The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869, and first opened in 1877. Today’s iconic Neo-Romanesque building was constructed shortly after. The grounds are located in Theodore Roosevelt Park (named for the father of the former president), right across Eighth Avenue from Central Park. The museum has a collection of more than 32 million items, thanks in large part to the expeditions it has sent, and continues to send, around the world.
Immortalized in the Night at the Museum movies, the American Museum of Natural History is one of New York’s most popular attractions. Around four million people visit annually. One of the highlights is the Fossil Halls, the world’s largest collection of vertebrate fossils. There are also exhibits dedicated to different habitats and cultures from around the world. The Rose Center for Earth and Space is part of a $210 million renovation of the Hayden Planetarium and makes the latest breakthroughs in astronomy and astrophysics accessible to the public.
This is a great attraction for kids, but adults may find the Metropolitan Museum more stimulating. Many of the exhibits are reproductions. The gift shop is excellent, however, and worth a visit on its own.
Telephone: (212) 769 5100
Subway: 81st Street-American Museum of Natural History