American Museum of Natural History

Museums , Science and technology Upper West Side
Recommended
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
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American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: Marielle Solan

Beyond the iconic, show-stopping displays–the grizzly bear in the Hall of North American Mammals, the 94-feet long blue whale, the prehistoric Barosaurus skeleton rearing up as if to scare the adjacent Allosaurus skeleton–is an expertly curated, 150 year old-plus museum that fills visitors of all ages with a curiosity about the universe. Whether you’re interested in the world below our feet, or the cultures of faraway lands or the stars light-years beyond our reach, your visit is bound to teach you a few things you never knew.

With four floors filled to the brim with artifacts, you could spend a whole day just looking at the taxidermied animals that hail from from North America, Asia, Africa, rain forests and the ocean. Or, conversely, spend a day like an anthropologist, studying just the human species, with halls dedicated to different cultures of American Indians (Eastern Woodland, Plains, North West Pacific), Asian peoples, African Peoples, Pacific Peoples, and, before these rich cultures existed, the evolutionary origins of humans and our near (now extinct) cousins, like neanderthals. Someone with an inner-geologist, or just a love of sparkly rocks, will feel like a kid in the hall of gems and the hall of minerals. And nearly everyone is filled with child-like awe in the presence of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Wooly Mammoth and the Apatosaurus in the fourth floor’s world-renowned fossil collection.

Admission to the museum is a suggested donation, which is great for anyone who wants to see big dinos for little dinero. However, for access to the amazing special exhibits like the annual Butterfly Conservatory or the mesmerizing Space Show in the Hayden Planetarium, you’ll have to shell out more (For one special exhibit $27, students and seniors $22, children $16). Many who are looking to spend the whole day at the museum should consider the Super Saver tickets ($35, students and seniors $28, children $22), which includes admission to as many special exhibits, IMax films and the Space Show as you can feasibly schedule in one day.

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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  • Exhibitions Until Monday January 2 2017
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  • Until Thursday November 24 2016
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
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Brian M.

Located along upper 5th Avenue, this museum is great place to get lost and learn a bunch along the way. An almost cavernous experience follow along the map or just wander through galleries.  The dinosaur fossils that greet you when you enter the building are impressive in their selves. Wander through the halls of animals or learn about the many groups of people and their impact on America.  The Rose Center for Space is another day of events in itself with a planetarium and multiple exhibits about the universe.  Plan a full day, or two, if you plan to visit this museum.  

Adam V
tastemaker

Really giant museum that feels a bit like other museums were haphazardly stitched together. That being said, it's an adventure that never fails to elicit excitement, fun, enjoyment, and a bit of learning - which is really the goal of a great museum in the end. The food court is filled with congealed leftovers and unhelpful staff. There are gift shops everywhere. Admissions may be free (or 'suggested'), but the prices are a bit exorbitant. Back to the good stuff - literally everything you can imagine is stuffed in here. Sometimes it feels like they ran out of room, or got some new stuff, so they threw on another wing, or floor even. Some stuff feels dated. Overall, you could walk in a circle and not see the same stuff twice - you can explore, and visit whatever fancies your interest. There is no shortage of things to view. The newer exhibits lean heavily on interaction, which feels relevant and makes it more interesting and tangible. I had a really great time, and feel regardless of my own preference, this museum is a treasure (not to be missed).

Lindsey W
Tastemaker

I went here this weekend with one of my friends and was BEYOND excited. The Dinosaur exhibit was amazing, (it's really what I came for), but besides that I wasn't too impressed with anything else. The crowds were immense, but then again we did go on a rainy Saturday. I would definitely suggest purchasing tickets online because the lines to get in can be very long. You'll also probably need at least 4 hours if you want to see the entire museum because it is huge.

ssh2138
tastemaker

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).