss your situation with the Reservations Associate.

What is your vendor number?
Due to our small size, the Museum does not have a Vendor Number. For payment purposes, use our Federal Tax ID number, which can be provided upon request.

How much does a Private Group tour cost?
The Tenement Museum offers tours at a reduced rate to visiting groups. Please see group reservations page for more information.

I need to cancel my visit. Can I have a refund?
If you contact us more than 4 weeks in advance, we will give a full refund of any money paid. If you contact us less than 4 weeks before your tour, we cannot offer a refund.

What is your payment policy?
The Tenement Museum requires a 50% deposit payment within four weeks of making your reservation. The remaining balance is due on the day of your program.

The deposit is refundable up to 4 weeks prior to the reserved date. Only one rescheduling request can be made per group. Should the NYC Department of Education Chancellor cancel field trips due to weather, staffing strikes or other extenuating circumstances less than 4 weeks prior to your program, your deposit will be applied towards another date that school year. All programs, including walking tours, will occur rain or shine, sleet or snow.

If you make a reservation less than four weeks prior to your scheduled program date, your 50% deposit will be due immediately.

Your program will be cancelled due to a late deposit.

Money orders, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express are accepted. Checks are also accepted. Please do not send cash.

Do you have bus parking?
The Tenement Museum does not have a parking lot. Free bus parking is available by reservation through the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (BID). Email reservations@lowereastsideny.com at least 14 days prior to your visit. Include your name, your group's name, date and time of arrival, phone number and the size of your bus. You should receive a confirmation e-mail if parking is available. All buses must check in at the attendant's booth located on Broome St. between Norfolk St. and Suffolk St.

I sent an email for free bus parking, but haven't heard anything. Is our reservation confirmed?
The free bus lot is owned and operated by the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, which is not affiliated with the museum. We are not able to confirm parking reservations.

ESOL PROGRAMS

When can my class participate in a Shared Journeys program?
Adult Shared Journeys programs are available at 9:00am and 6:00pm and are 2 hours in length. High School Shared Journeys programs are available during the day and are 90 minutes in length. Please contact our Reservations Associate for further scheduling information. This program is not available for elementary, middle or junior high school students.

What if my group speaks a language other than English, but is not an ESOL group?
Groups who speak languages other than English may go on a regular tour, at cost, with an educator who will be attentive to their needs. We can only accommodate such requests if they are received at least 4 weeks in advance and pending the availability of an educator.

SCHOOL GROUPS

Which program is best suited for my students?
Our skilled educators are trained to support students of all ages and abilities and will adapt our programs to meet the unique needs of your students. Please see our group reservations page for more information on programs and grade levels.

What can I expect my students will see during their visit?
Meet the Residents, Tour the Building, and ESOL programs visit our landmark tenement at 97 Orchard Street. Programs are centered on a theme related to immigration and include a visit to a restored apartment and a classroom space. Please note that each of these tours visit different restored apartments and no tour encompasses the entire building. Neighborhood walking tours take place in our Lower East side neighborhood and do not enter 97 Orchard Street.

How can I prepare my students for our visit?
Visit our website for activities, digital games, and lesson plans to support your visit to the Museum. Our lesson plans turn your students into historians and focus on three categories: historical objects, primary sources, and oral history. While all of the lessons relate to the learning that will happen at the Museum, certain lesson plans use content directly connected to particulars tour. Below is a chart detailing those connections:

Lesson Category Grade Level Tour Content Connection
Historical Objects 1-3 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
4-5 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
6-8 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
9-12 All; With content directly connected to Hard Times
Primary Sources 1-3 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
4-5 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
6-8 All; With content directly connected to Meet Victoria
9-12 All
Oral History 1-3 All; With content directly connected to Hard Times
4-5 All
6-8 All
9-12 All; With content directly connected to Sweatshop Workers

What should I know before I arrive?
Be prepared to divide your class into groups of no larger than 14 students and 1 chaperone. Small groups allow us to offer hands-on, student-centered learning experiences. In addition, the nature and size of our exhibits make it impossible to exceed a maximum capacity of 15 persons in a space at a time. Students will all visit the same spaces during their program, but be aware that they will do so in an alternate order, so teachers and chaperones cannot go back and forth between the groups.

Can I bring students with special needs?
The museum supports students of all needs and abilities. Please describe any special consideration that would best prepare us for working with your students (learning styles, physical needs, cognitive and sensory challenges) when making your reservation. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to support your students' unique needs.

Please note that only our Shop Life tour is wheelchair accessible inside the historic tenement building. The tenement building does not have an elevator — all visitors must climb at least one flight of stairs to enter the tenement. If anyone in your group has mobility impairments, please notify the Group Services Department so we can make appropriate arrangements. We would be happy to provide any member of your group with a Virtual Tour in a classroom space.

