The American Museum of Natural History, a cultural institution in New York

A few words of history about the American Museum of Natural History

The history of this museum started in 1869 when Albert Smith Bickmore convinced John Thompson Hoffamn (23rd Governor of New York) to establish a museum of natural history in NYC. On April 6, 1869, its creation was formalized and from 1871, the first collections were exhibited in the Central Park Arsenal (building east of the park). But over time, the space available in the Arsenal began to run out. The museum therefore decided to build another building between 77th and 81st streets. The construction of this new building began in 1874 and three years later its inauguration took place with a official ceremony of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Over the years,other rooms were built : planetarium, auditorium ...

Today, the American Museum of Natural History is therefore:

  • 32 million objects and specimens on display;
  • 200 scientific researchers and 47 curators;
  • Two molecular laboratories;
  • 45 permanent exhibition halls;
  • 3 million specimens in the vertebrate paleontology collections;
  • 150 films, conferences, workshops… every year.

What are the things to see and discover during your visit?

The American Museum of Natural History has several permanent exhibition halls spread over 5 floors. In each of them, a particular theme is highlighted.

Thus, Biodiversity and Environment rooms consist of spaces specific to these two themes, but also a room on North American forests and a room presenting the marine world where a huge whale hangs from the ceiling.

By visiting the bird and reptile halls, you can discover an incredible collection of birds from New York and around the world. In the reptile room, you can learn more about these animals and amphibians. Also learn all about mammals in the mammal rooms which present these species in geographic order.

Want to learn more about meteorites, minerals and gemstones? Direction the rooms on Earth and Planetary Sciences !

- fossil halls are the main attraction of the museum. You will see skeletons of dinosaurs, mammals of all kinds, primitive animals ...

In rooms on the origins of man and civilizations, you will retrace the evolution of man through all civilizations.

Don't forget to take a look at the Rose Center for Earth and Space where a representation of the earth, the Hayden Planetarium, the Hall of the Universe and many more await!

There is also the mémorial Theodore Roosevelt consisting of the memorial, Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda entrance and the west facade of the museum.

And if you have children between the ages of 5 and 12, the discovery room is very interesting. You can discover temporary exhibitions and experience special events! If you are interested, check the museum's website for the program.

The American Museum of Natural History is therefore a place rich in discoveries. But because of its multiple collections, seeing everything at once is difficult. If you don't have enough time or if you don't want to explore the museum in its entirety, here is an overview of the must-see collections:

  • The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial: the hall is huge and the facade is very pretty.
  • The dinosaur rooms which house an impressive collection and which allow you to learn more about these gigantic animals.
  • The mammal rooms where you can see neutralized animals in their natural habitat.

The Rose Center for Earth and Space and the rooms dedicated to the underwater world and biodiversity are also interesting, as are the rooms on Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Why should a visit to the Natural History Museum be planned?

The American Museum of Natural History is a fun and very interesting place. You can admire wonderful collections that will appeal to both adults and children. During your visit, you will also see works of art that are very different from each other. You will notably discover dinosaurs, a whale and many other equally surprising specimens.

Precious stones and meteorites are also on display. Besides, don't miss the “Star of India”, one of the largest sapphires in the world! And if you wish live a unique experience, go to the Discovery Room where events are organized (see calendar on the museum website). Among them, there is La Nuit au Musée during which you will sleep in the middle of the exhibitions!

The American Museum of Natural History is therefore a amazing place which is sure to amaze you. It is very pleasant to visit, but first select the rooms you want to discover. This will save you time.

Practical information on the American Museum of Natural History

Entrance fee

Entrance fees to the American Museum of Natural History are: $ 23 per adult, $ 18 for seniors and students, and $ 13 for children 2-12 years old. To save time, book your tickets in advance directly on this link.

You own the New York City Pass or the New York Pass ? Note that the entrance to this museum is included in it. With your pass, you will save time thanks to its skip-the-line function which allows you to avoid queues. You will also realize interesting savings on the price of admission to the museum and that of other New York activities!

Address and opening hours of the American Museum of Natural History

The museum is located: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024.

It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 17:45 p.m. (closed December 25 and Thanksgiving Day).

Practical and useful information for your visit

  • Audio guides are available if needed. To take advantage of it, you have to pay $ 7 per adult and $ 5 for children under 12 years old.
  • You can take photos inside. However, tripods and selfie sticks are prohibited.
  • If you have a backpack, you will need to leave it in the cloakroom (price: $ 2).
  • Plastic water bottles are allowed inside.
  • Wheelchairs are available.
  • It is possible to eat on site (open restaurants).

The New York Museum of Natural History is therefore an enriching place that is pleasant to visit. Here, everyone will be amazed by the collections and specimens on display. In addition, its geographical location is ideal for continuing your discovery of New York after your visit: Central Park is notably just next door; ideal to rest a little while!

If you want to discover other museums, here is all you need to know about:

  • The Tenement Museum to understand the history of immigration.
  • Madame Tussauds Museum, the New York wax museum.
  • The MoMA to discover modern art.
  • The MET, New York's largest museum.
  • The Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum built in the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid.
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