My daughters (ages 19 and 22) and I visited the Tenement Museum in December 2011 while on a Christmas shopping trip to NYC. Since we have previously been to NYC several times, this time we were able to skip the bigger tourist attractions giving us time to see a few other places which have been on our list for awhile - the Tenement Museum being at the top of that list!
We booked the "Hard Times" evening tour which gave us an authentic look into the lives of two real families, the Baldizzi family and the Gumpertz family. The tenement homes tour allowed us to really experience first hand the incredibly stark contrast in living conditions of those in the tenements and those of the upper echelon such as Henry Clay Frick, for example, whose home turned museum of the same general time period was also on our list of things to see during this trip.
I appreciate the time and energy which the museum staff have put into researching these real people's stories in an effort to bring us a one-of-a-kind museum showing what life was like for the thousands of working class immigrants whose first homes were in the tenements of the Lower East Side.
The tenements have been restored to look as though they did at the time each family lived in them including some personal items which actually belonged to these particular families. Hearing the recorded voices of family member(s) sharing their experiences and memories of living in that exact tenement brought an added emotional level of connectivity not often found in a museum.
I look forward to visiting the Tenement Museum again on future trips to NYC after more floors and apartments have been restored each to represent what I believe our tour guide said would be a different time period. Speaking of our tour guide, she was a delightful young lady who was very knowledgeable about the time period, family, and area of which she spoke. She gave us a wonderful tour and was able to answer all of our questions. This wasn't just your run-of-the-mill tour where the guides only know enough information to give the tour. I appreciate that she really knew the history of the building, area, and families enough to elaborate on topics which were brought up by various questions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and in the future will highly recommend friends/family take time to experience one of these tours when they are visiting New York City.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC