Early Childhood and Family Engagement

First Lady Rikers

A Family Collaboration between CMOM, NYC's First Lady and NYC Department of Correction

As part of a series of new initiatives to support incarcerated women on Rikers Island and their families, NYC’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and NYC Department of Correction have partnered with CMOM to create a first-of-its-kind program that brings together incarcerated women and their children at the Museum for monthly arts-based programs designed to support the development of a healthy bond between mother and child. As stated by First Lady McCray, “We know that the children of mothers who are incarcerated are more likely to be incarcerated themselves … and if the bond between mother and child is broken or damaged, it has lifelong consequences.”



Children's Museum Health and Learning Hubs

Children’s Museum Health and Learning Hubs seek to both transform community sites in high-need neighborhoods into early childhood health and literacy “learning hubs,” and to build adult caregivers’ knowledge of early child development and education.


Shelter Program for Families in Temporary Housing

A cornerstone of the Museum’s outreach for nearly two decades, this program provides children and single mothers living in temporary housing with music, art, literacy, health and parenting skills in a safe and supportive environment at the Museum. Through an intensive weekly program, the women gain tools and life skills that empower them as mothers and future job seekers, and their children develop valuable literacy and health habits. Their hopes and needs are often guiding lights for new exhibitions and programs, joining other community voices the Museum staff listen to every week.


Pride Night: CMOM Supports LGBTQ Families

For over ten years, as part of our commitment to inclusivity, we’ve celebrated LGBTQ Pride with a special Pride Night in June。 Goldman Sachs, through its Community TeamWorks initiative, has been an early and generous funder of our Pride celebration。 We’ve also partnered on the celebration with the Family Equality Council and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center。 The special after-hours event includes art-making, music and an annual parade。 Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration!

Pride Night 2019 will be on Thursday, June 6 from 5:30-7:30pm.  RSVP for free tickets below.


All the Way to K and Beyond


All the Way to K and Beyond! (ATWTK) is a new citywide initiative and partnership between the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, with the support of the W.K Kellogg Foundation and the Meringoff Family Foundation. The program is designed to engage parents, caregivers and professionals with language and literacy strategies to help prepare children to thrive in pre-K and beyond. ATWTK resources include interactive family posters, graphics, family workshop series, professional development and web resources.

ATWK is grounded in language and literacy research which demonstrates that families can engage in important literacy and language behaviors to support kindergarten readiness and a love of learning。 Technical expertise during program development was provided by Johns Hopkins University Science of Learning Institute。

ATWTK is an integral part of the Museum’s work to connect home, school, and community learning through partnerships with City agencies and community-based organizations.


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Program for Children with Special Needs

Since 2010, CMOM has been welcoming students on the Autism spectrum from NYC Department of Education’s District 75. CMOM provides cultural enrichment activities to students on-site at the Museum on Mondays, when we are closed to the public. Sensory challenges can make it difficult for children on the autism spectrum to participate in cultural activities or enter unfamiliar, crowded spaces. This program helps to remove barriers preventing these students from engaging in cultural experiences by establishing familiarity with the process of visiting a museum, and giving students opportunities to practice their social and communications skills. Over the course of the year, students visit all the exhibitions and engage in free play with Museum educators. The schedule is the same for each visit, so children can become comfortable with the routine and visiting a cultural institution.

This program is funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs through its Cultural After-School Adventures initiative。



EatSleepPlay™: A CMOM Health Initiative

The Children’s Museum has a long history of engaging families, caregivers, teachers and researchers through our exhibits, programming, cultural events and community outreach. EatSleepPlay™: A CMOM Health Initiative is a national, comprehensive, arts & literacy health-based project that uses creative and fun ways to engage children and their parents. The initiative supports families in making simple changes in the area of nutrition, sleep, and active play to build a healthy mindset and positive, lifelong habits.



Hospital Arts Outreach

The Children’s Museum helps children living with cancer and their families explore, heal and learn through art. Every week, we send our leading educators to the children’s ward of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Equipped with a creative curriculum and a sterile selection of supplies, our educators invite patients, their siblings and parents to participate in free, innovative art activities that are fun and educational. By offering compelling project for participants, the program makes the hospital setting more livable, stimulating, and entertaining for kids coping with illness.


In-school and After-school Residencies

Each week the Children’s Museum of Manhattan provides hands-on learning experiences to schools, libraries, families living in shelters, and community based organizations throughout New York City. Our In-school Residencies include a combination of collaborative and independent activities that appeal to a variety of learning styles, encouraging students to explore new ideas and stretch the imagination. The Museum’s expert educators facilitate 20 – 30 different weekly off-site programs, reaching over 400 students per week.



Free and Reduced Admissions for Qualifying Visitors

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is committed to providing access to its exhibits and programs to all New York’s children.  Learn about free and reduced admission opportunities.


Cool Culture

At the Children’s Museum, we partner with Cool Culture to provide free Museum access to children and families enrolled in childcare programs across New York City。 Founded in 1999, Cool Culture connects over 50,000 low-income families to more than 90 art museums, botanical gardens, historical societies, zoos and other cultural institutions with the Cool Culture Family Pass。 Through the Cool Culture Family Pass program, we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of Cool Culture families to the Museum to take advantage of informal learning opportunities that are fundamental to lifelong learning and academic success。



The Museum is a place for children of all abilities to play and learn. Children with disabilities are offered the opportunity to explore activities that provide tactile, visual and auditory stimulation. We also partner with schools to provide guided group visits for students with disabilities.

The award-winning Children’s Museum Guide for Families of Children with Disabilities, developed with funding from the Noble Trust and in collaboration with experts in the fields of learning and special needs, helps children with disabilities and their parents/caretakers, to more fully explore and maximize learning in PlayWorks™.

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Need-Based Membership

In addition to our efforts with Cool Culture, we work with community-based organizations (CBOs) and New York City agencies to provide low-income families with access to the Museum’s cultural and educational resources through discount and free Museum memberships. Among the groups with which we’ve partnered are the New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Education, Department of Education and the Department of Homeless Services.