American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY

Central Park West at 79th StreetNew York, NY 10024
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Overview

The largest natural history museum in the world and spanning four city blocks, the American Museum of Natural History offers more than 40 exhibition halls with 32 million specimens and artifacts for guests of all ages to enjoy. The museum also features children’s workshops, multicultural programs, a discovery room, hands-on activities, on-going and seasonal events, and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our New York Travel Experts
  • Tour the museum at your own pace.
  • Night at the Museum tour available.
  • Parking available for a fee.
  • Coat check offered for a fee.
  • Museum features 45 permanent exhibition halls, world-renowned dioramas, the Hayden Planetarium, and a 94-foot-long blue whale.
  • The fossil halls feature the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world.

Description

from American Museum of Natural History
Explore human cultures, the natural world, and the universe with a visit to one of the world’s preeminent natural history museums!

Meet the Titanosaur, one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered, in the Museum’s fossil halls. See world-renowned dioramas, the 94-foot-long blue whale, and the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space, featuring an 87-foot-diameter sphere that appears to float inside a glass cube.

Special Night at the Museum tour available, too, where guests can see the real exhibits behind the Night at the Museum movie.

Space Show – Hayden Planetarium
Dark Universe: narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Celebrate the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge of the structure and history of the universe and our place in it—and to new frontiers for exploration.

Giant Screen Films – 3D & 2D showings include:
Earthflight
September 15, 2017–March 8, 2018
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Earthflight is a totally immersive experience, taking the audience on an incredible flight across the world on the wings of birds. Filmed in four continents and 11 countries, the film took four years to make.

Amazon Adventure
March 9-September 14, 2018
Amazon Adventure tells the science adventure story of Henry Bates and his extraordinary 11-year journey through the Amazon as a young man in the 1850s. Although unknown to the general public, he made crucial contributions to evolutionary biology. While identifying 8,000 species new to science, he discovered the phenomenon of “Batesian” mimicry and provided the “beautiful proof” for what is widely considered the most important scientific explanation of the development of life on Earth – natural selection.

Special Exhibitions
Our Senses: An Immersive Experience
November 20, 2017–January 6, 2019
We get to know our world through some or all of our senses—sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste—but they’re just parts of a much larger puzzle. The highly experiential exhibition Our Senses delves into how our brains work with sensory organs to shape our perceptions and reveals how, until recently in our evolutionary history, humans have been oblivious to nature’s other crucial signals, including UV light, infrared sounds, and electrical fields.

Unseen Oceans
March 12, 2018–January 6, 2019
Oceans explores our blue planet’s defining feature—the world ocean—as revealed through 21st-century technology. Visitors to the exhibition will meet the elusive giants of the sea, including whales, sharks, giant squid; sink beneath the waves in a virtual submersible theater; and marvel at the vivid fluorescence displayed by marine creatures but invisible to us . . . until now. And they’ll leave with a deeper awareness that the future of the planet depends on the future of the ocean.

The Butterfly Conservatory - Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter

October 7, 2017–May 28, 2018
This exhibition, an annual favorite, features up to 500 live, free-flying tropical butterflies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The butterflies are housed in a vivarium that approximates their natural habitat, includes live flowering plants that serve as nectar sources, and features controlled artificial light, temperature, and humidity.

Inside You
June 24, 2017–June 16, 2019
Inside You explores the rapidly evolving science that is revolutionizing how we view human health. Our bodies are home to many trillions of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms collectively called the human microbiome. In any human, microbial genes outnumber the genes in human DNA by more than 100 to one. Included in General admission.

Reserve New York City Customer Reviews

7 Reviews
Megan A.
18 Reviews
"Great place to visit!"
May, 2016
This to me is an iconic NYC museum. It's a perfect place for kids to learn about history and offers several floors with so much to see. If your a fan of the movie "Night at the Museum," you will love this place. It's so close to Central Park, you could actually visit this museum and take a stroll through the park.
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Katherine Barr
CA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"A Great place to spend time in NYC"
July, 2015
I try and make even a short visit to the Natural History Museum any time i am in NYC. I love this museum as there is so much to see from ancient history to the present. It is a must see place.
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Tip: Buy your tickets online to get a discount.

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Deborah Farren
Elmira, NY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"American Musuem of Natural History"
April, 2015
We took our 8 year old and 5 year old boys to the museum. My 8 year old boy loved the museum and all it had to offer from the Dinosaurs to the Awesome Under the Ocean Exhibit. My 5 year old loved the Night of Museum self guided tour. It was a great adventure for our two boys and it left them talking for two entire days to all their friends.
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Tip: Try to go early in the morning when the musuem opens. Also the ReserveNY e-tickets are to be shown in the same line as the NYC passes. So although you buy them ahead of time it does not guarentee a quick walk in to the musuem.

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Alexandre Costa
Long Island, NY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"American Museum of Natural History"
February, 2015
From dinosaurs to man in space
It's a walk through history,
Amazing creatures, creations and places
To enjoy, to learn, to see!
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Tip: don't hesitate to know this museum

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mindy p.
budd lake, NJ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun day in the city"
February, 2015
We took a 2 year old and had a great time! She lasted longer than I expected! Didn't take a stroller, and not sure you'd be able to maneuver with one anyway. We went the Monday after Christmas which was a mad house, so next time we'll pick a better day. Only down fall was I bought tickets online to save us from waiting in line. Wrong! We had to wait in line for over an hour which was frustrating.
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Tip: Be aware you must exchange ticket on arrival.

