Activities & Resources
New York City Fire Museum552in New York, NY 10013
about New York City Fire Museum:
The New York City Fire Museum houses a good-sized collection of fire-related art and artifacts from the late 18th century to the present. The first floor is especially fun for kids, offering the chance to view several early model fire trucks (and try to figure out how they've improved over time).
The second floor is home to some beautiful shields, funny hats, posters, and photos, and may be a bit less interesting for the very young.
The Museum is manned by former fire-fighting volunteers, and while you're welcome to stroll around the exhibits on your own, we recommend hooking up with a tour guide. The day we visited, when things were relatively quiet, the guide let a couple of kids circumvent the "no climbing on the fire trucks" rule and crank the warning whistle.
The third floor is a gigantic space, and it's here that the firefighter birthday party package, which lasts for a very satisfactory hour and forty-five minutes, is held. Children between the ages of four and six can party at the museum on Saturdays or Sundays at 10:30am or 1:30pm.
At the start of the party, kids learn safety tips and have show and tell time. Next, kids go on a scavenger hunt, talk with a real NYC fire fighter, create extremely cool personalized fire trucks, play games and munch on cake. The Fire Museum provides cake and juice, loot bags, and balloons. A kitchen, with refrigerator, is on hand.
A party for 16 children is $650 (includes $25 membership if you don't already belong). Extra children are $15 each. Popular children's entertainer Ivan Ulz - the Fire Truck! song - can perform at the party for an additional fee. Call 212.691.1303 ext. 16, Tuesdays and Fridays 10am-5pm to book; messages may be left at any time.
Bathrooms at the museum are clean as a whistle, and located halfway up the stairs between the first and second floors.