Like a lot of other kids, I wanted to be a firefighter when I grew up (among other things).
I think I realized along the way that firefighting, while exciting, is also very stressful and dangerous and not everyone is cut out for it, to say the least. But the allure of it has always remained with me.
The NYC Fire Museum on Spring Street is a cheerful and interactive place with retired firemen as guides and a lot of cool exhibits. You can see old fire engines, helmets, and the like, and there is a special demonstration for kids on fire safety and what to do in a smoky situation.
They also encourage you to put on firefighter gear and swing a wooden axe! (I posted it on Facebook and, of course, my friends got a big kick out of it, too.) Retired fireman John took my picture (above) and also shot a short video clip of me (below).
The museum is celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the NY Fire Department this year. They also have a lecture series there.
The Museum is located at 278 Spring Street in Soho in Manhattan— an interesting neighborhood and accessible by subway, especially the C train which stops next door. Admission is inexpensive.
It is not a really big place, but lots of fun. They also host children’s parties. I think the adults there are having as much, if not more, fun than the kids.