History & Mission


Brooklyn Children’s Museum provides first cultural experiences for children and families that inspire curiosity, creativity, and lifelong love of learning.


Founded in 1899 as the world’s first children’s museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) is New York City’s largest cultural institution designed especially for families. Proudly based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, BCM serves 300,000 children and caregivers annually with exhibits and programs grounded in visual arts, music and performance, natural science, and world cultures. Learn more about our exhibits here and check our calendar for information on upcoming events at the Museum. Have questions about your visit? Check our FAQ page.


Brooklyn Children’s Museum exhibits and programs are rooted in the following:

  • Interdisciplinary & inquiry-based learning grounded in our collection and encouraging children to explore their world from multiple perspectives.
  • Sensory learning through hands-on, physical experiences.
  • Appreciation of culture and community, with a focus on socio-emotional learning and interpersonal relationships.
  • Stimulating parent-child dialogue and providing family resources.
  • Empowering children to think of themselves as agents of community change and inspire responsible and civic engagement.


In all of its work and business practice, BCM commits to its Brooklyn community by:

  • Serving all families regardless of ability to pay.
  • Building community for parents and children.
  • Reaching beyond our walls into schools and other neighborhoods.
  • Using local vendors and supporting small business.
  • Employing Brooklynites and supporting their families by paying 100% of health premiums for staff, their spouses and dependents.
  • Providing space and sharing resources with other Brooklyn-based CBOs.

Major support for Brooklyn Children’s Museum is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum thanks its supporters:








Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s programs are made possible in part by private funding from foundations, corporations, and individuals, as well as public funds from: Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, Department of Youth and Community Development of the City of New York, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York City Council and its Brooklyn Delegation, New York State Assembly and its Brooklyn Delegation, New York State Senate and its Brooklyn Delegation, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Special thanks to New York City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel; New York City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.; New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo; New York State Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol; New York State Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson; and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Special thanks to our corporate and foundation sponsors: Aimbridge Hospitality, American Express, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Bulova Stetson Fund, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Con Edison, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, The Durst Organization, GKV Architects, Goldman Sachs, Google, Gunderson Dettmer, The Holborn Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Investors Bank, The Keith Haring Foundation, Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, Moses L. Parshelsky Foundation, The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, National Grid, Pfizer, Inc., Ropes & Gray LLP, Schindler Elevator, Silverstein Properties, Inc., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Stop N Stor, Sullivan & Cromwell, Tiger Baron Foundation, Two Trees, Viacom, and Warner Media Group.