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
  • Self guided tour.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • 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
Voted #1 attraction in New York City by Zagat Survey "U.S. Family Travel Guide"! Included with your ticket: Rose Center for Earth and Space and 45 permanent exhibition halls featuring world-renowned dioramas, the 94-foot-long blue whale, and dinosaur halls. Don’t miss features in the LeFrak IMAX theater, with screenings in spectacular Digital 3D and 2D film, or the stunning new Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe.

Special Exhibitions and Giant Screen Film include:

MUMMIES
March 20, 2017 - January 7, 2018
SEE 19 RARELY SEEN MUMMIES IN THIS EXHIBITION. Mummies offers an up-close look at one of the largest collections of mummies housed in North America. From ancient Egypt to pre-Columbian Peru, the exhibition explores the intersection between societies, their environment, and the preparations they made for their dead.

The Butterfly Conservatory - 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. Featured species include
iridescent blue morpho butterflies, striking scarlet swallowtails, and large owl butterflies.

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. Highlights include a virtual garden to explore through the eyes of a bee or a snake; an audio-collage challenging visitors to test their skill at
tracking individual sounds; illusions that make flat surfaces seem rippled; a variety of tactile experiences that activate different kinds of nerves; and a smell test inviting visitors to guess the ingredients in a complex scent.
Other areas of the exhibition will explain how our senses and brain work together to create our perception of “reality” by filling in gaps, resolving conflicts, correcting errors, and using scraps of information to trigger memories. A live presenter will examine how the senses and worldviews of other species differ from ours and what’s truly unique about
human perception, including sensory integration and appreciation of art and music.

Earthflight
Giant Screen Film | 3D and 2D
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. Revolutionary aerial techniques and state-of- the-art 3D cameras deliver the reality of flight as viewers join a variety of different avian species on their seasonal journeys. The audience will discover the fascinating science of flight: how they maneuver simultaneously in flocks a million strong; manage immense journeys; navigate across whole continents, and collaborate with other animals to find food.

Museum Highlights include:
  • The Hayden Planetarium Space Theater uses advanced visual technology to create shows of unparalleled sophistication, realism, and excitement.

  • Rose Center for Earth and Space is included with admission.

  • The Museum's renowned fossil halls feature the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world.

  • A 94-foot-long blue whale model presides over the immersive Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

  • The dioramas in the Museum's Mammal Halls are among the most renowned in the world.


Tickets available are Museum General Admission, which supports the Museum's scientific and educational endeavors, includes admission to all 45 Museum halls and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. General Admission ticket does not include special exhibitions, giant-screen film, or Space Show.

Museum Plus One tickets include admission to the Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space plus one special exhibition, LeFrak Theater film, or Hayden Planetarium Space Show.

Also available are SuperSaver tickets that include admission to the Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space plus all special exhibitions, LeFrak Theater films, and the Hayden Planetarium Space Show.

Reserve New York City Customer Reviews

7 Reviews
Megan A.
16 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
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kgs1958
St. Petersburg, Florida
"Butterflies are free!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 17, 2017 NEW
Well, the butterflies do cost extra, but add this onto your ticket, and spend some time in an indoor butterfly garden with free-flying butterflies fluttering past you. It was so much fun! And the rest of the museum is amazing as well.
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Davis S
Wellington, Florida
"Remarkable place to spend from a couple of hours to all day"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 17, 2017 NEW
We hit the American Museum of Natural History last Thursday morning while we waited on the showers in the area to move out. I'm not much of a museum guy, but this place has a ton to offer. We had to leave at noon so we didn't get to see all of the museum. I can tell you that 2 hours will only touch the surface. Everything from the planes Indians, to the people of Papua New Guinea and how they lived and survived. 100's of monkeys/apes to whales, dolphin, walrus and 100's of other undersea animals. And I can't forget my wife's favorite displays, the Birds from all over the world. Do your self justice and plan on spending 1/2 a day or more. The have clean restrooms, gift shops and a nice place for food. We were there when the doors opened at 10 and had the place to ourselves till about 11:30 when a bunch of school children showed up. Lucky for them to have the American Museum of Natural History in town for a field trip.
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Anonymous
"Couldn’t wait to leave! Don’t do it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed October 17, 2017 NEW
My husband and I had a free afternoon and decided to visit here both for our love of history and learning something new and also because I’ve seen and loved Night at the Museum. This place was single handed the biggest let down in New York! The entrance was completely chaotic with no one taking control of the vast crowds and queues forming. We decided to go for the shorter queue and order tickets from the kiosks. While we were there three other groups walked away from the kiosk looking confused and I can understand why. They are clunky, confusing and slow. Once we paid $66 dollars for our tickets we were never once asked for them. We walked through what we presumed was the entrance and starting point because the flow of traffic seemed to be going that way. There was no communication, interaction or engagement from staff to let us know where to go or what to do. We managed to find ourselves a map, however the map was absolutely no use and in fact made things more confusing. This was easily the hardest building I have ever navigated around. Ikea does a better job with simple arrow floor stickers helping customers navigate. The order and layout of the exhibitions were also extremely confusing and in no order. The dinosaur exhibition was on the 4th floor but surely it would make sense to lay out the building in an order that guests can walk and understand in time sequence. There was little to no staff in most of the exhibitions and those that were there seemed to be for H&S purposes more than anything. Again there was no interaction or suggestions and unless someone spoke to them to ask a question they looked disengaged and bored. It would have been great to have one person welcome guests into each exhibition, point out the best to see and the order to walk in and also assist Is restroom/exit queries. Pretty much everything is housed behind glass and to find out what it’s about requires LOTS of reading. The whole experience felt like waking round the science department of a university with no direction or explanation and meanwhile completing the challenge of finding the exit.
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EMS1953
San Francisco, California
"An Amazing & Interesting Experience for both Young and Old"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 16, 2017 NEW
While visiting my daughter and grandson in New York, I took them to the American Museum of Natural History. What a great experience ! We arrived at the museum around 11:00 am on a holiday, so there was a long line waiting to get in the front entrance. By chance, a passing museum employee told us there was another entrance on West 81st Street with no line - saved us a 30 minute wait. New York City residents can pay whatever amount they want for General Admission, but this will not get you entrance to the special exhibits. Tourists have to pay regular admission prices with a variety of different packages; butterfly exhibit, 3D movie, Mummy exhibit, planetarium, etc. Of course for my grandson, the dinosaur exhibit was the hit of the day. There is a smart phone app for the museum which provides great information about each exhibit. The pict-to-grams on the main floor are very impressive. If you have seen the movie "Night at the Museum", you can almost see them coming alive. If you want to take in all the exhibits, easily plan for a full day experience. FYI - the food court in the basement is the main lunch option, but be prepared for price shock; 2 cheeseburgers, a side of fries and a lunch plate of salad and chicken wings = $42.00 wow !!!
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Tim O
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
"Grat place to spend 2 or 3 hours."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 16, 2017 NEW
Extremely interesting museum, heaps of different exhibits covering many facets of American history.Just across the road from Central Park.
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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.