FAQs

Our Frequently Asked Questions are organized by the section links below. Click on a section read the answers and related information pertaining to that topic.

Planning Your Visit

How do I get to the Museum?

The Museum is located on 278 Spring Street between Varick and Hudson Streets.

BY CAR:

From North: Take Varick St (7th Avenue) south to Houston St; make a right on Houston, left on Washington St, left on Spring St.

From West Street/Hudson River Greenway: Traveling south, make a left on Clarkson St, right on Washington St, left on Spring St.

From Brooklyn Bridge: Take Centre St N exit on left towards Chambers St, right at Centre St, left at Canal St, right at Hudson St, right at Spring From FDR: take Houston St exit head across to Washington St, left on Washington St, left on Spring.

From FDR: Take Houston St exit head across to Washington St, left on Washington St, left on Spring.

BY BUS:

M10 (7th and 8th Avenue routes) or M21 (Hudson Street cross-town route). Take either to Spring Street.

BY SUBWAY:

C or E train to Spring Street. Walk 1 1/2 blocks west.

OR

1 train to Houston Street. Walk south 4 blocks on Varick Street to Spring Street and west 1/2 block.

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Hours and Admission

When is the Museum open?

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10:00AM to 5:00 PM. We are closed major holidays.

How much is admission to the Museum?

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, seniors and children over 2 years old.

When is the Museum gift shop open?

The Museum gift shop offers a large variety of FDNY memorabilia and Museum exclusive items. The gift shop is open during museum hours. If you can't make it to our on-site shop, please visit our online store.

Can I come to the Museum just to visit the gift shop? If so, do I have to pay the admission charge?

You do not have to pay the admission charge. The shop is free of charge, but it does not grant the visitor access to the rest of the Museum.

Can I visit the museum myself, without scheduling a tour?

Yes, the Museum is open to all visitors and is self-guided. Our retired Volunteer Firefighter docents are available during morning and early afternoon hours to answer questions and provide a personal and colorful insight into the FDNY.

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In and Around the Museum

Does the Museum have parking?

There are parking lots adjacent to the Museum and limited street parking. The Museum cannot, however, validate parking.

Is there a coat check?

No. Unfortunately, we don't have adequate space for this service.

Are baby strollers permitted in the Museum?

Visitors may use strollers throughout the building.

Is there a place to eat?

The Museum does not have a place to eat and no food or drinks are permitted on exhibit floors.

Are there restaurants in the area?

Yes. Please see Our Neighborhood page.

Is the Museum wheelchair/handicap accessible?

Yes, the Museum is wheelchair accessible, including an elevator with access to our second floor exhibit space and restrooms on the third floor.

How long will it take me to see all exhibits?

You can plan to stay at the museum approximately one hour or longer.

Who will enjoy the Museum?

The Museum welcomes all ages to view our antique and one of a kind fire trucks and exhibits! We find that small children marvel at the big, red trucks. However, the trucks are antiques and for display only - please do not touch or climb!

What else can I do at the Museum?

You can take photos anywhere in the Museum, and we have a collection of bunker gear and helmets for adults and children to try on!

How far is the Museum from Ground Zero?

The Museum is approximately a 20 minute walk or a 10 minute train ride from the World Trade Center Site. If you choose to walk from the Museum: make a left on Hudson Street, make a right onto West Broadway and make a right on Vesey Street. If you choose to take the subway: walk up Spring Street to Avenue of the Americas (aka 6th Avenue), take the Downtown E train, and get off at World Trade Center.

How far is the Museum from Times Square?

The Museum is about 30 minutes from Time Square by subway. To reach Times Square by subway: walk up Spring Street to Avenue of the Americas (aka 6th Avenue), take the Uptown C or E train, and get off at 42nd Street.

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Visiting as a Group

How do I arrange a visit for a school group or group of adults?

