Best Times To Visit New York’s Museum Of Natural History

Best Times To Visit New York's Museum Of Natural History

Feature Photo: elRoce / Shutterstock.com

Our Best Times To Visit New York’s Museum Of Natural History will serve as a helpful guide in letting tourists and locals discover the best times to visit New York’s Museum Of Natural History. As one of the most famous museums in the city of New York, the Museum Of Natural History can get very busy at times. Additionally, since the museum was featured in the Ben Stiller movie Night At The Museum, the museum has also become a destination for film buffs from around the world.  In a city filled with museums, the Museum Of Natural History stands as one of the most visited museums in the borough of Manhatten. This guide will help you chooses the best times to visit along with some helpful information that will make your trip as easy as it can get.

The Best Time of the Day to Visit

The best time to visit New York’s Museum Of Natural History is early in the morning when they open since the crowds can build quickly. Then, you might want to consider heading directly to the furthermost exhibits first. That way, while exhibits close to the front door are crowded, you’ll have the chance to thoroughly enjoy your chosen sites to see and then start meandering towards the front of the museum. Another time that could work well is lunchtime (for obvious reasons) but also because, on weekdays, the kids aren’t out of school yet.

Best Days of the Week to Visit

Avoiding crowds is key here, so if your time is flexible, it’s quite possible to do that. The most popular day at the museum is Sunday and, of course, Saturday runs a close second. Midweek is actually the least crowded, especially when the New York City schools are in session.

The Best Time of the Year to Visit

Think “offseason”. Spring and Fall are considered by both locals and tourists to be the best times for visiting New York City due to pleasant temperatures reigning from April thru June and September thru November. So, sticking to the colder Winter months and the warmer Summer months could result in fewer crowds, and there’s also a lot less “kiddy noise” during the winter months.

What to Wear

Like most major museums, New York’s Museum Of Natural History doesn’t have a visitor dress code per se (with the exception of special occasions), however, should still show up wearing a decent outfit. And, that means avoiding any attire that could easily be considered too casual (like cut-offs, ratty tee shirts, or flip-flops). Since there’s lots of walking, wear comfortable shoes and avoid high heels. Save your stilettos for the New York nightclubs. Speaking of nightlife, wear something to the museum that can easily be accented with a nice jacket or a change of shoes without ruining the look in case your visit leads to a night out on the town.

What Is There to See & How Long Does it Take?

From March 2, 2022, thru September 5, 2022, you have the rare opportunity to follow three bird families throughout their epic migrations in the giant-screen film entitled “Wings Over Water”. The museum also offers a special exhibition called “Sharks”, which features dozens of shark models that are not only life-size but also range from 5.5 inches long to 33 feet long! The museum is also offering touch-free interactive exhibits until September 4, 2023. And, you won’t want to miss the space show “Worlds Beyond Earth” where you can explore all of the dynamics of our solar system and the unique conditions that are making life on Earth as we know it possible today. Although some people say that you can see the museum in two to three hours, you really should allow a full day, if you can, to see everything without rushing it.

Best Times To Visit New York's Museum Of Natural History

Photo: Filipe.Samora / Shutterstock.com

How Much it Costs

Ticket Pricing for New York’s Museum Of Natural History includes three ticket types plus Pay What You Wish, and they’re all fairly self-explanatory:

General Admission

General Admission + One

General Admission + All.

1. General admissions run:

Adults- $23

Students with ID ) $18

Seniors 60+- $18

Children 3 to 12- $13

Museum Members- Free

Please note: General Admission does not include any special exhibitions.

2. General Admission + 1 cost:

Adults- $28

Students with ID- $22.50

Seniors 60+- $22.50

Children 3 to 12- $16.50

Members Free

Includes admission plus one film or special exhibition.

3. General Admission + All will cost you:

Adults- $33

Students with ID- $27

Seniors 60+- $27

Children 3 to 12- $20

Members Free

Includes admission plus all films and special exhibitions

Pay What You Wish- Admission

For Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey residents (with ID), the General Admission amount you pay is up to you. The suggested fee is $23 for adults, $18 for students, $18 for seniors), and $13 for children 3 to 12.

FREE ADMISSION

General Admission fees have been waived for:

Corporate members plus corporate reward program members (includes all members with a Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Card).

IDNYC Members

Museum Members

Children under three

Members of the U.S. military plus their entire families ( during the Blue Star program, from Armed Forces Day thru Labor Day. (The rest of the year, members of the U.S. military, and one guest get free general admissions.

Holders of a Cool Culture pass

Caregivers who accompany any disabled visitors

Museum staff

Any visitors entering during the final of the day

Special Events

If you’re planning an upcoming special event, the museum is a great place for it. You can host your special event in the American Museum of Natural History’s iconic halls for an unforgettable experience for all of your guests. And, since the museum is celebrating 150 years of being a New York City landmark, its architectural accents and famous halls offer a wide range of unique settings. Some good examples include hosting a gala dinner in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life under the shadow of a 94-foot blue whale, or perhaps you’d prefer the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space, or a trendy cocktail reception adjacent to the world’s most dynamic dinosaur displays.

Food

The museum’s cafés are temporarily unavailable, however, the Food Court is open for limited hours of 10:30 am to 4:30 pm on Wednesday thru Sunday. It’s located across from the Subway entrance on the lower level and they serve a variety of food selections for all palates, (including both nut and gluten-free choices), with a unique menu that changes daily. Museum Members can show their membership cards at the time of purchase for a 15 percent discount on any food and/or beverage purchase.

Gift Shop

The Planetarium Shop is currently closed but the main Museum Shop and special exhibition shops are open. The gift shops at the American Natural History Museum include the Cosmic Shop, the Dino Store, and more. From coffee mugs to tee shirts & other apparel, candles, books & puzzles, tote bags & toys, and even 150th-anniversary souvenirs, the museum’s gift shops have it all.

Parking

Parking is available and conveniently located within the Museum by entering at 81st Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. The parking garage is always open on weekdays from 6 am to 11 pm and on weekends from 8 am to 11 pm. And, valet parking can be arranged for special events at the museum.

Regular parking rates are:

Up to one hour: $26

Up to two hours: $29

Two to five hours: $36

Five to ten hours: $46

Maximum (until closing): $51

(NYC Parking Tax included.)

Transit Information

For the Subway (weekdays only), take either the “B” or the”C” to 81st (two blocks from New York’s Museum Of Natural History) where the train will stop at the corner of West 79th and Broadway. For a subway map, you can simply visit the MTA website.

For the Bus, the M79 bus runs across Central Park going east/west on West 79th. It stops adjacent to the Museum on West 81st Street. There are also other buses stopping at/near the Museum, including the M86, M104, M7, M10, and M11 buses. To get complete bus information, visiting the MTA website is your best bet.

Take a Train From Long Island, New Jersey, and points north of New York City via the Metro-North Railroad or Long Island Railroad. If you’re traveling from anywhere outside the New York City Metro area, the Amtrak website can help you with schedule and route info and purchasing tickets.

Hours of Operation

New York’s Museum Of Natural History is open Wednesday thru Sunday from 10 am to 5:30 pm.

The American Museum of Natural History is located at 200 Central Park West in New York, NY 10024-5102 and their phone number is 212-769-5100. The museum is a champion of sustainability and green practices, requiring the use of cage-free, fair trade, free-range, local farm products and sustainable seafood products in any cuisine served there. And, that cuisine has earned rave reviews from museum guests. In addition, their energy saving, recycling, and waste reduction practices have earned them three stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

Best Times To Visit New York’s Museum Of Natural History article published on BigCityReview.com© 2022

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