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Family Fun in New York City: American Museum of Natural History

Family Fun in New York City: American Museum of Natural History

At the end of January this year, my kids and I decided to have a day at the museum, so we headed into New York City to the Night at the Museum museum, the American Museum of Natural History. One of the largest museums in the world, the American Museum of Natural History, often abbreviated as AMNH, is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The museum complex consists of 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, a planetarium, and a library. Unless you live in the borough, I recommend using mass transit. Parking is available but is quite expensive if you plan to spend a few hours at the museum. My kids and I took the train and subway to the area and then walked a few blocks to avoid the city traffic and paying for parking.

American Museum of Natural History

When we first got to the American Museum of Natural History, my kids and I explored the Cullman Hall of the Universe for a few minutes. I like seeing my weight on different planetary bodies. My son and daughter liked pushing the buttons on the various displays. But we had come to the museum mainly to see all the dinosaurs, so we quickly headed up to the fourth floor to begin exploring the many fossil collections.

Cullman Hall of the Universe at the American Museum of Natural History Your Weight on a Neutron Star at the American Museum of Natural History

Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History Saurischian Dinosaur Fossils at the American Museum of Natural History

Apatosaurus at the American Museum of Natural History

Both my kiddos love looking at all the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. When we first walked into the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Apatosaurus greeted us. My son stared at the huge fossil casts in amazement. All three of use enjoyed touching the many models of fossils, claws, and other parts throughout the exhibit. However, my absolute favorite dinosaur was the Titanosaur. In January 2016, the museum added another must-see exhibit to its world-famous fossil halls: a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur. The species is so new that paleontologists have not yet come up with a formal name. Paleontologists suggest the dinosaur, a giant herbivore that belongs to a group known as titanosaurs, weighed in at around 70 tons. The Titanosaur was so huge that the cast filled the entire Wallach Orientation Center but was so large that its head stuck out into an adjoining hallway!

Vertebrate Origins at the American Museum of Natural History Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History

Titanosaur Head at the American Museum of Natural History Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History

Cheetahs at the American Museum of Natural History Elephants at the American Museum of Natural History

My kids and I also really liked looking at the animal displays in the Biodiversity and Environmental Halls, which offer a vivid and inspiring vision of the spectacular beauty and abundance of life on Earth. My daughter loved telling me the names of all the animals that she knows. My son especially liked the elephants displayed in the center of the Hall of African Mammals. He stared up and pointed at the huge animals in the middle of the room in pure amazement. I was also quite impressed by the display, both looking up and looking down at the magnificent creatures.

White Rhinos at the American Museum of Natural History Black Rhinos at the American Museum of Natural History

Easter Island Moai at the American Museum of Natural History Sipan Tomb Excavation at the American Museum of Natural History

Other notable exhibits that my kids and I liked at the American Museum of Natural History included the gigantic Easter Island Moai, huge meteorites, radioactive and phosphorescent minerals, Great Canoe, and Blue Whale. If you are ever in New York City with a few hours to kill, I highly recommend paying a visit to the American Museum of Natural History.

African Animals at the American Museum of Natural History Lions at the American Museum of Natural History

Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History Ross Hall of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History

Radioactive Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History Great Canoe at the American Museum of Natural History

Blue Whale at the American Museum of Natural History

For more information, visit the American Museum of Natural History website.

Image Credits

American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Cullman Hall of the Universe at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Your Weight on a Neutron Star at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Saurischian Dinosaur Fossils at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Apatosaurus at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Vertebrate Origins at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Titanosaur Head at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Cheetahs at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Elephants at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
White Rhinos at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Black Rhinos at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Easter Island Moai at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Sipan Tomb Excavation at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
African Animals at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Lions at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Ross Hall of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Radioactive Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Great Canoe at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson
Blue Whale at the American Museum of Natural History © 2016 Heather Johnson

  • Rosie

    I’ve never been to this museum. I would love to be able to visit someday! Worth the trip!

  • Amy Hall

    I wouldn’t want to live in New York, but i would like to visit.

  • Edna Williams

    My husband hates New York, but I would love to visit, especially to go to this museum! It looks awesome!

  • Barrie

    Wow…I can’t believe when we were in NYC two summers ago that we didn’t go to the museum as we all love them!

  • slehan

    We have a great natural history museum here in Denver. Not as big as this one but we do have some dinosaurs.
    slehan at juno dot com

  • Ronald Gagnon

    I have always heard of this fabulous museum, but as I live in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, and am now 64..I am sorry to say I will never see it

  • Amber Ludwig

    Omgosh how cool!! This sounds like a place that’s a must see!! So awesome!! My son would adore the dinosaurs!!

  • gmoney222

    I think it is so much fun to take young kids to places like this…………. they make you see with their eyes

  • TerriS

    When my children were young, we lived in Queens, NY. We took the subway into the city and made many visits to the AMNH. My son was fascinated by the dinosaurs and the meteorites. My daughter loved the planetarium as did I. There was so much to see and learn there. Now I’m a grandmother living upstate NY. I have 2 young granddaughters who are now old enough to enjoy this too. Thanks for reminding me how wonderful the AMNN is.

  • The dinosaur exhibit is always a favorite with kids (and adults). I haven’t been to this museum yet, but it is on my list.

  • Jerry Marquardt

    This has a very nice exhibit. I would like to visit this museum.

  • militaryfamof8

    This is the only museum we have been to since moving to NY 5 years ago.

    You have definitely inspired me to take my kids exploring

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