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American Museum Of Natural History Night At The Museum

Richard Gilder Graduate School

The Real Exhibits Behind the Night At the Museum Movies

The AMNH offers a Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science and a PhD in Comparative Biology.

On October 23, 2006, the museum launched the Richard Gilder Graduate School, which offers a PhD in Comparative Biology, becoming the first American museum in the United States to award doctoral degrees in its own name. Accredited in 2009, in 2011 the graduate school had 11 students enrolled, who work closely with curators and they have access to the collections. The first seven graduates to complete the program were awarded their degrees on September 30, 2013. The dean of the graduate school is AMNH paleontologist John J. Flynn, and the namesake and major benefactor is Richard Gilder.

The MAT Earth Science Residency program was launched in 2012 to address a critical shortage of qualified science teachers in New York State, particularly in high-needs schools with diverse populations. In 2015, the MAT program officially joined the Richard Gilder Graduate School, with the NYS Board of Regents authorizing the Gilder School to grant the MAT degree. The program has about 16 graduates complete the program each year.

Get Ready To Walk A Lot

Have I mentioned how big this museum is? I have? Good.

Thankfully, the museum also understands just how much walking is involved and offers places to rest throughout. So you dont run through the museum, miss half the exhibits, and get a leg cramp, schedule enough time in your itinerary to fully experience the museum.

For reference, on my last trip, I entered the museum at 10:00 am and left at 2:00 pm, and still didnt see all of the exhibits!

First-time visitors deserve to experience the museums wonder at their leisure. While there is a whole lot of walking involved, its in your best interest to not rush through your visit.

Eating before entering the museum saves you time and money.

Sanford Hall Of North American Birds

The Sanford Hall of North American birds is a one-story hall on the third floor of the museum, above the Hall of African Peoples and between the Hall of Primates and Akeley Hall’s second level. Its 25 dioramas depict birds from across North America in their native habitats. Opening in 1909, the dioramas in Sanford Hall were the first to be exhibited in the museum and are, at present, the oldest still on display. At the far end of the hall are two large murals by ornithologist and artist, Louis Agassiz Fuertes. In addition to the species listed below, the hall also has display cases devoted to large collections of warblers, owls, and raptors.

Conceived by museum ornithologist Frank Chapman, construction began on dioramas for the Hall of North American Birds as early as 1902. The Hall is named for Chapman’s friend and amateur ornithologist Leonard C. Sanford, who partially funded the hall and also donated the entirety of his own bird specimen collection to the museum.

Species and locations represented in Sanford Hall
“Eastern Upland Gamebirds”
California condor

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Best Time To Visit Amnh

The best time to visit the American Museum of Natural History is as soon as they open at 10 am or at 3 pm when you still have two and a half hours left for it to close.

As with most New York attractions, the Natural History museum is most crowded during the middle of the day, from noon to 3 pm.

If possible, avoid weekends, school breaks, and winter holidays.

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Buy Museum Tickets Online

Museum of Natural History

Since the museum is a massive phenomenon, the tourist crowds and ticket lines can also be a bit overwhelming. To skip the lines and go straight to the exhibits, buy your American Museum of Natural History tickets ahead of time online.

On my recent trip to the museum, I arrived five minutes after the doors opened. The ticket lines were already wrapped around the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda and main entrance! Fortunately, I already purchased my tickets and skipped the line.

When buying your tickets, review each ticket type. Certain ticket types include access to special exhibitions, films, and space shows in the Hayden Planetarium, while others do not.

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Is The American Museum Of Natural History Free

American Museum of Natural History is free for visitors who qualify for one or more of the following conditions

  • Caregivers accompanying visitors with disabilities
  • US military and their families*
  • Cool Culture pass holders

*From Armed Forces Day to Labor Day, all family members can enter for free. Rest of the year, along with the US military personnel, one guest gets free admission.

Even though general admission fees are waived for this set of visitors, they still require a timed-entry reservation.

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Corporate Membership Provides Your Employees Exclusive Accessboth Virtually And In Personto The Natural History Museum La Brea Tar Pits And The William S Hart Museum

With programming inspired by these three community-centric spaces, Corporate Members discover the why and how of Los Angeles through dynamic exhibitions and experiences that reveal the natural and cultural history of the city.

Family-friendly programs help young learners appreciate the regions biodiversity while fascinating lectures, interactive scientific studies, and award-winning music performances keep visitors of all ages curious and engaged.

Corporate Membership provides a unique opportunity to build camaraderie among staff while demonstrating a remarkable commitment to our local educational communities. From museum field trips and classroom curriculum to robust professional development opportunities for educators, your support enables 200,000 Southern California students and teachers every year to participate in impactful STEM experiences at no cost.