All guided school groups wishing to take our must make advance reservations for visits. Reservations are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill up quickly. Please make your reservation as early as possible. Guided historical tours can be arranged for school or camp groups of 15 or more. To make a reservation today, please call our Housewatch Desk at (212) 691-1303 ext. 14 or email us at tours@nycfiremuseum.org

Do you offer tours in any languages other than English? Are there tours in Sign Language?

Presently the Museum does not have any scheduled tours for our visitors who speak different languages or have hearing impairments. We hope to initiate this service in the near future.

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About the Museum

Is the Museum a private or public institution?

The Museum is a private, not-for-profit institution entrusted to maintain the collection of the FDNY and provide fire safety education to the public. It operates in a firehouse owned by the FDNY.

How large is the Museum and its collections?

The museum has two floors of exhibit space. The first floor features the equipment, gear and apparatus of the modern paid fire department, the FDNY. The first floor also houses our permanent FDNY September 11th Memorial which features artifacts from the WTC recovery site. The second floor features our 19th century volunteer era memorabilia, ceremonial exhibits and paintings.

Do you lend or lease your collection?

We do not lend or lease any of the collection to the general public. We do, on occasion, lend objects to other Museums or organizations for limited exhibition, or for television, theater or movie production. Such loans require the approval of the Museum's Board of Trustees.

How many artifacts/pieces do you have on display?

The Museum has one of the largest collections of fire-related artifacts and artwork in the world, with over ten thousand objects and an archive of tens of thousands of photographs, documents and ephemera.

What is meant by the term "permanent collection"?

This is the complete set of objects owned by the Museum, but does not apply to objects on loan to our museum from other institutions. Our permanent collection can be found in storage, on display, or on loan to other institutions.

Why are some objects not on exhibition?

Our collection contains thousands of objects, all of which cannot be displayed in the two exhibition floors of our building. Some of our collection is on loan to other institutions, and some of it is in storage. Certain objects, such as historic photographs, prints, and paintings, are sensitive to light and need to be kept in special conditions. Very delicate objects have special storage requirements or require conservation before going on display.

What is meant by the term "special exhibition"?

This is a temporary exhibit highlighting a particular event in the history of New York firefighting and/or showcasing artistic works related to firefighting.

How do I let the Museum know about my work?

The Museum does not actively solicit artwork. If you have work related to firefighting in New York that you would like to donate or exhibit, you may contact the Director at director@nycfiremuseum.org or (212) 691-1303 ext. 15. PLEASE DO NOT SEND UNSOLITICED WORK.

How do I find out how much an object in the Museum collection is worth?

The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections for security reasons.

Can you tell me the value of an artifact I own?

The Museum can not provide monetary appraisals.

How can I donate a work of art or artifact to the Museum?

The Museum benefits greatly from the generosity of the public and welcomes donations to its collection. The Museum carefully considers all offers, but not every object is suitable for this Museum. If a donation could be housed somewhere more appropriate or will not have a chance to be exhibited, we prefer not to take it. If you are interested in donating art or artifacts appropriate for the Museum's collection, please contact the Director at director@nycfiremuseum.org or (212) 691-1303 ext. 15.

Is photography or videography permitted in the Museum?

Photography and videography are allowed in the Museum so long as the images are for personal, non-commercial use. Please be mindful of other visitors, especially in the FDNY September 11th Memorial space.

Is commercial photography or filming permitted in the Museum?

Commercial photography and filming are permitted at the Museum if the project is approved and arranged in advance. Please contact the Director at director@nycfiremuseum.org or (212) 691-1303 ext. 15 with your proposal.

How do I request images of works in the Museum's Collections?

You may use images from our online catalog for non-commercial purposes with attribution to the New York City Fire Museum. If you require higher-resolution images, non-watermarked images, or images for commercial purposes, please contact the Director at director@nycfiremuseum.org or (212) 691-1303 ext. 15.

Are internships available?

