I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more, than I’ll never know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
Can you hear the music? Louis Armstrong said that when he sang “What a Wonderful World”, he was thinking of his neighborhood in Queens, New York and the home where he lived with his wife for decades.
In 1943, Louis Armstong was the most famous jazz musician in the world. He could have lived almost anywhere, but with his wife Lucille, he chose a modest home in Queens, New York and lived there for the rest of his life. After the death of Lucille, the home became a historic monument and was opened to the public as the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
Tours of the Louis Armstrong House Museum are given on the hour and last approximately 40 minutes. Reservations are not necessary unless you are bringing a group of eight people or more.
On the tour
Tours of the Louis Armstrong House Museum begin in the basement. You'll begin in the gift shop, which sells souvenirs you won't find anywhere else, and then watch a video about Louis Armstrong's life in his laundry room. I don't know how you feel about that, but I think it's pretty cool!
From there, you'll climb the stairs to the living areas. The Armstrong home was comfortable, but considering how big a celebrity Louis Armstrong was, it's impressive that he chose to live in a relatively modest home in a middle-class neighborhood.
We toured the entire house, including the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and closets, all of which the Armstrongs decorated with their personal flair. The big finale is a visit to Louis Armstrong's home office on the top floor where his personal notes, photos and gifts from famous friends are on display.
Especially for families
I was grateful to find that the Louis Armstrong House Museum is family-friendly because I admit that our visit was more for me than my kids. The Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes children and hosts tours for school groups each year. Tours are small, so guides can likely accommodate the interests and needs of your family.
The Armstrongs had a fun sense of style and kids may especially enjoy the bright blue kitchen, gold bathroom or the silver foil walk-in closet. I gave my 10-year-old daughter the camera for part of our tour and she loved taking photos of colorful rooms. The yard outside is open and family-friendly. Kids can run and play there before or after the tour.
While the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes families, keep in mind that children will not be able to roam the house freely and they will not have much opportunity to touch the furnishings or sit down during the 40-minute tour. The three-story house cannot accommodate strollers.
Good to Know
Where: 34-56 107th Street, Corona, New York. Directions for driving or subway are available at the Louis Armstrong House Museum website. Free parking is usually available nearby.
- Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
- Saturday – Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
- Closed on Mondays and major holidays
- Always open on July 4 to celebrate Louis Armstrong's traditional birthday
- Adults: $10
- Seniors, students and children: $7
- Under age 4: FREE
- Discounts available for groups of 8 or more
How Long: One hour
Amenities: Gift shop, restrooms
Disclosure: We received free admission to the Louis Armstrong House Museum so that we could review it for other families. All opinions are my own.