Dues are tax-deductible, with benefits for employees, executives, and clients.

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Our Weird Cousin The Dimetrodon

It seems like every family has a black sheep cousin or two that simply has to have been adopted and, in the Hall of Primitive Mammals, theres an exhibit devoted entirely to humanitys awkward cousin.

The Hall of Primitive Mammals traces the evolution of mammals back to their origins, over 300 million years ago. There were even tiny mammals scampering around during the age of dinosaurs, though they didnt really get a chance to do their thing until after the dinosaurs died.

The oldest relative to mammals is Dimetrodon, who sits right at the intersection of the evolutionary tree that has dinosaurs, reptiles and birds on side and humans on the other. He may not have had your shiny hair or clear skin, but he did have three middle ear bones and a special opening behind his eyes in his skull that allowed his eye muscles to develop. And, like any scaly, benevolent great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, he passed on those features to us!

Dont worry, that doesnt mean you have to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner.

Must See Things At The American Museum Of Natural History


Located in Manhattans Upper West Side, the American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world. Its made up of 28 connected buildings that house 45 permanent exhibition halls and over 33 million specimens thats a lot of things to see. Its also got a planetarium and a library, which basically means that you could devote over a year of your life to living in the natural history museum and still not see everything.

Instead of running up your step count trying to see every one of those 33 million items during your visit, seek out the best exhibits or come on a renegade tour and we will show you the coolest stuff weve found.

There are certainly tons of things to see at the museum of natural history. If you dont have a year to devote to checking them all out then wed suggest visiting these five must-see sites instead.

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The Rose Center For Earth And Space & The Hayden Planetarium

For all the space-lovers out there, the Rose Center for Earth and Space is a must-see when visiting the museum of natural history in New York. The Rose Center includes permanent exhibits, the Hayden Planetarium, and Hayden Big Bang Theater for visitors to explore the cosmos. See the iconic Hayden Sphere, explore the 13-billion-year history of the universe, see a scale model of the universe, explore the formation and evolution of stars, planets, and galaxies, and more.

Every 30 minutes from 10:30am-4:30pm, the Hayden Planetarium shows Worlds Beyond Earth, which tells the story of the worlds that share our solar system and what makes life on Earth possible.

Hall Of African Mammals

This room in tawny tones houses different spaces: the circular “enclosure” in the center represents a small portion of savannah with rocks on which a lion and two lionesses rest majestically, one lying down, the other sitting. A green space allows three monkeys to hang, and a snake is also hidden in the foliage. The other enclosure, this time featuring a desert plain, exhibits pairs of zebras and antelopes as well as an ostrich. An elephant is represented behind a separation of ropes. A rhino, two leopards and birds are also in the room.

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What To See At The Natural History Museum

Located in a garden area facing Central Park, the Natural History Museum consists of 28 interconnected buildings that house dozens of permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its popular library. Its facilities house what is considered to be the world’s largest collection of more than 35 million pieces, which, due to lack of space, cannot be exhibited at the same time.

Given its size and a large number of exhibits in the Natural History Museum, a visit can be overwhelming, especially if it is the first time. The ten permanent exhibits spread over more than forty rooms are joined by temporary exhibitions and a planetarium.

Milstein Hall Of Ocean Life

American Museum of Natural History Tickets

The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life focuses on , botany and . The hall is most famous for its 94-foot -longblue whale model, suspended from the ceiling behind its dorsal fin.

The upper level of the hall exhibits the vast array of ecosystems present in the ocean. Dioramas compare and contrast the life in these different settings including polar seas, kelp forests, mangroves, coral reefs and the bathypelagic. It attempts to show how vast and varied the oceans are while encouraging common themes throughout. The lower, and arguably more famous, half of the hall consists of several large dioramas of larger marine organisms. It is on this level that the famous “Squid and the Whale” diorama sits, depicting a hypothetical fight between the two creatures. Other notable exhibits in this hall include the Andros Coral Reef Diorama, which is the only two-level diorama in the Western Hemisphere. One of the most famous icons of the museum is a life-sized fiberglass model of a 94-foot long Atlantic blue whale. The whale was redesigned dramatically in the 2003 renovation: its flukes and fins were readjusted, a navel was added, and it was repainted from a dull gray to various rich shades of blue. Upper dioramas are smaller versions of the ecosystems when the bottom versions are much bigger and more life like.


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Dinosaur Day Science Fest

RAWR!!! Dinosaur Day Science Fest is an adventure for the whole family. For more than 20 years, the Museum has presented its spring science festival featuring live animal exhibitions, lectures, tours, Planetarium shows, physics and chemistry demonstrations, face painting, paleontological digs, maker stations, and many other family-friendly activities and engaging, verifiable scientific dialogue.

