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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

Written by Heather

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, homemaker, homeschooler, and mother.

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