New York, New York
Upper West Side
Daily 10 am - 5:45 pm
NYC kids are the envy of world-wide lovers of dinosaurs, sea creatures, outer space and Ben Stiller for their access to the giant (45 fascinating halls) American Museum of Natural History. The museum’s extensive collection is matched by an array of programs for budding explorers.
$: suggested $22/ages 12-65, $12.50/ages 2-12, $17/students & seniors free/ages 2 & under
Annual Memberships: $125+. Includes unlimited complimentary general admission and special exhibition tickets for two adults and up to four children, plus four adult and eight child complimentary seasonal live-animal exhibits or IMAX films over the course of the year.
Free Hours: Admission always pay-what-you-wish, no tickets needed after 5pm.
Favorite Spots: On the first floor, a 94-foot-long blue whale hangs over an assortment of sea creatures in the Hall of Ocean Life. Learn about moon rocks and meteorites in the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space. Zebras, giraffes and other jungle animals surround a family of elephants in the Hall of African Mammals on the second floor. The beloved dinosaur bones fill most of the fourth floor.
Current Kid-Friendly Exhibits:
Unseen Oceans (through Jan 6)
Explore the alien world lies hidden beneath the sunlit surface of the ocean in a fascinating, interactive exhibition. Encounter giant sea creatures on a life-size screen, go on on a vertical journey through marine environments at different depths, sit inside a scale model Triton submersible, and learn about new technologies and research.
Our Senses: An Immersive Experience (through Jan 6)
In a highly experiential exhibition, explore 11 funhouse-like spaces that dare you to trust your senses, then show you how what we perceive is not simply a window into the world around us but a product of our brains. Plus, discover why we have senses and what’s unique about human perception during an interactive session hosted by a live presenter.
Storytimes: Ages 2.5 to 5 can play in the fascinating Discovery Room, then explore a natural science or cultural topic with a story, song, and visit to a related museum hall. Mondays 10:15 & 11:15 am; come early to get a spot.
Family Programs: Explore artifacts and specimens, hang-out inside a giant tree, put together puzzles and conduct scientific experiments in The Discovery Room (open Monday though Thursday 1:30 - 5:10 pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:30 am - 1:30 pm & 2:15 - 5:10 pm). Free timed tickets are available at the Discovery Room entrance. 6 - 13 year-olds can participate in the popular Night At the Museum sleepovers ($129, talking Teddy Roosevelt not included).
Strollers/Diapers: Strollers can roll in at the Rose Center for Earth and Space entrance( 81st Street west of Central Park West) or by the statue that looks like giant silver lips east of Columbus at 79th Street. Elevators are large but slow and crowded. Most bathrooms have changing table.
Eat & Treats: Go casual at Shake Shack across Columbus, home of delicious cheeseburgers and decadent frozen concretes (including a 'Natural History Crunch-stellation'), or avoid the crowds and cross 77th Street for antipasti, artisanal pastas and paninis at classy Caffe Storico in the New-York Historical Society. The new larger Levain Bakery (home of the famous giant chocolate chip cookies) is a few blocks west at Amsterdam & 77th Street.
Other Tips: Focus your explorations by following one of the popular tour itineraries. On warm days frolic in the fountains on the mezzanine above the Planetarium on 81st Street.
- Our Senses: An Immersive Experience Monday, November 20–Sunday, January 6 12:00 am
- Unseen Oceans Monday, March 12–Sunday, January 6 10:00 am–6:00 pm
- Autism Spectrum Tour: The Discovery Squad Saturday, August 4 9:00 am–10:00 am
- Autism Spectrum Tour: The Discovery Squad Saturday, September 1 9:00 am–10:00 am