American Museum of Natural History Tickets: The Ultimate Guide

June 18, 2018

This museum is massive, the largest in the world in fact, so there’s an endless number of things to see and do.

Did you watch Night at the Museum and think “Wow, that looks awesome!” If so, live the adventure yourself by visiting the famous American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Unfortunately, the exhibits don’t actually come to life. However, the museum does such a fantastic job you’ll almost think they do.

When you visit the American Museum of Natural History, it’s best to have a game plan. Ready to see all that you can do with Museum of Natural History tickets? Let’s go!

The History Behind the History

Before we discuss all of the amazing things you have access to with Museum of Natural History tickets, it’s important to understand the history of this famous museum.

Founded in 1869 by some of New York City’s rich elite (do names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, or Morgan ring a bell?), the museum was designed to impart prestige on the city as well as be an educational beacon to the working classes.

To truly understand the purpose of the museum, all you need to do is read its mission state: "To discover, interpret, and disseminate—through scientific research and education—knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe."

Exhibits, Displays, Artifacts and More

What makes the American Museum of Natural History so spectacular? The enormity of its collections, for one. Located in Theodore Roosevelt Park, across the street from Central Park, this museum spans 28 interconnected buildings with over 45 permanent exhibition halls. That’s not all, though. With Museum of Natural History tickets, you also gain access to a planetarium and library. In total, there are over 33 million specimens in the museum’s collection. However, only a small selection can be on display at any given time. These items range from plants to animals to fossils to meteorites and more.

The Halls of the Natural History Museum

This museum has segmented its subjects into different halls for easier navigation and exploring. Therefore, in order for you to get the most use of your Museum of Natural History tickets, it’s best to have a good idea of what each hall houses. As a result, you’ll be able to pick should be on your “must-see” list. (Please note, the following list is of permanent exhibits at the museum.)

Biodiversity and Environmental Halls

For an inspiring look at the beauty and awe-inspiring nature of life on Earth, visit the Biodiversity and Environmental Halls. They are home to following exhibits:

  • Hall of Biodiversity
  • Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment
  • Hall of North American Forests
  • Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

The most Hall of Ocean Life houses the most well-known feature of this hall: a 94-foot-long, 21,000-pound model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling.

Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibian Halls

The dioramas here are some of the oldest on display, specifically in the Hall of North American Birds. A diorama depicting king penguins, in the Birds of the World Hall, is one of the highlights.

  • Hall of Birds of the World
  • Hall of New York City Birds
  • Leonard C. Sanford Hall of North American Birds
  • Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians

Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls

Visit this hall to delve into subjects like how the origins of solar systems and the impacts of meteorites. In addition, you can browse precious and ornamental stones like the Patricia Emerald, Star of India, and Gem Pocket.

  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals
  • Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems
  • Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites

Please note, The halls of gems and minerals are closed for a major renovation. The new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will open in the fall of 2019.

Fossil Halls

With Museum of Natural History tickets, you can explore one of the finest fossil collections in the world. There are numerous fossils in this collection but let’s face it—you’re really here for the dinosaurs! As such, the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs (see stegosaurus and triceratops fossils) and Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs (see Tyrannosaurus rex and Apatosaurus) are definitely exhibits you’ll want to put at the top of your “must-see” list.

  • Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals
  • Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs
  • Hall of Primitive Mammals
  • Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs
  • Hall of Vertebrate Origins
  • Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center

Human Origins and Cultural Halls

The vast amount of culture on display at this exhibit is astounding. Particularly enthralling is the Hall of Asian Peoples, this museum's largest cultural hall, as well as the Hall of Human Origins, which houses “Lucy,” one of the most complete skeletons found to date from the early hominids that flourished between 4 and 2 million years ago.

  • Hall of African Peoples
  • Gardner D. Stout Hall of Asian Peoples
  • Hall of Eastern Woodlands Indians
  • Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins
  • Northwest Coast Hall
  • Hall of Plains Indians
  • Hall of South American Peoples

Mammal Halls

The Mammal Halls are comprised of six permanent exhibits, each dedicated to a particular geographic region or type of mammal. These exhibits are truly immersive, as each mammal is in a scene based on observations of scientists in the field. As a result, they are vivid and very life-like.

