Below are frequently asked questions for individuals visiting the Tenement Museum. If you are a group, hosting a private event at the Tenement Museum, or visiting the Museum with small children, please visit the following links for FAQs:
Planning A Visit
We recommend purchasing tickets in advance through our website or call center (Open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Saturday) at 1-877-975-3786. Tickets are also sold at the Museum Shop and Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis. Tickets for visitors using a wheelchair or walker must be reserved through our call center at 1-877-975-3786.
Many of our tours sell out, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended, especially during weekends and holiday seasons, if you are visiting with a group of 5 or more, or you are on a tight schedule.
Yes. The website lists the number of tickets available for each tour. If it states “Tickets available at the museum on a first-come, first-serve basis” then the tour is only available for sale onsite in the Museum Shop and Visitor Center on the day of the tour.
The Museum hosts school and private groups during most morning hours so the widest availability to the general public is during the afternoons.
The Tenement Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Unlike many museums, our exhibits are not contained within glass vitrines or surrounded by velvet ropes. Please help us preserve this landmark by adhering to the following rules for the duration of a visit:
- Please stay with your educator at all times. In the case of an emergency, your educator call for a staff member to escort you out of the building.
- Large bags, backpacks, or luggage are 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 or 103 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 or 103 Orchard Street. Bottled water may be consumed during your tour.
- Cell phones, and other electronic devices should be turned to silent prior to the start of your tour.
- Infants, babies, and children under the age of 6 are not permitted on most of our tours. See recommendations for families for more information.
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.
The Tenement Museum is partially air-conditioned. The following spaces/programs are air-conditioned: The Victoria Confino tour; Shop Life tour; Under One Roof, and the Tastings at the Tenement experience; The Museum Shop and Visitor Center, theater, and the classrooms and private event spaces at 103 Orchard Street; The other areas of the building are cooled using fans. All visitors are permitted to drink bottled water on their tour to stay cool.
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 Neighborhood Guide for suggestions or pick up a copy at the Visitor Center when you come for your tour.
The Tenement Museum does not offer onsite parking. Metered street parking is available, but limited. Please allow a lot of additional time to find parking if you require it. The nearest parking lot is Essex Street Municipal Parking, located at 109 Essex St, New York, NY 10002.
Choosing A Tour
Yes, the Tenement Museum is accessible by guided tours and experiences only. Reservations are recommended for all tours.
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.
Apartment tours explore historically restored tenement buildings and discover how immigrants lived here in the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with a glimpse of the past, visitors glean insights from educators who offer historical perspectives that relate to current conversations about immigration.
Costumed Interpreter tour experiences inside 97 Orchard Street visit the recreated homes of former residents, and feature an interaction with someone portraying those residents. These experiences are recommended for families.
Neighborhood Walking Tours provide visitors with a curated exploration of the often-forgotten places, unexplored spaces, and untold stories that have shaped one of America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood. By visiting historical sites in the dynamic and ever-changing Lower East Side, visitors learn about the neighborhood’s past, engage with the neighborhood’s present, and identify their role in their own neighborhood’s future.
Tours begin and end at the Museum Shop and Visitor Center, located at 103 Orchard Street, on the corner of Delancey Street.
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 and leaving 15 minutes between scheduled tours. You can contact our call center for assistance at 1-877-975-3786. Additionally, we have one of most popular book/gift shops in NYC, so leave yourself time to browse and shop. The Visitor Center sells a neighborhood guide with great tips for spending the day on the Lower East Side.
Information for Families
Children 5 and under (including infants) are only allowed on the Victoria Confino tour experience. 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, 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.
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.
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.