Internships are available in the collections department with a small stipend and can be arranged with a student's work-study program or independently. For more information, please contact the Collection Manager at (212) 691-1303 ext. 17 or collections@nycfiremuseum.org.

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Event Space

What kinds of events does the Museum host?

The Museum is suitable for an array of different events. Our most popular events are birthday parties, corporate functions, luncheons, and weddings.

What are the costs of renting the venue?

Rental prices are quoted upon request and based on the type of event and number of hours.

How do I hold a date?

The desired date of your event will be placed on hold. Once the client confirms the event, the Museum will send a contract and a 50% deposit of the total fee is required. Deposits are non-refundable.

Is insurance required for events?

Insurance is required for each event. Specific insurance requirements are listed in the special event contract.

What time can my event start and end?

Rental fees are based on an 8 hour event. Overtime charges will be incurred for each additional hour or portion thereof. Event set up may not begin until the museum closes to the public. Exceptions may be made depending on the production and with approval from the Director of Special Events.

Is there parking available for guests at the venue?

There are parking garages within walking distance of the Museum. The Museum does not receive any special discounts nor do we validate.

Do you have any exclusive vendors?

The Museum does not have an exclusive vendor. We do have a list of preferred vendors available upon request for clients.

Can more than one event occur at the same time?

The Special Events Department will determine the number of events that may occur simultaneously and will ensure that any one event will not be disrupted by another.

Is security available for events?

Museum security is required for each special event. Events requiring additional outside security must be approved by the Director of Special Events.

Is smoking permitted at the Museum?

There is no smoking permitted anywhere on the premises. Individuals caught smoking will be asked to leave the event. Smoking is permitted only outside the museum.

Can banners, signs or other d�cor be hung in the event area?

Banners and signs and other decor are permitted for your event but cannot be attached to the light fixtures due to risk of fire. Please speak to the Event Manager regarding specific rules and regulations. Existing museum signage cannot be moved. All event signage must be removed following the event.

Does the Museum have air conditioning?

The interior of the museum is both air conditioned and heated.

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Birthday Parties

Do you host children's birthday parties?

The Museum has an extremely popular "junior firefighter" party package ideally suited for children between the ages of 3 and 6. For more information on our birthday party packages, please click here.

What dates and times do you host your birthday parties?

Junior firefighter birthday party packages are held on Saturdays and Sundays from either 10:30 am to 12:30 pm or 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

How do I make a reservation?

The desired date and time of your event party will be placed on hold for a given period of time. Once the client confirms the reservation, the Museum will send a contract and requires a $200, non-refundable deposit. To make a reservation, contact our Birthday Party Coordinator at (212) 691-1303 ext. 11 or birthdays@nycfiremuseum.org.

Can I have more than 16 children?

Yes. Each additional child, after the 16th child, is $20 per child. Our maximum is 25 children.

Can parents stay for the party?

Our party package is not a drop off party. We advise all parents to stay for the duration of the party as well as participate in activities with their children.

Is there a limit to the number of adults that can attend?

The maximum number of adults that can attend is 40.

What is your cancellation policy?

Once you have confirmed the date with a $200 deposit, your party is booked. One hundred dollars ($100) will be deducted from your deposit for any cancellation after this point. Deposits are non-refundable for cancellations within a month of the booked party.

What if I need to reschedule my party?

Once you have confirmed the date with a $200 deposit, your party is booked. One hundred dollars ($100) will be deducted from your deposit if you change your party date. Deposits are non-refundable for a change of date within a month of the booked party. A new date will require an additional $100 deposit.

What if there is a snow storm?

If, due to a snow storm on or around the date of your reserved party, you feel the need to cancel your party, the Museum reserves the right to withhold any deposit if the Museum is officially open for admission on the day of the scheduled party. In the event the Museum is officially closed, we will return your deposit or reschedule your party for a later date.

At what age are children counted as guests?

Any child 3 years old or over is counted as part of the party package. Any child seven years or older is not counted in the party package. However, if you would like to include the child in the party festivities, we would set up a chair for him/her at the children's table. If this is done, he/she would be counted within the party package.

