Design Tales is a free literacy-based design program for pre-school children and their caregivers that incorporates storytelling, design vocabulary, and hands-on activities.

Join us as we explore design basics for preschoolers between the ages of 2 – 5. Caregivers are invited to participate in interactive reading sessions that focus on design based books. These sessions will engage your littlest designers in visualization, creative play and inspire hands-on activities lead by a museum educator.


Design Tales is made possible in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.



For nearly five successful years, Cooper Hewitt Design Center (CHDC) is closing its doors on April 14, 2016. CHDC has served as a vital temporary space allowing us to continue our family programming during a multi-year renovation of the museum.

With the renovation fully complete, we are consolidating our resources, bringing our programs under one roof at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. We invite you to visit our main campus where you may access the same great programming.

We enjoyed being part of the Harlem community, and look forward to welcoming our CHDC friends to the museum! Click here for information on how to get to the museum.


Can I bring my group to the program? 
Design Tales and Design Kids are intended for families. We are unable to accommodate groups.

What is my role as the caregiver in this program?
We require that caregivers actively participate in our workshops. Cooper Hewitt educators are present to lead and facilitate a fun family friendly design project. Caregivers are responsible for helping their child with their individual projects and manage any behavioral challenges that might be disruptive to the group. Caretakers must stay with their child for the duration of the program.

Reserving Tickets
Each program day we present the same activity during two different time slots. When you select your event, reserve your tickets for the session time that works for you. You need one ticket per person, including all children. For example, if you are bringing two kids, you will need three tickets: one for you and one for each child.

The program is full. Can I still get in?
Reservations are required to guarantee participation in Design Tales, and we do not keep a waitlist. Occasionally, however, reserved participants cannot attend the event, and there may be room in the program on the day of the scheduled event. If you were unable to reserve a spot, please arrive to the event location five minutes early and speak with our educators about joining. Please keep in mind that drop-ins are only accepted if space is permitting.

What if I’m running late?
Participants may be turned away if they arrive more than 10 minutes after the start of the program, even if they have a reservation.