Tips For Visiting The Fascinating American Museum Of Natural History

Last Updated on June 28, 2022

Natural History museums leave us completely fascinated and in awe of the world around us. As much as we love being in nature, another way to discover and explore that nature is at a natural history museum. With a myriad of subjects and information to learn, there really is never enough time to get through all of it, especially at this great Natural History Museum in New York City. The museum features four floors filled with exhibits on every natural history topic from dinosaurs and mammals to biodiversity and outer space.

We knew going in that we would be starting at the dinosaurs, since the thought of them existing completely blows our minds. The Titanosaurus was nothing short of mind-blowing— it wouldn’t even fit within their massive display room. To see how huge it would have been really made us wonder what it would have been like if dinosaurs like the Titanasaursus were still around – how wild would that be? It was hard to contain my excitement as I explored all the dinosaur information; I’m such a dinosaur nerd.

When we first mention the American Museum Of Natural History to someone, the most common question we get as a reply is if it was the museum that was the setting for the Night at the Museum movies. When we had first seen the movie, it is what sparked that desire to see the real thing, but a lot of it doesn’t look much like the movie. There are some similar exhibits, but it definitely didn’t feel like we were in the movie. It did, however, feel full of magic and mystery and was enough to give us excited tingles as we explored the beauty this world has offered us.

While we were there, it was EarthFest. The museum seemed extremely busy, but since it is so MASSIVE, we really did not notice the difference. The exhibits were not overly crowded and we did not have any problems getting to see our top priorities.

When you’re planning your visit to the museum, make sure you consider the following:

    1. It really is MASSIVE

      It is said to be one of the biggest museums in the world, and that is no joke. Take a look at the website before your visit so you can make a plan and get the most out of your visit. We found that a little bit of quick pre-planning really helped direct us to where we wanted to go first, so we made sure we did not miss out on what we wanted to see most. We knew we wouldn’t have enough time to see and learn it all, so the first thing we did was check out information online and then a map of the museum to find out where the best place to start was and narrow our selections from there.

    2. Get yourself a museum map – or use the new app!

      With exhibits on 4 different floors, several staircases and elevators; it is super easy to feel disoriented. We got a free map when we exchanged our CityPASS for admission tickets, or you can grab one from any information booth in the museum. We also found the museum staff to be very helpful when we had questions or needed directions.

    3. Exhibits

      Remember that there are some extra special exhibitions, so make sure you take a look to see what they are. The IMAX and Planetarium shows can fill up quickly, so you’ll want to purchase those tickets as early as you can. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early to make sure you get the seats you want.

      Try to get to the museum for opening if you can, to avoid some of the crowds. You could spend days on end there before you felt you have seen it all, so seriously consider what you want to see most if you are strapped for time.

    4. Pair the museum with an activity or two close by

      If you’re not planning on spending from opening to close at the museum, take a look at what else is close by so that you can knock something else off your list. Our plan for the day was to take the bus to the far end of Central Park, walk from there all the way to the museum and then do some more wandering at Central Park after a few hours exploring the museum. Our NYC trip was so packed for time that making the most of the time we had was super important. We would suggest trying this if you want to see a lot of Central Park. It was a perfect sunny day and the park and museum was a great way to spend it.

    5. Take a self-guided tour

      Don’t miss any information you want to learn about whatever subject it is that tickles your fancy. The museum offers great self guided tours on a variety of different subjects: Dinosaurs, Earth and Space, The Highlights, Night At The Museum, Theodore Roosevelt and Whales. So many great options to be able to learn!

    6. Save on your admission

      We loved having our CityPass to check out all of NYC’s top attractions, including the American Museum Of Natural History. It is a great pass because you can save 40% or more on New York’s 6 best attractions with CityPASS and be able to see it all. Why pay full price when you don’t have to?

Take a look at some of our favorite sights we saw:



Titanasaursus — It was too big to fit!
Look at the size of those Titanasaursus bones!




Helping Jacob develop a fascination for dinosaurs – have to start young! 😉






Musical performances were part of EarthFest



The spiral walk up the ramp was fascinating — the earth has gone through so many fascinating changes.


Next time we are in New York, we are sure to be back again. There is still so much at the American Museum Of Natural History we have yet to properly explore.



Disclaimer: Our visit to the American Museum Of Natural History was sponsored by CityPASS, but as always, our opinions are our own.