by Waverly W. and Callum S.
The Mom here! We’ve been covering events at New York Historical Society, where I’ve always said there is truly something for everyone to enjoy, but until last weekend we have never had the pleasure of attending their annual Family Benefit Party, which this year invited kids 4 to 14 and their families to take over the Museum and become history detectives! All I can say is…they REALLY know how to throw a party!
Waverly here! Mom’s right! As we pulled up to the familiar site, I thought of how many times this place has blown us away with interactive activities, facts, fun crafts, events, and so much more. I didn’t think it could possibly be better this time. Boy, was I wrong! We always have fun at NYHS, but this was SUPER fun, complete with tons of activities and awesome food…like the world’s tiniest tacos and ice cream cones, and delicious mini burgers.
But we weren’t there to eat. We were there to become History Detectives, which is one of the awesome fun things you can do there, even when it’s not their annual party. We received our case files filled with clues and a blank badge-holder and got to work, completing cool activities on every floor to collect badges to complete our mission. First Stop? 4th Floor at the Tiffany Girls’ Workroom, where we saw an amazing collection of beautiful Tiffany Lamps (all donated by ONE man who had them all in his house once – OMG). That’s not all we did – in order to collect our badge, we had an assignment. We created our own Tiffany shade that lit up just like the real ones! This was one very fun and creative assignment…I was really proud of myself when I made a working lamp out of paper:
Callum here! While we were making our lamps, I spoke to a person who was dressed as a woman from about 100 years ago. She taught me how the original Tiffany lamps were made and explained how unusual it was for the time for a woman to work and specifically to do glasswork.
Back to Wave! Throughout the museum, there were activities everywhere in sight! And all were a blast! While on our mission, we also went on an archeological dig and discovered cool artifacts found in New York’s oldest inn! It really made me think about all the history that is right here in New York City…which is the whole point of NYHS! This part was so cool – and it was my favorite- using tools to uncover artifacts from the past, and then finding out what they were and where they were actually found from actual sites around NYC! Callum here again. This was my favorite part. Each one we found, we filled out a card with a sketch of our item and some details.Back to Wave! He’s right! There was still so much more to do! I got a really cool picture of my silhouette and decorated my own sugar cookie…then ate it!We explored a room full of silhouettes and learned about this really cool art form. We decoded texts from the past and unlocked secret messages: Helped create a beautiful skyline:And checked out art and weighed the evidence on whether or not the Dutch bought Manhattan for $24. Did they? Well you need to be a history detective to find out!Callum here again! Before I went to NYHS I did not expect to have so much fun due to it having the word ‘historical’ in the name but that wasn’t true at all! I did things that ranged from learning about Tiffany Lamps, which are made by soldering pieces of colored glass in unique patterns, to exploring a spy exhibit. These experiences were all extremely interesting and I was consistently entertained by finding new objects from history and discovering their past. While there I saw several people who were dressed in character that represented the era of the room they were in. There was artwork, antique silverware and place settings, there was a huge room full of a collection of Tiffany lamps, and most exhibits were from at least 100 years ago. I even loved the background music – they were playing the soundtrack of the current Broadway hit Hamilton: modern-day meets history at the NYHS! It was such fun going around the building discovering new rooms, doing arts and crafts and digging through an archeological sandpit and studying the pieces we found. Kids should visit NYHS because they will always stay interested. Whether you like admiring art or doing fun activities NYHS has something for you.
Wave here again! I already can’t wait for next year’s Family Benefit Party – but the fun activities are year-round at NYHS! Weekend Storytimes, Family Book Clubs, literally something for everyone of every age! There is still time to check out their Holiday Express Exhibit (read all about it here. My mom can’t wait for the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution that is opening on February 14th, and I can’t wait to go back because there is still so much more to explore – just like NYC itself, NYHS is a whole world of amazing-ness that is just waiting to be discovered!