Downton Abbey Exhibition in New York City
I’m a big fan of the T.V. series Downton Abbey and was sad when it ended in 2016. Thankfully, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition coincided with my vacation (me-cation) to NYC, and I was able to attend with a complimentary press ticket. The three-level exhibit showcases costumes, props, accessories, and more.
Before the exhibit, guests watch a video featuring Mr. Carson, who explains the do’s and don’ts for your visit (for example, photography is ok, video recording is not).
Upon entering the exhibit, we are greeted by a realistic-looking hologram video of Mrs. Hughes, who encourages us to enter.
Like the estate in the show, the bottom floor is where the staff and kitchen reside. Guests are greeted with kitchen aromas from a pot that constantly steams but never burns. The scent of fresh baked apple pie fills the air, and reading materials explain how the set coincides historically with Edwardian England, how some props were modified, such as making the kitchen table lower to suit Mrs. Patmore’s short stature.
Half of the servant’s table is available for fun photo opportunities!
An iconic display throughout the show and in the opening credits is the servant’s wall of bells. Very cool to see them in person!
Before the escalators to the second floor, guests are encouraged to take a quiz on one of the kiosks to see if you are “fit to work at Downton Abbey”. My answers concluded I would be a a good cook!
On the second floor is a screening area with a montage of video clips from the show. Since it’s been a couple years since the series ended, it was a nice recap. This floor houses the formal dining area, complete with fine china and silverware. It was blocked off (for obvious reasons), but you can still take a selfie from the corner. A video entitled, “Protocol with Mr. Carson” plays in the room. It explains the etiquette for formal dining (use the hostess as a cue), which I found quite fascinating.
I love all the gorgeous costumes in the show. Dinnertime was always a treat, as it was customary for aristocrats to dress up. I loved seeing the fashions and accessories on display from the show, set between 1912 and 1926.
Level three was probably my favorite floor. The main characters from the show each have a section with images, a profile, and some props and costumes from some pivotal moments in the show. The replica of Lady Mary’s room is quite extraordinary.
I loved how detailed all the props were, down to the style of handwriting, stationery, and photographs.
The final section of the exhibit on the third level are more costumes. Here, I saw from the ordinary daywear (which by today’s standards are far from ordinary), to the elaborate formal and wedding gowns. The detail and quality of materials is impressive.
When you leave the exhibit, guests are welcome to hit a gong. During Edwardian times, the gong sound indicated important times of the day. At the exhibit, it is a nice way to say goodbye to such a fantastic television series.
The Gift Shop
Plenty of Downton Abbey themed items in the gift shop! Among them: tea, books, pillows, postcards, and more. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for yourself or a fellow Downton Abbey fan!
I highly recommend this exhibit for any Downton Abbey fan.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, based on the beloved television show, transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.
It’s currently on display in New York at 218 West 57th Street between Broadway & 7th Avenue. It may go on tour to other locations. Join their mailing list on their website for up-to-date information. Visit their website for pricing, details, and more:
Disclaimer: Westside Mommy attended this exhibit using a press ticket. No monetary compensation was exchanged for this post. All opinions are honest and 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links (below).