Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan’s Upper West Side has long been a destination for locals and tourists alike.
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world! It’s made up of 28 buildings, houses 45 permanent exhibition halls and is home to over 33 million specimens. It also has a planetarium and library. You could devote over a year of your life to living in AMNH and still not see everything!
What’s more, the AMNH is a living, breathing scientific institution that’s still working and doing research today. Whether it be charting expeditions to every continent on the planet or unearthing the largest dinosaur to ever walk the earth they’re still discovering new things about the world around us every day!
We’ve included a section below with Frequently Asked Questions, like hours of operation, ticket prices and other logistical information to help make your visit to the museum the very best it can be. Scroll down to learn more about the dining options, admission fees, and parking availability.
Instead of running up your step count trying to see every one of the 33 million items during your visit, let us do the work for you! There are certainly tons of things to see at AMNH, but, if you don’t have a year to devote to checking out these exhibits, we’d suggest joining us for a high-energy renegade tour.
Need more convincing? Fun fact: The “Night at the Museum” movie series was based on the American Museum of Natural History – Do we need to say more?
Guide to the American Museum of Natural History
5 Things to See at the American Museum of Natural History
Hacks for Visiting the American Museum of Natural History
the American Museum of Natural History: Frequently Asked Questions & Logistics
10:00 am – 5:45 pm
$18 Students and Seniors
$13 Children (age 2-12)
Check out AMNH for more info.
Coat check costs $2.
What’s not allowed in coat check? Perishables, wallets, purses, musical instruments, bikes, computers, and other items deemed to be of high value.
Phone Number: 212-769-5100
Address: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
The AMNH hosts a variety of events, after hours programs, and special exhibits. Check out the events calendar on the museum website for more details.
Food at the Museum
The American Museum of Natural History offers 3 dining options while you’re visiting the museum. All are open daily from 11:00am to 4:45pm:
Museum Food Court – across from the Subway entrance, on the lower level. Features a wide selection of food, good for all ages and palates.
Café on One – located in the Grand Gallery on the First Floor. Features a gourmet selection of adult favorites, including wine by the glass and a variety of beers.
Café on Four – adjacent to the 77th street elevators on the fourth floor. This café offers light meals and assorted snacks.
The AMNH is closed only for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check their website for the most up to date information.
Photography is allowed in most areas, but leave your selfie stick at home!
AMNH is easily accessible by bus, subway, or train.
Parking is available from 8:00am – 11:00pm. Enter the garage at 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
Up to 1 hr: $24
Up to 2 hrs: $27
2-5 hrs: $34
5-10 hrs: 44
Max to close: $49
What is the Stroller Policy at the AMNH? While the American Museum of Natural History does not rent strollers, folded strollers may be checked at the coat check for $2. Some folks have recommended using umbrella strollers for toddlers and preschool age children. You are allowed to bring strollers into the exhibition spaces, just be sure to steer clear of the artifacts!
As of August 2018, the museum does not sell water bottles in their vending machines, but you are permitted to bring your own bottle and refill it at any one of their available facilities.
Why We Know So Much About the American Museum of Natural History
Our company, Museum Hack, leads renegade tours of the world’s best museums, including at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Our guides are experts in the obscure, and collectors of amazing hidden stories about the art and museum; many of which the museum staff isn’t allowed to share.
When you come on a tour of the American Museum of Natural History with Museum Hack, expect:
- Fun games! Pretend to be a museum paleontologist and go on a dino hunt in the fossil halls. Try out your mad scientist skills and make adaptation bend to your will. Find emoji references in ancient artifacts.
- A world of gossip. Find out whale shenanigans at a fancy party. Discover that adorable sea otters are actually assholes in real life (we were disappointed too!). Check out the one thing Teddy Roosevelt gave to the AMNH. It’s AWESOME!
- Subversive stories. We’ve got the real story about how a 34-ton meteorite ended up in the museum collection. Join us in calling out museum signage that’s behind the times, because some of the displays have definitely not caught up with modern views of culture and identity.
- Hidden insights. The museum often leaves out the best, most interesting information, like the wild antics of the guy who’s responsible for stuffing a lot of the creatures in this space. Not only did he singlehandedly revolutionizing taxidermy, but he also survived being trampled by elephants in the field and once wrestled a leopard to death with his bare hands.
- Zany photos. We love museum selfies! Art museums always make great backgrounds. We’ll even challenge you to use your camera to complete challenges and play games during the tour.
We highly recommend you bring the following on your AMNH expedition:
- Smartphone and/or digital camera
- Adventure-ready walking shoes
- Innate sense of curiosity
- Unabashed love of science
- Childlike sense of wonder
- Pith helmet (Just kidding…unless you really want to!)
No matter how many times you’ve visited the American Museum of Natural History, we’ll show you the “Un-highlights” you have never seen or heard of before.