History School Trips to New York, USA
Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the forever-changing city of New York. As a diverse melting pot of cultures and home to some of the world’s most iconic sights, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, a deeper historical perspective can be explored in the museum and exhibits at Ellis Island and the United Nations Building.
The best way to experience this unique city is to walk its streets, while its rich history is told through its many insightful museums – the 9/11 Museum being a particularly moving experience. Of course known for its impressive skyscrapers, urban delights and diverse neighbourhoods, New York offers the perfect blend of history and culture.
Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.
New York Fact File
KS4+ (may be suitable for KS3 pupils)
JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport
Available with indirect flights
1 US Dollar = 100 cents
Eastern Standard Time (EST)
New York History Study Visits
Steeped in history and home to an electric culture, New York is thriving with iconic monuments, intriguing museums and lively neighbourhoods for you to explore. See where you can take your students with our selection of visits.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
No trip to the US is complete without a visit to the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. As a gift of friendship from France, the statue is a recognised symbol of freedom and democracy and was designated as a National Monument in 1924. Weighing 225 tonnes and standing over 305 feet tall (from the base of the pedestal to the tip of the torch), the statue is a sight to behold.
Whether you choose to trace the monument’s symbolism and history in the Statue of Liberty Exhibit or take to the heights of the crown for panoramic views across New York Harbour, your students will enjoy an experience like no other.
Similarly, a visit to Ellis Island will take you through what was once the largest and most active immigration station in America, where over 12 million immigrants were processed. Students can discover the moving tales of the immigrants in the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, filled with artefacts, photographs, prints, videos, interactive displays, oral histories and temporary exhibits.
National September 11 Memorial Museum
Built on the site of the Twin Towers, the 9/11 Memorial remembers and honours the thousands of victims of the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as well as those who survived and risked their lives to save others.
While the building’s architecture is simply majestic, it’s the history and Remembrance display inside that’s truly moving. The museum demonstrates the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and reflects on the compassion and humanity in the aftermath, reminding us that in true horror can come human strength and dignity. Its story is told beautifully and respectfully, making the memorial the simplest testament that New York is a city of strength, determination and survival.
Empire State Building
Discover the heart of New York City with a visit to the world-renowned Empire State Building. Just as famous for its film appearances as its architecture, this impressive building offers an immersive experience with its stunning Art Deco murals, historical Dare to Dream Exhibit, the new Sustainability Exhibit and interactive audio device. Of course its Observation Decks are not to be missed, greeting you with unrivalled 360-degree views of New York and beyond.
Students will contemplate why the Empire State Building is cherished by so many Americans, explore the history and era in which the building was built and gain an understanding of why it’s one of the world’s greatest success stories.
Rockefeller Centre and the Chrysler Building
New York is thriving with cultural Art Deco landmarks, making it the best city to explore the splendour of this style. With the Rockefeller Centre and the Chrysler Building as two of the most well-known Art Deco buildings, visiting these architectural masterpieces is sure to inspire your students.
Located in the centre of Midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Centre is a cultural hub like no other. Ascend 70 floors into the sky and take in the sweeping views of the city, delve deep into the history and breath-taking artistry with a guided tour and escape the bustle of Fifth Avenue with a stroll through its unique garden oasis.
Similarly, the Chrysler Building is not to be missed. As a fusion of Art Deco and Gothic aesthetics, its steel eagles, arched ‘crown’ and impressive spire make it a sight to behold. While it has no observation deck, its lavish lobby is a feast for the eye with its beautiful ceiling mural, grand clock and custom-designed elevator designs.
United Nations Headquarters
Founded in 1945, 51 countries became committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Go behind the scenes with a guided tour and discover the organisation from within.
Students will have the opportunity to interact with one of 24 multilingual guides from 15 countries, speaking 12 languages, with up-to-date information about the work of the United Nations. With numerous exhibitions and shops to explore, a visit here promises to be an insightful experience.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Created as a living memorial to those who perished during the Holocaust, the Museum of Jewish Heritage honours those who died by celebrating their lives. Explore one of New York’s most famous ethnic groups who have added to the city’s language, history and identity in the museum’s unique Core Exhibition and award-winning special exhibitions.
Presenting multiple perspectives on modern Jewish history, life and culture, new generations are also taught how to recognise and fight contemporary instances of injustice and oppression. Acclaimed public programs such as discussions, films, plays and concerts highlight the richness of Jewish culture, reminding us of the vibrant worldwide Jewish community that is their legacy today.
Irish Hunger Memorial
The Irish Hunger Memorial is devoted to raising public awareness of the events that led to the ‘Great Irish Famine and Migration’ of 1845-1852. Recognising the many Irish immigrants that travelled to New York in order to escape the Irish famine, it serves as a reminder to millions of New Yorkers and Americans who proudly trace their heritage back to Ireland.
