Five Borough Bucket List

#FiveBoroughBucketList #40: Explore the Museum of Natural History

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Here in New York City, there’s about 14 million things to do and places to visit. The city is home to around 100 different museums, showcasing everything from religious artifacts to modern photography. Of all of the museums, easily the most famous one is the American Museum of Natural History, located on the Upper West Side near Central Park.

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I’ve said before how it’s starting to get…boring to cross items off this bucket list on my own. Fortunately, my brother and his wife came into town for the week, and my sister in law planned out a bunch of places she wanted to visit. Since the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) was on that list, I tagged along. The last time I was at the AMNH, it was a month before 9/11. I was 13, and the only thing I remember is the terrible place (Pizzeria Uno) we went to for dinner afterwards.
Museum of Natural History fish subway mural

Subway mural!

A little about the museum: It was originally established in 1869, and was the realization of the dream by naturalist Dr. Albert S. Bickmore, who wanted to create a natural history museum in the city. One of the founders was Teddy Roosevelt Sr., the father of the 26th President. The original building was expanded in 1930, but not much has been added to the exterior since then. Back in 2016, the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a 195,000-square foot expansion for the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. Construction should start on that this year.
Each year, about 5 million people visit the museum to see the 45 exhibition halls, planetarium, and library. You can tell this place is popular since it has its own subway stop!

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When you purchase tickets, you have the choice between general admission and “plus” tickets that give you admission to one of the special exhibits. My brother wanted to see the Dark Universe show at the planetarium, so we got tickets for that. They offer discounts for students, so I got to save a few dollars with my grad school ID.

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The AMNH is just that – a museum of natural history. There are exhibits for different regions of the world that showcase people, animals, and customs. The museum does a great job of recreating scenes as you would have seen them in nature and history. It’s definitely a lot to take in, and you can spend hours wandering around without seeing everything they have to offer in the museum.

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We spent a few hours in the museum on all 4 floors. To be totally honest, parts were really boring. There are just some things about history that really don’t interest me, but that’s okay! The good thing about the museum is that there really is something for everyone – space, animals, people, dinosaurs, plants – if you take the time to find it.

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We saw so many things, but my favorite section was the dinosaurs.
Inside the Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History

Inside the Planetarium before the show!

Every New Yorker should check out the AMNH at least once – you never know what you might learn!

2 Replies to “#FiveBoroughBucketList #40: Explore the Museum of Natural History”

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