No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie (dinosaurs, gems or something else entirely), it’s hard to explore the American Museum of Natural History 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 Deinonychus, in the fourth-floor fossil halls. When you tire of dinos, head to the human-origins and culture halls to learn more about our evolutionary history, or gawk at the famed 94-foot-long blue-whale model in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Lastly, don’t miss the Rose Center for Earth & Space, where you can discover the universe via 3-D and light shows in the IMAX auditorium and the Hayden Planetarium.
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Museums and attractions near the American Museum of Natural History
American Folk Art Museum
This unique institution is once again confined to its Lincoln Square location, after its spell in a purpose-built museum next door to MoMA ended because of a budget crisis that almost closed AFA. Its unparalleled holdings in folk and outsider artworks make it one of the city's outstanding cultural centers.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Located in Lincoln Center, this branch of the New York Public Library frequently hosts exhibitions—recent collections examined the legacy of the New York Choral Society and the National Endowment for the Arts Nationals Fellows—along with events and lectures. It also includes the Billy Rose Theatre Collection, one of the world's largest archives devoted entirely to the performing arts.