The Akeley Hall of African Mammals is a favorite of many, including myself, as at its center is a freestanding group of eight elephants. Which mammal hall will be your favorite?

  • Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals
  • Akeley Hall of African Mammals
  • Hall of Asian Mammals
  • Hall of New York State Mammals
  • Hall of Primates
  • Hall of Small Mammals

Rose Center for Earth and Space

For a truly out-of-this-world experience, be sure to dedicate part of our time at the museum to the Rose Center. This section encompasses the Hayden Planetarium, an absolute must-see, as well as the exhibits exploring the history of the universe, cosmos, and the dynamic features of planet Earth.

  • Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway
  • Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe
  • Hayden Big Bang Theater
  • Hayden Planetarium
  • Scales of the Universe

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial

Politician and outdoor enthusiast Theodore Roosevelt is an iconic symbol of the American Museum of Natural History. As such, the museum has a memorial dedicated in his honor. The most well-known section of the memorial is the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda. It serves as the museum’s grand entrance and features an iconic dinosaur exhibit and murals depicting Roosevelt’s public life. You can also visit the Roosevelt Memorial Hall to follow Roosevelt’s journey from a budding naturalist exploring the Museum’s halls to an elected leader with a deep commitment to conservation.

Discovery Room

With Museum of Natural History tickets, kids can get a hands-on history lesson at the Discovery Room. Specifically geared for kids ages 5-12, this interactive area lets kids explore the wonders of the museum in an educational yet fun environment.

Discover More with Self-Guided Tours

With Museum of Natural History tickets, you gain access to a vast collection of specimens, artifacts and more. As a result, it can be a bit daunting for first-time visitors. Luckily, or those looking for a detailed guide on a specific subject the museum is here to help. It offers itineraries for the following subjects:

  • Dino Tour
  • Earth and Space Tour
  • Highlights Tour
  • Night at the Museum Tour
  • Theodore Roosevelt Tour
  • Whales Tour

Information to Know Before You Go

Before you visit the American Museum of Natural History, here is some quick information and insider tips to help plan your day.

The museum is open from 10 AM to 5:45 PM.

Buy your Museum of Natural History tickets online now to avoid waiting in admission lines. Plus, save an additional $5 per ticket when booking with Reserve New York City.

As this is New York City, the easiest way to access the museum is by public transportation (subway, bus, or train). However, parking is available.

Rates are as follows:
Up to 1 hr: $24
Up to 2 hrs: $27
2 to 5 hrs: $34
5 to 10 hrs: $44
Max to close: $49

As fully experiencing the Museum of Natural History can be an all-day adventure, it’s nice to know there are three places to eat during your exploration.

Museum Food Court
Lower Level, across from the Subway entrance
Open daily, 11 am–4:45 pm
A wide variety of selections appealing to all ages and palates.

Café on One
First floor, Grand Gallery
Open daily, 11 am–4:45 pm
Gourmet selections for adult tastes, wines by the glass and a selection of beers.

Café on Four
Fourth floor, adjacent to 77th Street elevators
Open daily, 11 am–4:45 pm
Light meals and assorted snacks.

For your convenience, the Museum of Natural History does provide a coat check. Coats, umbrellas, and bags may be checked for $2 per person, space permitting.

A lactation room is also available for breastfeeding mothers. It is located on the lower level in the Rose Center for Earth and Space Hall.

Photography is allowed within the museum. However, selfie sticks are not permitted nor are tripods and lights. Please note, flash photography is not allowed in the Space Theater or in the LeFrak Theater.

How Will You Experience the American Museum of Natural History?

As you can see, with Museum of Natural History tickets you gain access to a world of discovery. From outer space to the intricacies of life on earth, you really can explore it all at this exceptional New York City attraction.

Written By Ashley


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