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.Centuries of Childhood Logo

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)

 Take a video tour of the exhibit…



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