There are many ways for families to learn and have fun together at the Museum at Eldridge Street. The museum is housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first grand house of worship built in America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. This landmark building, built in 1887, is a place for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to explore the history of Jewish New York, immigration, architecture and Jewish culture. Whether you drop in to explore our permanent exhibit or come for a special program, there’s no better place to experience history and explore the connections from generation to generation, with all your generations.
Visit the Museum
Take a guided tour of the museum or use our Family Guide to explore the 19th century synagogue on your own. Get ready for history to come alive, as you climb twisty staircases, peek inside walls and search for clues from the synagogue’s first worshippers. Step into footprints that mark where people prayed more than 100 years ago. Adjust the cantor’s stand to your own height and sing your favorite song. Feel the red velvet that lines the sanctuary ark. Look inside the cabinets hidden beneath the original oak benches.
Prepare for your visit:
Download our Family Guide
Click for Museum hours and admission rates
Come to Our Family Events
You won’t want to miss our monthly family programs where children explore clues from the past that are scattered throughout the building. Each month, we’ll focus on a different theme and art project. Recommended for families with children 5 and up. See calendar for details.
Take an All-of-a-Kind Family Tour
What was it like to be a kid growing up on the Lower East Side in the early 20th century? Find out as we follow in the footsteps of Elle, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie – the beloved sisters depicted in Sydney Taylor’s children’s classic All-of-a-Kind Family. Stroll through the story and onto the streets as we visit the spots where the children played, prayed and purchased their pickles and candy. During spring, summer and fall we offer this as a public tour; any time of year you can book a private tour for groups of 10 or more people. Recommended for families with children ages 5 and up.
For more information, please contact our Family Programs Coordinator Nancy Beiles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrate With Us
From its beginning, the synagogue has been a place to celebrate holidays and important occasions and today we continue that tradition with our special holiday-themed programs. Featuring music, performances, art projects and more, these events mark Jewish holidays, like Chanukah and Passover and provide meaningful ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mother’s Day and many others. Check our events calendar for dates and details.
Have a Blast at our Festivals
You won’t want to miss our twice-yearly festivals. Held in summer and fall, these themed blow-outs are filled with art, music, food, workshops and demonstrations. We guarantee you’ll have a ball and try something new.
Eggrolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas
Our signature celebration of the rich mix of cultural traditions that live on the Lower East Side is so chock full of events in the museum that we had to take over the street outside, too! This June festival highlights Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican cultures, featuring music performances, craft demos and art projects, food workshops, and traditional games.
Generation to Generation
Get ready to party like it’s 1887 at our November history festival. Don a top hat or feather bonnet and dress up in period garb; try your best to pass a 19th-century citizenship test; and create a memory book to record your own family stories. Plus, tons of music, art projects and more.
NEW! Just-for-You Family Programs
The museum is now offering a brand-new, customized family program. Here’s how it works: You round up your family or family & friends group and we’ll develop the perfect family program just for you, based on your interests. Whether you want to spend an hour, an afternoon or all day, we’ve got a plan. Recommended for all ages; groups of 10 or more.
Among the options:
Book a private museum tour or walking tour, choosing among our wide range of themes, exploring old New York, Jewish history and immigration. Or sign up for our personalized tour and step into grandma’s footsteps as we explore your family’s old New York with neighborhood stops that mean the world to you – from the block where your relatives played to the tenement where they lived. Led by museum staff or docents, these tours are appropriate for groups of mixed ages and all interest levels.
Immerse yourself in a family heritage workshop, tailor-made just for you, and preserve your family history and memories. Choose a session with a genealogist who can help you explore your family tree; a workshop with our folklorist who can teach you how to record your family history for the next generation or facilitate a family story swap (captured on video if you don’t want to forget a thing!); or even a supercharged Yiddish lesson. Plus, art projects for kids.
Rent the building and make your family day an all-to-yourselves Day or Evening at the Museum. Bring in a caterer; add music and it’s a one-of-a-kind, only-in-New York family blow-out. Great for all occasions and groups of all ages, up to 350 people.
For more information, please contact our Family Programs Coordinator Nancy Beiles at email@example.com