March 8, 2013

A Local Museum’s Inaugural Family Benefit Combines History And Learning With Family Fun


The New-York Historical Society shows kids that learning can be fun through interactive games and exhibits at the DiMenna Children’s Historical Museum.

By Sothea Shreck


Educating The Family

The DiMenna Children’s History Museum and the New-York Historical Society hosted their first-ever Family Benefit Party on Saturday, January 26, to raise money for the museum and programming efforts. The event welcomed over 700 local families, and the theme of the night was Passport Through American History, which educated both children and adults about our country’s rich and unique past, while fostering an engaging atmosphere for an afternoon of family fun.

At the event, kids, parents, and even grandparents traveled through different phases of American history to acquire “passport stamps.” Families were greeted by historical characters from the Gilded Age, the Newsboy Strike of 1899, and World War II. Some of the activities included: dressing up in colonial costumes, tasting hand-churned ice cream, and reenacting the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to the historical fun that took place, children participated in a cookie decorating contest that was generously donated by Eleni’s New York.

The event raised $250K, which goes toward the health and maintenance of the museum and future family programs. “[The event showed] that history is serious fun,” said New-York Historical Society president and CEO Louise Miller. With the success of the Inaugural Family Benefit Party, the foundation has been busy planning more events for families in the New York and tri-state area.

Events To Check Out This Month

In case you missed the Family Benefit Party this winter, here are some other events taking place this month at the New-York Historical Society and DiMenna Children’s History Museum:

Little New Yorkers
[Ages 3-5]
Tuesdays & Thursdays

Little New Yorkers is a kids program that celebrates Women’s History Month by reading books about impressive women of the past. The event provides arts and crafts, historical songs, games, and toys.

Free (with museum admission), 3:30pm – 4:15p, Every Tuesday and Thursday, 212-873-3400, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org

Macy’s Sunday Reading
[Ages 4-7]
Every Sunday

Learn about the special holidays that March has to offer through Macy’s Sunday Story Time. Each week, children are read aloud stories about timely lessons and topics that inspire literacy.

Free (with museum admission), 11:30am, Sundays, 212-873-3400, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org

Holiday Express: Train Game
[All Ages]
March 9 & 10

Play a game of “I Spy” with your family as you search for hidden people, items, and stores in the Holiday Express train model. This elaborate train system highlights 19th century railroad architecture, bridges, tunnels, and steam engine trains that the whole family will appreciate. There are even little figurines that are dressed in period costumes while roaming their local village!

Free (with coupon for kinds 13 and under), 10am 5pm, March 9 & 10, 212-873-3400, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org

March School Vacation Week
[Ages 4 and Up]
March 23-31

With school vacations around the corner, the museum offers March School Vacation Week, which keeps the learning going and young minds buzzing. This week will offer activities for children including: scavenger hunts, hands-on art projects, family games, and more.

Free (with admission), 10am 6pm, March 23 – 31, 212-873-3400, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org

Camp History
[Middle School]
March 25-28

Kids have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with museum experts and learn how art historians care for artwork and artifacts, how exhibits are constructed and implemented, and more. These hands-on projects are highly educational and engaging.

$500 for the week ($400 for members), 9am 4pm, March 25 March 28, 31, 212-873-3400, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org

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