Tips For Visiting The American Museum Of Natural History In New York

  • Free Wi-Fi is available in the museum.
  • Face masks are still required for all visitors ages 2 and older.
  • While the cafes are temporarily closed, the food court is open 10:30am-3:30pm. Visitors may also leave the museum for food and return using the same timed-entry ticket on the same day.
  • Strollers are allowed throughout the museum, except theaters, though double strollers are typically not permitted in special exhibitions due to lack of space. Visitors with strollers are recommended to enter on 81st Street at the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

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How To Get Here

The American Museum of Natural History is located across the street from Central Park, on Central Park West between West 77th and West 81st streets.

There are several different ways to get there, but well cover a couple of the easier options below.


There is a subway stop right in front of the museum at the corner of Central Park West and W 81st Street. This is going to be one of the easiest ways to get here.

We have created two articles to help those unfamiliar with the NYC subway.

As with most attractions in New York City, the American Museum of Natural History is most popular during the middle of the day from about 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm .

If you want to avoid large crowds, consider coming either early in the morning at 10 am or later in the day after 3 pm.

Its also important to note that the museum is even busier than usual during weekends.

Make sure to visit during a weekday for the quietest experience.

If you decide to purchase your tickets on-site, you could end up waiting an hour or longer just to get inside the museum.

Purchasing tickets online or through another service can get you in much faster, saving you a lot of time.

Make sure to check both our tickets and discount sections for more details.

Arthur Ross Hall Of Meteorites

Night at the museum: American Museum of Natural History hosts grown-up sleepover in NYC

The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites contains some of the finest specimens in the world including Ahnighito, a section of the 200-ton Cape York meteorite which was first made known to non-Inuit cultures on their investigation of Meteorite Island, Greenland. Its great weight, 34 tons, makes it the largest displayed in the Northern Hemisphere. It has support by columns that extend through the floor and into the bedrock below the museum.

The hall also contains extra-solar nanodiamonds more than 5 billion years old. These were extracted from a meteorite sample through chemical means, and they are so small that a quadrillion of these fit into a volume smaller than a cubic centimeter.

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The American Museum Of Natural History

The venerable institution hosted its Museum Gala, with guests including Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, and Steve Martin.

On November 18, the American Museum of Natural History hosted its anticipated Museum Gala. The event was hosted by Saturday Night Live stars Kenan Thompson and Michael Che, and drew nearly 450 guests to the Manhattan institution for cocktails in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda and a dinnerwith a menu curated by Marcus Samuelsonin the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

Guests including AMNH president Ellen V. Futter and gala chairs Jodie and John Eastman, Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, and Alice and Lorne Michaels, mingled at the Museumwhich recently debuted its new Mignone Halls of Gems and Mineralsand took in a performance from Foo Fighters. The evening raised approximately $3 million to support the museums scientific and educational programming .

What To Know Before You Go

For grub, included in the admission rates are an evening snack and light breakfast . Heartier fare can be purchased at the museum’s food court, which stays open till 7:30 p.m. there are also vending machines available.

Participants — up to 465 in all — are advised to bring along sleeping bags and pillows, a flashlight, and an overnight bag . Pack, as well, some change for the vending machines, and earplugs if by some odd chance, catching your z‘s in a room full of excited kids proves somewhat challenging. Note that one adult chaperone is required to accompany every one to three children.

Tickets cost $150 per person which must be paid in advance . Spots sell out quickly check out the museum website for contact information in order to confirm availability and to book.

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We Spent The Night At The American Museum Of Natural History

At 3am this past Sunday, I was in the cool darkness of the American Museum of Natural History, illuminating the femur of a massive Titanosaurus with my flashlight.

Im not a paleontologist or a character from 2006s Night at the MuseumIn fact, I was sleeping over as part of AMNHs popular Night at the Museum for Grown-Ups.

Many of us have heard about this unique event, but few have actually experienced the full thing from start to finish, so we asked the museum if we could be invited to the party and take in the whole thing with fresh eyes.

Was a full night necessary? Would I be woken up by snoring strangers or would I oversleep and find myself surrounded by school children? Just how much access would we be given? Would tour guides actually stay up all night for us?

These questions and more swirled around my head as I entered the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life with my sleeping bag around 7pm.

About 285 people signed up for the lock-in that night. Almost all of them had champagne in hand as they waited for the program to start. A cellist played classical tunes between displays of glowing sea life as a friend and I snagged two cots by the tiger shark diorama in the back corner of the large room. Most of the cots were already taken by then, so we ended up laying our things down next to possibly the most terrifying ocean life scene: a giant squid going tentacle-to-flipper with a sperm whale.

Shaye Weaver/Time Out

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