My question isn't answered here. How can I find out more?
Please call us at 877-975-3786 or email groups@tenement.org.

INFORMATION FOR EVENING GROUPS

PLANNING A VISIT

What is the difference between Evening and Daytime groups?
An Evening group is any group that begins their program at or after 6pm. Evening groups can take private tours of the tenement building and take advantage of programs that are not offered during the day. Because these programs occur after museum hours, evening group bookings have different rates and guidelines than our daytime group programs.

Groups interested in visiting the museum before 6pm should contact a Reservations Associate at groups@tenement.org for more information.

What tours are offered in the evening?
Evening groups can reserve the same programs that are offered during the day, with the exception of select neighborhood walking tours. Outside the Home and Then and Now walking tours are available in the evenings in April — October only.

Groups can also take advantage of programs that are exclusively offered at night such as, Exploring 97 Orchard Street, Tastings at the Tenement, Tenement Inspectors, Live! at the Tenement, and Meet Victoria Confino. See our website for more information.

How long do tours last?
Tours last between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the tour, and Tours and Hors d'Oeuvres can last up to 4 hours.

How many people can I have on these groups?
Different programs require different minimums for booking. Please see the chart below for minimums and maximums for our different programs.

Program Minimum Maximum
Building Tours 15 (weekdays); 45(weekends) None
Walking Tours 15 (weekdays); 45(weekends) None
Live! at the Tenement 15 45
Meet Victoria Confino 15 (weekdays); program not offered on weekends 15 (weekdays); program not offered on weekends
Tasting at the Tenement 15 45
Tours and Hors d'Oeuvres 15 120

Because of capacity limitations, groups larger than 15 people will be divided into smaller groups for the museum tour.

BOOKING A GROUP

How long in advance do I need to schedule my event?
Groups should contact the Museum at least one month in advance for a Tastings at the Tenement or Tours and Hors d' Oeuvres package, and at least 3 weeks in advance for other private group tours. Evening groups can schedule up to a year in advance.

When and how do I pay?
Once a group has reserved a date, a 50% deposit will be due 4 weeks after the initial date of booking, with the remaining 50% due 2 weeks before the date of the event. If a group books less than 8 weeks in advance, the 50% deposit is due one week after the booking confirmation, with the remaining 50% due 2 weeks before the date of the event.

All programs may be cancelled due to late payment.

What happens if I have to cancel my event?
If a cancellation occurs less than 4 weeks before the scheduled date of the program, the group will not be refunded their deposit. If a cancellation occurs less than 2 weeks before the scheduled date, no refund will be issued.

In the case of inclement weather, staffing strikes or other extenuating circumstances necessitating cancellation less than 2 weeks prior to your program your payment will be fully refunded. Please note that all programs, including walking tours, will occur rain or shine, sleet or snow.

PLANNING AN EVENT

What kinds of special events do you offer at the Museum?
Our Tours and Hors d' Oeuvres package allows for larger groups (up to 120), and includes a private group tour followed by a reception featuring local neighborhood foods.

Can I see the space before my event?
Groups interested in booking a Tours and Hors d' Oeuvres package should contact Alana Rosen or Elizabeth Tietjen to schedule a tour and space walkthrough.

Can I bring in my own food/caterer?
Groups are welcome to use their own caterer. Please contact Alana Rosen or Elizabeth Tietjen to discuss the Museum's outside food policies.

Do you offer Kosher or gluten free foods?
Special food requests may be made due to dietary restrictions for the Tours & Hors d' Oeuvres package. For the Tastings at the Tenement program, substitutions are limited, but guests can request a vegetarian option at least two weeks in advance. We must know how many guests require this option. Please contact Alana Rosen or Elizabeth Tietjen for more information on the options available.

Are these events wheelchair accessible?
The food portions of Tastings at the Tenement and Tours and Hors d' Oeuvres programs are held in the Museum's Visitors Center, which is accessible by elevator. The only tour of our historic tenement building that is accessible to those with mobility issues is Shop Life. Those with mobility issues can be assigned to this tour, or programs can be slightly modified so that all guests can be accommodated.

Please contact Alana Rosen or Elizabeth Tietjen for specific needs.

How do I book an Evening Event?
Please contact Alana Rosen, Evening Events Manager, at arosen@tenement.org or (646) 795-4743 or Elizabeth Tietjen, Evening Events Associate, at etietjen@tenement.org or (646) 795-4744 to reserve a date for your evening program.

My question isn't answered here. How can I find out more?
Please call us at 877-975-3786 for more information.