Centuries of Childhood: An American Story

In Centuries of Childhood: An American Story, children will connect the stories of American history to their own experiences by learning about the lives of five historical children and their families.

Onatah, a 7 year old Iroquois girl, recounts life in the Great Lakes Region in the 1700’s. Explore the long house and paddle the canoe. 

Gregory, at 10, is a Colonial apprentice. He shares his story of working and living away from home. Visit the trade shops. Ride his horse.

Clara, a pioneer girl, heads west with her family in 1840. Pack the covered wagon. Explore her campsite. Jacob is a Jewish immigrant boy living in Cleveland in the late 1800’s. Discover the ship that brought him and the Statue of Liberty that welcomed him.

Michael is a mid-20th century African American child moving from the Deep South to Chicago. Ride the train that carried him north. Visit his first classroom.


TARGET AUDIENCE: Educational activities are designed for children ages 2 to 8 years.

RENTAL DETAILS: A minimum of 2000 square feet of exhibit space is required; the exhibit can be installed in expanded configurations for larger galleries. Rental fees are $21,000 for three months; in-bound shipping additional.

RENTAL INCLUDES: Educational program plans and marketing guide. Detailed installation and packing instructions, with installation support from experienced CMC exhibits staff.

Click here to view a printable rental brochure for Centuries of Childhood: An American Story (.pdf)

LEARN THEIR HISTORY: Learn about American history through the eyes of five distinct children from the past.

PLAY: Buy or sell a ticket and ride the train.

UNDERSTAND: Set the table for Shabbat.

IDENTIFY: Write a letter just like a colonial apprentice.

EXPERIENCE: Paddle a canoe and practice fishing.

LEARN THEIR LIVES: Immerse yourself in the past and experience the daily lives of children throughout history.

LEARN: Be a train conductor or ride as a passenger.

WORK: Pretend to work in a blacksmith, carpenter, printer, and shoemaker’s shop.

BUILD: Construct a log cabin home.

IMAGINE: Prepare food in the Longhouse. Interactive experiences!


BECOME A CHILD IN EARLIER TIMES: Enjoy exploring colonial shops, a pioneer covered wagon and more!

EXPLORE: Pack the covered wagon for the trip west.

PRETEND: Ride a horse.

PLAY: Steer the boat.

ACT: Hang clothes to dry.



The Children’s Museum of Cleveland
3813 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115
216-791-KIDS x24


Sponsored by:


The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation
Hershey Foundation
Lubrizol Foundation
Abington Foundation
The Harry K. Fox & Emma R. Fox Charitable Foundation
Dean & Carol Mueller
Betty Rosskamm
The Swagelok Foundation

If making a ticket donation request, please click here to complete this form.

The Museum welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually and has one of the most diverse visitor bases of museums in the region. Visitors come equally from the eastern and western sides of Cuyahoga County with approximately a quarter coming from beyond the County.