Join us for a walk through the historic streets of DUMBO as we explore how the water has shaped New York City, and vice versa. Starting at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO location, housed inside the renovated 1869 Empire Stores building, we will introduce you to their exhibition Waterfront, which chronicles Brooklyn’s long and complex history along 131 miles of coastline. We will then step out to explore the landscape of DUMBO and how it was built on innovation and hard labor, We will hear stories of both the captains of industry and ordinary workers who built Brooklyn. We will also explore the deindustrialization of Brooklyn, and the remaking of DUMBO into one of New York City’s most desirable neighborhoods, a commercial and residential district ringed by parkland where piers and factories once stood.
Discover hidden treasures, natural wonders and little-known tales on these interactive guided tours of Prospect Park in the heart of Brooklyn, presented by Turnstile Tours in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. While taking in the beauty of this iconic park’s woodlands, waterways, wildlife, and landmarks, explore the fascinating layers of natural and human history, from the flora and geology, to the architectural eras visible in the built environment, to the past and present of recreation and play. Explore how use of the park has changed over time, from the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, to projects underway today that support environmental conservation, historic preservation, and recreational and cultural access for Brooklynites and visitors from around the world.
Health and Safety: These in-person tours are now being offered again, but with modifications to protect the health and safety of our visitors, staff, and the public. Before booking, please review our full statement and guidelines on COVID-19 health and safety.
Step aboard a beautiful Classic Harbor Line vessel and explore New York Harbor in comfort as our knowledgeable guides discuss the past and present of the military and industrial waterfront. Our Brooklyn Industrial Waterfront Tour gives visitors the opportunity to see another side of the fast-changing borough, visiting container ports, recycling facilities, and shipyards that are vital to the daily operations of the city. Or you can explore the military and naval history of the harbor, as our Military History Harbor Tour takes you back to World War II, when nearly every inch of shoreline was taken up by shipyards, warehouses, and piers sending troops and supplies across the globe for the war effort.
Every year during Fleet Week, and on special occasions and holidays, Turnstile Tours partners with Classic Harbor Line to offer boat cruises about the military history of New York Harbor, especially during World War II. Starting from Chelsea Piers, this 2.5-hour cruise aboard one of their beautiful motor yacht features visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and USS Intrepid, as well as other historic and military sites along the New Jersey and Brooklyn shores. Along the way, we share the stories of sailors, shipbuilders, longshoremen and merchant mariners who built New York Harbor into the heart of the American war effort.
This tasting exploration showcases the vendors of the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, founded in 1940 and now housed in a new, bustling facility home to over 40 vendors. This 90-minute walking and tasting tour visits 6-8 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, handmade chocolates, and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Along the way, we will explore the past and present of New York City’s public market system, from open-air pushcart markets, to the retail and wholesale network built by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
From farms to pushcarts to public markets, this 2-hour walking and tasting tour explores historical aspects of New York’s food system and the influence of Caribbean and Latin American cultures and cuisines on the past and present of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the eastern section of Williamsburg serves up herbal tea remedies from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional ingredients. Based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners, and on original archival research, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. The tour includes 6-8 generous tastings from market vendors and local eateries.
Step aboard a luxury yacht on this intimate two-hour cruise narrated by guides from Turnstile Tours that explores the Brooklyn waterfront past and present, from the borough’s historical emergence as an industrial powerhouse, to its resurgence today as a major center of innovation, manufacturing, and recreation. The Brooklyn waterfront has long been a major economic engine and cultural touchstone for New York City – there’s no better way to explore this dynamic landscape than from the water.
All tours are offered in partnership with Classic Harbor Line.
Turnstile Tours offers interactive and educational tours in partnership with non-profit organizations on topics ranging from the the history of New York City’s industrial waterfront to the contemporary stories of the city’s manufacturers, immigrant entrepreneurs, urban planners, and architects. Below you will find information on all of our programs for your people, including detailed information on educational standards that these programs fulfill. Turnstile Tours guarantees that all educational tours will engage youth participants to:
- actively participate in the process of interpreting primary and secondary sources relevant to the tour experience
- share personal connections, prior knowledge, and opinions
- make observations, share opinions and perspectives, and draw conclusions based on larger issues related to the tours
All our staff members have experience teaching in either classroom or museum settings for K-12 students or at the college level, and many have experience working with young people who have intellectual, learning, and physical disabilities. Staff members are assigned to educational groups based on their relevant teaching experience and expertise in the subject matter.
For 165 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard built some of America’s most famous fighting ships, from sailing frigates to aircraft carriers. Today, the Yard is home to hundreds manufacturing, technology, and creative businesses, providing thousands of jobs to New Yorkers across a wide range of industries.
We offer a variety of theme-based tours about history, architecture, industry, and more, and there are many hands-on ways to discover what’s behind the walls of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by bicycle, bus, and on foot. Because the Navy Yard is such a vast and complex site, we can craft experiences relevant to almost any subject area, including social studies, history, and many STEM subjects. Click “More Information” to see how to book, availability, pricing, and applicable New York State Scope and Sequence learning standards.
Try some of New York City’s best street food, and learn how food offers an amazing window into the life of a city and its neighborhoods and people. On our Food Cart Tours of Manhattan’s Financial District and Midtown, we introduce visitors and lifelong New Yorkers alike to the amazing tastes and stories of the city’s street vendor community, offering the opportunity to not only taste amazing dishes from all over the world cooked up on the sidewalk, but also to get an insider’s perspective on the industry.
This hands-on tour is an excellent experience for students of all ages, especially for those studying topics related to immigration, food systems, and the history of New York City. The tour can also be adapted to meet most dietary needs. Click “More Information” to see how to book, availability, pricing, and applicable New York State Scope and Sequence learning standards.