An Age Of Immigration

New York City still draws people from all over the world. Some pushed from unfortunate circumstances, all pulled toward the city of dreams.  Now imagine the arrival amidst the largest wave of immigration in history, into a part of the city only glistening with the sweaty crowds. The streets weren’t paved with gold, yet many immigrants made their way, and achieved their dreams of a better life. Also known as the Progressive Era, many New Yorkers evaluated social justice issues that still linger today. Journey back in time using the subway that was as young as the newly arriving immigrants.

Choose your adventure below!


Welcoming New Yorkers since 1885: the Statue of Liberty

Whether you are standing at her feet, watching her from the shore, or approaching by boat, the Statue of Liberty inspires a sense of awe as a monument and as a symbol of hope.  Twelve million immigrants passed Lady Liberty on their way to Ellis Island. Take a moment in the shoes of an immigrant. Imagine the life you left, and the life you are hoping for. Maybe that’s what Emma Lazarus did before writing the poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty. Read her poem, or even her story, as you transport yourself back in time to a different New York. How does the New Colossus inspire you? Share your poem, story, or work of art on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #TimeTravelKidsNYC

Strike a pose: Can you stand as tall and proud as Lady Liberty?

Make sure you arrange your tickets in advance, especially if you would like to go up to the top. Also, you will need to pass through airport-like security.


Will you pass through Ellis Island?

Arriving on the shores as millions have before you, you begin to see your future in America, as long as you aren’t turned back. As you explore Ellis Island, put yourself in the shoes of the new arrivals of the turn of the 20th century. Are your fears limited to each small obstacle between you and New York City, or are you contemplating your future in America? Keep a journal noting your perspective on this journey back in time.  

Make sure you get your tickets in advance. You will need to pass through airport-like security.

How the other half lives at the Tenement Museum

Not what you were expecting. After weeks of preparation, and a long tedious sea journey you arrive at your new home. However you choose to explore the Tenement Museum, you can imagine life in the Lower East Side.

The Tenement Museum can only be visited on a tour.



Other immigration Era Adventures

Compare life in the tenements to the opulence of the Gilded Age.

The Frick - Former home of Henry Clay Frick

The Morgan Library - Former home of J.P. Morgan

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum - Former home of Andrew Carnegie

Prohibition, another feature of the Progressive Era, didn’t stop New Yorkers.

Check out how at The Museum of the American Gangster


Share your adventure on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #timetravelkidsnyc.