American Museum of Natural History

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
Critics' pick
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Wendy Connett

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Wendy Connett

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Wendy Connett

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Upper West Side

RECOMMENDED: American Museum of Natural History

No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie (dinosaurs, gems or something else entirely), it’s hard to explore this Upper West Side fixture without being awestruck. You’ll immediately spot the rotunda’s hulking Barosaurus skeleton replica, but delving further into the museum’s collection, you’ll find actual specimens, such as a Deinonychus, in the fourth-floor fossil halls. Roughly 80 percent of the bones on display were actually dug out of the ground; the rest are casts. During the museum’s mid-1990s renovation, several specimens were remodeled to incorporate new discoveries. The Tyrannosaurus rex, for instance, was once believed to have walked upright, Godzilla-style; it now stalks prey with its head lowered and tail raised parallel to the ground.

The rest of the museum is equally dramatic. The newly opened Hall of Human Origins boasts a fine display of your old cousins, the Neanderthals. The Hall of Biodiversity examines world ecosystems and environmental preservation, and a life-size model of a blue whale hangs from the ceiling of the Hall of Ocean Life. The impressive Hall of Meteorites was brushed up and reorganized in 2003. The space’s focal point is Ahnighito, the largest iron meteor on display anywhere in the world, weighing in at 34 tons (more than 30,000kg).

The spectacular $210 million Rose Center for Earth and Space—dazzling at night—is a giant silvery globe where you can discover the universe via 3-D shows in the Hayden Planetarium and light shows in the Big Bang Theater. An IMAX theater screens larger-than-life nature programs, and you can always learn something new from the innovative temporary exhibitions, an easily accessible research library (with vast photo and print archives), several cool gift shops and friendly, helpful staff.

RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions

Venue name: American Museum of Natural History
Contact:
Address: Central Park West at 79th St
New York
10024
Opening hours: Daily 10am–5:45pm
Transport: Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History; 1 to 79th St
Price: Suggested donation $22, seniors and students $17, children 2–12 $12.50, children under 2 free. Special exhibits $27, seniors and students $22, children 2–12 $16, children under 2 free
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  • Until Sunday May 29 2016
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  • Until Sunday August 14 2016
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  • Until Thursday November 24 2016
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

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LiveReviews|7
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ssh2138

Lovely museum great for families. I would say that families should either come really early or try to come on the weekday because it is beyond packed on the weekends. 

lily r
tastemaker

The American Museum of Natural History has been a lifelong love of mine. No wonder the movie Night At The Museum chose this as its original setting - the entire building feels like an adventure, especially as a child. The must sees include the giant T Rex and the Blue Whale. I don't think there is a room in the museum I don't love. And be sure to remember that rates for admission are suggested pricing, so even if you're a bit broke, you can definitely still enjoy the museum. 

Allie E

Visiting AMNH never gets old. I could spend hours checking out the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs or the Hall of Ocean Life (because where else do you see a 94-foot model of a Blue Whale)? It's a classic New York experience everyone should have, and Central Park is just a hop and a skip away!

Christy S

Such a fun experience for kids and adults alike.  There is so much to see and learn!  They actually have a free app that can give you a guided tour while you're at the museum or help plan your trip before you get there!  

jen s

My kids have an incredible experience every time we visit. -This is one of the few places we can spend hours in. 

It is truly great for kids of all ages and adults as well. We usually hit the big whale/ ocean life section, as that is always a hit, the dinosaurs, and any bigger exhibit going on. It's a very big place and each floor has different exhibits and themes, so be sure to get a map. Additionally, we have driven/ parked in their lot every time we went, and it's been pretty seamless, even on weekends.

David K

Take the weekday off, head over there after 10 to avoid the rough commute over, leave before the rush home on the train will be a mess and you'll be in for one of the most relaxing/educational days ever -- one of my go to's on a day off

Linda

This museum is on the "must do list" for anyone coming to NYC, particularly with children between 5 and 16. It's got something for everyone, from the dinosaur collection (must be the largest in the world, really) to the Planetarium show (narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, no less!). The only negatives are that it can be costly if you have 2 adults and 2 kids, so you may as well purchase a membership so you can come back and spend more time with the many exhibits, in addition to seeing the IMAX movie (we saw the one on Flying Monsters, narrated by David Attenborough....excellent!). Also the food in the cafe', while providing a nice variety, is NY-style pricey (but my son thought the cheeseburger was perfect, so it was worth the $10).