A Guide To The American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is a science museum and one of New York City’s most visited museums. We explored the museum a few months ago and found it breathtaking! In today’s post, I’m sharing a list of the current exhibitions to see, the museum’s history, hours, and ticket information.
Is the Museum of Natural History in NYC worth it?
Yes, the museum is extraordinary! If you love natural sciences and scientific collections, then this museum is a must when you visit New York City.
The 94-foot-long, 21,000-pound model of the Great Blue Whale suspended from the ceiling is one of the highlights of the Museum of Natural History, along with the hall of primitive mammals, the hall of dinosaurs, the hall of human origins, the display of African mammals, and more than 30 million artifacts.
- AMNH was founded in 1869 and has become one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions.
- Albert Smith Bickmore, one-time student of Harvard zoologist Louis Agassiz, was successful in his proposal to create a natural history museum in New York City.
- In 1871, a series of exhibits of the museum’s collection was displayed for the first time in the Central Park Arsenal, the museum’s original home on the eastern side of Central Park.
- The cornerstone for the museum’s first building at 77th Street was laid by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874.
- New President Morris K. Jesup launches the museum into a golden age of exploration that lasts from 1880 to 1930, participating in expeditions that discover the North Pole, explore Siberia, traverse Mongolia, and travel to the Congo.
- In 1930, the first major hall of mammal habitat dioramas, the South Asiatic Hall, opened, displaying Arthur S. Vernay and Colonel J. C. Faunthorpe’s specimens.
- The Hayden Planetarium opened in 1935.
- In 1969, the Hall of Ocean Life was renovated to include a 94-foot-long model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling.
- The museum installed a new Earthquake Monitoring Station in the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth in 2004.
I recommend two and a half hours at this museum, but you can easily spend half a day here because the museum is huge and so interesting!
To avoid large crowds, it is best to visit the museum in the morning when it opens, and preferably, on a weekday!
The following exhibitions are included with any admission ticket:
- Extinct and Endangered: Insects in Peril
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
- Halls of Gems and Minerals
An additional ticket is required for the following exhibitions:
- The Secret World of Elephants
- Butterfly Vivarium
- Space Show: World’s Beyond Earth
- Blue Whales: Return of the Giants
- Immersive Experience: Invisible Worlds
- Adults: $ 28
- Children (Ages 3-12): $ 16
- Students: $ 22
- Seniors (Ages 60+): $ 22
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut Residents (with ID) – Pay As You Wish
The Hall of South American Peoples features the art, tools, technologies, and traditions of the continent’s pre-Columbian cultures, including the ancient Inca, Moche, Chavin, and Chancay.
In the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, you will see the African elephant, the largest living land mammal. Both male and female African elephants have ivory tusks. I have always been a fan of elephants, so I loved this area of the museum!
Back in 1930, between 5 and 10 million elephants roamed Africa’s savanna and semi-desert. By 1989, that number had dropped to 600,000. In the decade between 1979 and 1989 alone, the African elephant population was cut in half. African elephants have been hunted for their ivory tusks.
The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
AMNH is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
If you have a New York City Pass, entry to the Museum of Natural History is included. This city pass lets you visit 5 major New York City attractions while saving up to 40% on admission tickets. If you’d like to learn more about the New York Pass, click here for more information.
The Natural Museum of History in New York City is incredibly children and family-friendly! Strollers are welcome throughout the Museum, except in theaters. Where strollers are not permitted, stroller parking is provided. The recommended entrance for strollers is 81st Street/Rose Center for Earth and Space. I am looking forward to taking our little one to this museum in the future!
I hope you enjoy your visit to the American Natural History Museum!