Featuring a rural, Irish landscape, the memorial’s limestone plinth has nearly 2 miles of text wrapped around it in illuminated bands. With some 110 quotations from autobiographies, letters, poems and more, the memorial merges both past and present accounts of world hunger.
National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian cares for one for one of the world’s most expansive collection of Native artefacts, including objects, photographs, archives and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere. For students, the museum offers the chance to learn about the host population of North America, whose lives were destroyed with the arrival of the European settlers.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as ‘the Met’, is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. Containing more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture from prehistory to the present, the museum strives to connect people to creativity, bringing art and art education to the American people.
With a number of intriguing exhibitions to explore and a wide range of collections, covering everything from African, Asian and Islamic art to musical instruments, costumes and antique weapons and armour, there’s no better cultural experience.
Preserving the history of immigration, the Tenement Museum tells the stories of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Groups can understand the challenges they faced and appreciate the profound role of immigration in shaping America’s national identity.
With guided tours of apartments that recreate immigration life, living history programs that bring past residents to life through costumed interpreters and neighbourhood walking tours, students will gain a true insight into how life was for the immigrants on the Lower East Side.
There’s no better place to unwind than in the world’s most famous and beloved urban park, Central Park. Lush trees and tranquil gardens come aplenty here, offering the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of New York. So whether you choose to explore its state-of-the-art zoo, enjoy a free performance at its open-air theatre or simply enjoy the view on the great lawn, Central Park has something for everyone.
Brimming with charming restaurants, standout shops and bohemian vibes, there’s plenty to explore in the East Village. As the prime spot for vintage wear, hip cafes and arty delights, it’s perfect for a bit of downtime to soak up the unique culture of this laid-back New York neighbourhood.
One look at Times Square and you’ll know how New York got its nickname, ‘the city that never sleeps’. Filled with Broadway theatres, cinemas and larger than life billboards, this is where the action happens. Students will thrive in the square’s vibrant and lively atmosphere and even have the chance to catch a Broadway show!
Food From Around the World
New York has benefitted from many global arrivals, not just through heritage, but through food. Visit an authentic American Italian deli or the famous Katz deli on the Lower East Side (‘I’ll have what she’s having’). There’s also the newly emerging Korea town for noodles, as well as the good old fashioned hamburger and fries.
New York Sample Itineraries
Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated Tour Co-ordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group, but just to get you inspired, we have outlined an itinerary of what your group could get up to.
Dates: 11th – 14th May
Departure airport: Heathrow Airport
Passengers: 22 students and 3 teachers
Accommodation: Broadway Hotel and Hostel
Board Basis: Bed and Breakfast (with evening meals in local restaurants)
Overview of visits: Rockefeller Centre, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Irish Hunger Memorial, National Museum of the American Indian, Financial District, Empire State Building, United Nations HQ, Chrysler Building, 9/11 Memorial Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, East Village, Times Square, Tenement Museum.
Arriving at JFK International Airport in the evening, the group transferred to their hotel to check in. They later sat down for a relaxing evening meal with a visit to Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Centre.View the full day-by-day itinerary
After breakfast, the group hopped on the subway down to South Park to catch the ferry ride over to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, giving the students the chance to explore the founding of the US and the early years of the country.
To gain an even greater insight into the history of New York, the group spent the afternoon at just a few of the following sights: the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Irish Hunger Memorial, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Financial District. To finish the day, the group enjoyed the evening at the Empire State Building.
Following breakfast, the day kicked off with a trip to the United Nations Headquarters, followed by a visit to the Chrysler Building and a walking tour of the Midtown area.
Enjoying lunch at either a street vendor or diner, the group then visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum before jumping on the subway up to the Upper East Side to choose from a cultural tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the green surroundings of Central Park or a visit to the East Village to explore the history of migration and settlement.
In the evening, the group enjoyed some time in the iconic Times Square, with the option of an alternative visit to sample some food from around the world in New York’s cultural towns, later returning to the hotel.
In the morning, the group had the option to either indulge in some souvenir shopping, return to the Financial District or explore the Tenement Museum. They then boarded their coach to the airport for their evening flight, arriving in the UK early the next day.
New York Accommodation
We have a number of hotels and hostels in and around New York which are perfectly suited to school groups. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Broadway Hotel and Hostel
Located in the trendy Upper West Side and just two blocks away from the subway, the Broadway Hotel and Hostel is the perfect base to take in the sights of New York. With contemporary surroundings, comfortable rooms and its own communal area, this chic yet inexpensive hotel provides excellent value in a colourful setting.
Just minutes away from the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre and many more of Manhattan’s main attractions, sightseeing has never been so easy at the Hotel Pennsylvania. With spacious rooms, a grand lobby and a variety of amenities, groups can relax after a day of exploring one of the world’s most vibrant cities.
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