Kids love discovering lost worlds, and a trip back in time at the Tenement Museum makes for a great family outing. When you reach the Lower East Side’s legendary Orchard Street, the cobblestones and crowded sidewalks will already have you in the mood of a bygone era. The museum offers all kinds of tours, but you’ll want the kids to meet an actual resident, the teenage Victoria Confino, played by an interpreter in period dress. Follow your young guide up the stairs into the dim hallway of an authentic tenement relic, the likes of which housed thousands of immigrants at the turn of the century. It was sealed up for decades, adding the allure of an abandoned place to its layers of history. Imagining it’s 1916 won’t be hard to do. In the apartment, Victoria will tell you all about her family and her difficult new life as an immigrant in New York City. Don’t worry about the little ones getting antsy, they’ll enjoy hands-on access to clothes, coal, and ancient cookware. The tours are small so everyone can maximize their interaction with Victoria. Go ahead and pepper her with questions about the sprawling estate she grew up on in Greece and its contrasts to her cramped life in New York. When the tour’s over, you’ll all have a new sensitivity to the immigrant experience—and a newfound appreciation for indoor plumbing.

Tenement Museum

108 Orchard St New York NY 10002

(212) 431-0233

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