Is there any food included?

Food and beverages are not included for adults. The Museum simply provides the cake and juice boxes for children. You may bring your own food or have it catered. Heating devices, such as heating fuels and hotplates, are not permitted. Parents usually bring (or have delivered) all the adult drinks, such as water and soda.

Do you provide decorations? How about invitations?

The only decorative item we provide is balloons. Balloons are given out, one per child, during the second half of the party. If you wish to have additional balloons, it may be arranged. You are permitted to provide your own decorations. The Museum does not provide invitations.

Do guests have to pay to get into the Museum?

You and your guests are welcome to explore the first and second floor of the Museum all day on the day of your party. There is no additional charge for this incentive. However, you may want to suggest to your guests that they not arrive more than one hour prior to your party, so the children are not tired by the time the party begins.

Can alcohol be served at the party?

As the Fire Museum is a family establishment and open to the public during your child's birthday party, we strongly discourage any form of alcohol to be served. Furthermore, the Fire Museum does not possess a liquor license. If you wish to serve alcohol , a caterer or bartending service must be hired and a request for a Special Event Permit must be filed with the State of New York Liquor Authority at least 21 days in advance.

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Memberships and Donations

How do I become a Member?

To become a Member: join online; complete an application form and mail it along with your dues to the Membership department; stop by the Museum and join on-site; or, call (212) 691-1303 during regular Museum hours.

What are the benefits of becoming a member?

Benefits vary depending on the level of Membership. See a complete list of Membership benefits.

How do I make a donation to the Museum?

You may make a secure, fully tax-deductible donation online; by calling (212 )691-1303 and using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card; or, by mailing a check made payable to the NYC Fire Museum.

I am a current Member and/or donor. How can I change my name and/or address and continue to receive mail from the Museum?

Provide your name and/or address to the Museum by phone (212) 691-1303, fax (212) 352-3117, or by sending a email to director@nycfiremuseum.org.

Can I give a Membership as a gift?

Absolutely! A membership to the Museum makes any occasion special. Memberships make great birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, or holiday gifts for family, friends, and/or business associates. Gift memberships are available online, by calling the gift shop at (212) 691-1303 or completing an application form and faxing it to (212) 352-3117. Gift memberships can also be purchased in person at the Fire Museum Gift Shop.

Can I make a contribution in honor or in memory of someone?

Yes. Your gift, in any amount, to honor someone special will be acknowledged with a certificate informing the person of your thoughtfulness. Gifts made commemorating the life of loved ones will be acknowledged with a certificate to the family.

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Museum Shop

Where do proceeds of store sales go?

All gift shop and online sales are used to support the mission and vision of the New York City Fire Museum. All products bearing FDNY registered trademarks are officially licensed by the City of New York, and proceeds from the sale of these products benefit the FDNY Foundation.

What is your return/exchange policy?

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return the merchandise for a refund or exchange. We at the NYC Fire Museum offer a refund or exchange by the original payment method on items with a receipt within 14 days of purchase date.

All returns require the original packing materials and are subject to the approval of the NYC Fire Museum. Please note that DVD's and toy sets that have been opened will not be considered for return.

Without a receipt, refunds will be issued as a store credit, at the current selling price. Valid photo ID is required for all returns without a receipt. The NYC Fire Museum reserves the right to refuse excessive non-receipted returns or exchanges.

How do I return an item purchased from the online store?

We will pay return shipping costs if the product is defective or the return is a result of our error. If the item is returned for any other reason, you are responsible for return shipping costs. Returns must be shipped prepaid. Unauthorized returns will not be accepted. We will credit your charge account within 7 business days of receiving the returned item.

Ship authorized returns to the following address:
New York City Fire Museum
ATTN: Gift Shop
278 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013

For questions regarding our return policy please contact us at store@nycfiremuseum.org.

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