With more than 30 million specimens and artifacts and almost 50 exhibits, the American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest scientific and cultural museums in the world. Displays highlight the wonders of our planet and the wider universe, spotlighting everything from dinosaurs to human origins to the solar system.
Visitors can prepurchase a general admission ticket and explore the permanent exhibits as well as the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Alternatively, purchase an upgraded ticket that adds access to space shows in the Hayden Planetarium, IMAX films, and ticketed temporary and seasonal exhibitions, such as the annual Butterfly Conservatory.
To ensure you check off all the must-sees, opt for a guided visit. Choose between family-oriented tours, highlights tours, small-group tours, private tours, and early access tours that allow participants to explore before official opening hours. Some guided tours combine visits to the Natural History Museum with trips to other New York cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Various New York sightseeing and discount passes include admission to the American Museum of Natural History.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The American Museum of Natural History is a must for families.
- Leave large bags, luggage, and selfie sticks at home, as they are not allowed in the museum.
- Download the AMNH Explorer App on your smartphone to help you navigate.
- The museum is fully wheelchair accessible.
- A food court can be found on the museum’s lower level, while cafés are situated on the first and fourth floors.
How to Get There
Parking in NYC is expensive, so it’s best to come here by public transport. Ride the B or C subway lines to 81st Street, or the 1 train to Broadway and West 79th Street. Hop-on hop-off bus tours of New York also stop here.
When to Get There
The museum is very popular among families, so expect bigger crowds on weekends, school vacations, and rainy days. Plan to arrive early and head directly to the more popular exhibits, such as the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing, which tends to get busier as the day goes on.
Highlights of the Collection
Of all the exhibits at the museum, few are as popular among young visitors as the dinosaurs. Highlights include the Allosaurus, depicted hunched over and feeding on a carcass, and a Tyrannosaurus rex shown in stalking mode. Other standout displays include the animal dioramas at the Family Hall of North American Mammals, the Asian elephants at the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, and the 94-foot-long (29-meter-long) blue whale model suspended from the ceiling at the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.