American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Founded in 1868, the American Museum of Natural History is loaded with quite a bit to see. Its one of those places where, as a child, you’re bound to visit through a school/field trip. But then so do many of us adult children.
Walking in through the main Central Park West Entrance you’ll notice the Barosaurus mount — the world’s tallest freestanding dinosaur exhibit. Personally, it doesn’t seem at all as impressive as what I remember from childhood. As big as it is, it’s easy to dismiss because of the bone coloring. Also, it’s just not that impressive looking. But, you’ll be happy to see what’s to come within.
There are 46 permanent exhibition halls filled with artifacts and specimens from every part of the world and from every historical period. From fossils to bones, bones and more bones. Some of the fossils are reproductions, but most are real (85%). Some exhibits will really take you back in time. They cover everything from African & Asian Peoples, Birds of the World, and Ocean Life to North American Mammals. Meteorites, and much more. Some of these life sized displays are convincingly real. I never found out if perhaps some real animal hair was used here or if this or that particular animal was actually stuffed. When I do, I’ll let you know.
The previously mentioned are just a bit of what you’ll see here. In certain sections are two types of computer kiosks created specifically for the Museum — Lifelines, which gives a curatorial perspective on the evolutionary significance of the specimens; and Timelines, which allows visitors to travel back in time. I found them very very informative and at times, more interesting than the actual exhibits themselves.
Within the Rose Center for Earth and Space is the new Hayden Planetarium along with a number of other exhibition halls and things for you to look and think about. You’ll get to see and learn about modern astrophysics, geology, planet Earth as it existed and exists today and much, much more.