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joseph ferguson
CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"efficency at the museum"
January, 2015
although there was hunder or more people ahead of us in line in took no longer then 25 minutes before I was inside. staff was very efficent and feiendly and went out of their way to make our visit special
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Tip: if you bought tickets online make sure to bring the credit card purchased the tickets with. come refreshed

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Debbie Fitton
UK
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"American Museum of Natural History"
January, 2015
I took my 5 year old twins here in December and we all enjoyed it thorughly. There was plenty see and do and we spent the whole day there. It was well worth the money.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Christophe P
"Unclear pricing"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
We came with high expectations and discovered a splendid Museum of National History filled with dusty stuffed animals (now completely dead since coming to life at this one partical night in the movie apparently) against unreal faded painted wallpapers, an unclear 'pricing' policy with long waiting lines (first you have to figure out 'where' you have to wait) and witj not so friendly front desk personnel (you would expect them to be a bit more courteous after you've waited so long to see them). This is undoubtedly a real feast for taxidermists and I guess it can be really creepy visiting in the evening, but overall, a real joke to natural history compared to the London or Paris Musea of Natural History.
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MarcelaMinvielle
Mexico City, Mexico
"The unseen oceans temporary expo was worth it"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
Too much to see and too little time. We took out 2 boys to the museum and it was really interesting. Yes it was packed and yes it was too much to cover it all in one day. We decide to buy the tickets for the main exhibit + one and it was more than enough. Young kids or maybe just mine get bored and saturated quite easily so the 2 hours we spent there were plenty. The exhibition of unseen oceans was really interesting. It had interactive activities and interesting info... Just wished it had a projection that lasted longer since it was so interesting.
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Rabelro
Wakefield, United Kingdom
"Fantastic, but beware pre-pay Get Your Guide crowd beating claims."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
In town from UK so travelled up early this morning from lower Manhattan to make the most of this full day visit. Arrived promptly at 10.00 for opening with my prepaid Get Your Guide ticket in hand but for some reason had to wait in line for half an hour before doors opened. Not a good start. Once inside, all I had to do was go to the Will Call desk to have my voucher validated right? Not today, it was unmanned so I was abruptly redirected by an unfriendly attendant to the main ticket line where I queued for a further 45 mins. Since this was exactly what I’d paid to avoid I expressed my disappointment to the ticket clerk who told me it was due to ‘funding shortages’. There were five ticket sales staff on duty. Surely one desk could have been designated for prepaid visitors so they could have been fast tracked. The whole process seemed disorganised resulting in nearly a half day lost. On the positive side, the exhibit halls are superbly presented. Don’t miss the iMax film Backyard Wilderness.
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Happy_Traveller_Van
Vancouver
"Great Museum Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
Thank you Pat!!!! You were an amazing tour guide for the 75 minute tour of the museum. You werr VERY knowledgeable and added so much information to our tour that we would not have otherwise been privy to - thank you. We bought a City Pass to attend the museum and felt that it was the best way to see the museum. We did the Dark Matters Planetarium show which was very interesting and then a walking tour followed by our own exploration. We really enjoyed our exposure to this exhibit.
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Juleskev123
Sunderland, United Kingdom
"Girls trip to New York"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
You must go - it is absolutely amazing. There is so much to see and despite the crowds, you don’t feel overwhelmed. Great value for money
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American Museum of Natural History is located at Central Park West at 79th StreetNew York, NY 10024
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Frequently Asked Questions about American Museum of Natural History

Is parking available?
Parking is available at our facility conveniently located within the Museum; enter at 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. The hours of operation are 8:00 am – 11:00 pm. Fees vary per hour.

What subway stop are you located at?
Take the B (weekdays only) or C to 81st Street. Two blocks west of the Museum, the 1 train stops at Broadway and West 79th Street.

Are cameras allowed?
Except where noted, photography for personal use is allowed with hand-held cameras and with available light or electronic flash attachments. Tripods and lights may not be used. Reproduction or sale of photographs is not allowed without Museum permission. No flash photography is permitted in the Space Theater or in the LeFrak Theater.

Are strollers allowed into the museum?
strollers are permitted throughout the museum, excluding the IMAX and Planetarium theaters and Butterfly Conservatory. Where strollers are not permitted, stroller parking is provided. There are also changing stations in men's and women's restrooms throughout the building, as well as in the family restrooms, located on the first floor.

Do you offer a coat check?
Yes, the coat check is located in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, directly inside the main entrance of the Museum at Central Park West at 79th Street. An additional coat check is located on the lower level of the Rose Center and operates September through March. Coats, umbrellas, and bags may be checked for $2 per person, space permitting.

What items are not allowed?
Visitors are discouraged from bringing large bulky items such as backpacks or luggage into the Museum. Items not accepted in the coat check include perishables, wallets, purses, musical instruments, bikes, computers and other items deemed to be of high value. All articles must be claimed before the museum closes. The museum is not responsible for articles left overnight. The museum reserves the right to inspect any parcel brought into the premises.

Are wheelchairs available?
Wheelchairs are available for visitor use on a first-come, first-served basis at the Will Call desk directly inside the Rose Center/81st Street entrance, at the Main/Central Park West entrance, and in the parking garage. Please bring a form of identification for wheelchair use.

Is the museum wheelchair accessible?
All of the Museum's exhibitions are accessible by wheelchair, and all public floors of the Museum can be reached by elevator. All theaters include wheelchair locations and companion seats. The LeFrak Theater also is equipped with chairs that have swing-out armrests for those wishing to sit in a theater seat. All food service areas are accessible by wheelchair with no steps, turnstiles, or other potential obstructions.