Our Christmas Holiday 2015 in the Upper West Side of Manhattan positioned us near Central Park and one of the biggest draws for tourists: American Museum of Natural History located at Central Park West at 79th Street. With 27 interconnected buildings and 45 exhibition halls filled with everything from minerals to mollusks, it’s a Christmas gift to the public all year long.
Once inside, you’ll recognize the interior from Night at the Museum. But even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll be impressed by the soaring height of the main floor: exhibits so tall you have to bend over backwards (literally) for the full experience.
Add to this iconic structure, a pair of moss-covered dinos bearing Christmas wreaths and flanking the massive front steps — and you have a little holiday happiness to greet you.
We couldn’t scratch the surface in one day at AMNH, mainly because we could hardly pull ourselves away from two exquisitely researched and artfully showcased halls: Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals (1st Floor) and Akeley Hall of African Mammals (2nd Floor). Massive showcases house strategically posed animals in real-life situations. As if the animals aren’t enough to see, the settings themselves are notable, too, as they skillfully mix photography, artwork, and natural elements. (Personal Travel Award: Best Combo of Flora and Fauna in a Museum.)
But if you’ve got a kid (or a kid at heart) with you, head to the 4th Floor. Maybe it’s the influence of Hollywood or the “cinemagic” of Jurassic World or the way that names like Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, or Megalosaurus have become more common — whatever it is, we all have an insatiable fascination with dinosaurs. And you can’t go wrong no matter where you spend time on the 4th floor of AMNH: from areas named Saurichian Dinosaurs to Ornithischian Dinosaurs to Vertebrate Origins — all are remarkable.
In addition, educational signage and expertly mounted specimens brings Christmas year-round to those who love to look and learn.
American Museum of Natural History is open daily from 10 AM to 5:45 PM (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Or check out social media (see below) for updates and photos of upcoming and current exhibits. From your own home, you, too, can have a night at the museum!
For more information:
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024; 212-769-5100; amnh.org
Instagram: @amnh #InsideAMNH
Hope you’ll continue to join us as we show you places we saw on our Christmas Holiday NYC!
Bert and Rusha