About the DiMenna Children's History Museum

New-York Historical is open - buy your timed-ticket today

Through authentic and unique learning experiences, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum invites multi-generational families to meaningfully connect with American’s past, present and future. The exhibits, collections, programs, and staff challenge visitors to grow up with history.

Targeted for children ages 8–13, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum focuses on the life stories of a diverse selection of youngsters who lived in New York City from the late seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Featured in individual pavilions are Cornelia van Varick (ca. 1692–1734), the daughter of the Dutch merchant Margrieta van Varick; Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804), the teenaged West Indian immigrant who became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; James McCune Smith (1813–1865), the African Free School student and first African American medical doctor; Esteban Bellán (1849–1932), the Cuban teenager and first Latin American to play baseball in the U. S.; the children who rode the orphan trains from New York City to rural areas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and the newsboys and girls who sold newspapers on the city streets in the twentieth century.

Get to know these historical figures better! Each character pavilion combines objects, games, and information that help tell the story of each person's childhood and adulthood.

She was a daughter of the Margrieta van Varick, a textile merchant in seventeenth-century New Amsterdam, and grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

He was an orphaned and penniless immigrant from the West Indies who helped to make America "modern" as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.


James McCune Smith, later a brilliant doctor and abolitionist, was a student at the African Free School in 1824.


He was a cuban youngster who came to New York to study at what is now Fordham University, and became the first Latino to play professional baseball in the United States.

They were late nineteenth-century orphaned children transported by the Children's Aid Society via train to new homes outside New York City.

They were turn of the century newsboys and newsgirls who endured harsh working environments and fought to better themselves in industrial New York City.

Rentals Callout

Support for education initiatives at the New-York Historical Society is provided, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource), do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Creative: Tronvig Group