What’s there to see inside the American Museum of Natural History?There’s way too much to list here! The museum has 5 floors and organizes its rooms by theme. There are Biodiversity and Environmental Halls (which include the famous Blue Whale model), Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians Halls (full of dioramas), Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls (including the Hall of Meteorites), the Fossil Halls (which have a Tyrannosaurus Rex and lots of other dinosaurs), Human Origins and Cultural Halls (including cast of a Rapa Nui statue from Easter Island), Mammal Halls, and the Ross Center for Earth and Space.
Why is there a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt?The entrance on Central Park West is home to the New York State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt’s father, also named Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the museum’s founders, but ‘Teddy’ himself was fascinated by zoology and natural history from a young age, beginning to collect specimens and learning taxidermy basics from the age of 7. Before switching to study law he had been studying biology and was a published naturalist and ornithologist, and after several awkward events during the presidential campaign of 1884, he spent time as a cowboy in North Dakota. One of Roosevelt’s most notable legacies as president is his conservation work. He founded the United States Forest Service, created 5 new National Parks, 51 bird reserves, and 150 National Forests. Less appealing to today’s visitors will be Roosevelt’s success as a big game hunter - in 1909 he was part of the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition, during which approximately 11,400 animals were shot. Several were sent to the AMNH and were displayed in exhibits.
How long should I plan to spend at the AMNH?You can easily spend a whole day at the American Museum of Natural History, taking a break for lunch or coffee when your feet need a rest. It’s definitely recommended to take at least 4 hours to explore as there’s no way you’ll be able to see all the exhibition halls in less time. Visitors with children might want to plan to spend the whole day so that they can move through the exhibits slowly and take plenty of breaks.
Will children enjoy a trip to the museum?Children will absolutely enjoy a visit to the museum! The animal and dinosaur exhibits are sure to be a hit for children of all ages, plus there are interactive elements in all the other halls. The exhibitions about space will also appeal to budding astronauts and astronomers. Children can also visit the Discovery Room on Monday to Thursday afternoons and at weekends, where volunteers will help them to discover almost every branch of science through games and puzzles. The Discovery Room also has storytime for pre-schoolers, with a different natural science or cultural theme each week - entrance is free but you’ll need to pick up a ticket on the day. The museum also runs a child-friendly website at www.amnh.org/explore/ology where children can discover exhibits before and after visiting. You might also want to watch Night at the Museum with your kids before your trip - it’s a fun movie for all ages, plus they’ll be able to spot some of the exhibits which come to life when they visit!
Can we take pictures inside the museum?Yes! Photography for personal use is allowed with hand-held cameras. Please don’t bring tripods, selfie sticks, or additional lights. Watch out for areas where flash photography isn’t allowed, which will be clearly marked.