Originally when I planned to write this post a couple months back I figured it would be ideal for a rainy day in NYC. After all, who wants to spend hours indoors at a museum when the weather is nice and summer is finally upon us. However, after months of not being able to go anywhere indoors other than the grocery store, I think my tune has definitely changed. We are at a point where people will appreciate cultural opportunities more, and will seek ways to bond and have human interaction, while still being able to social distance themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.
What is this cultural place in NYC I think you will seek out, come rain or shine? It happens to be the world class American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Situated in New York’s Upper West side neighborhood, adjacent to Central Park you will find this goliath of a museum with a mixture of classic and modern architecture, showcasing the old and new of the city. Once you step inside sensory overload may kick in with endless options to explore everything from space to dinosaurs. Inside, you will see the old and new of the world. No matter your age, there will be something here to captivate and intrigue you.
With so much to see, it can be hard to know where to begin. As you wander the museum you will find distinct halls featuring exhibits of all sorts. You can see almost any animal species from any location, in lifelike settings. You can learn about the origins of people as a whole, plus dive deeper into many cultures. There are special exhibits, permanent exhibits and lots of great shows, so make sure you plan your visit in advance, so you can squeeze in as much as possible. Below I have included some highlights that are a must on your itinerary…
- The Nature of Color: Find out what is light truly, plus how it makes you feel and the meaning behind colors. A nice visual for the eyes!
- World’s Beyond Earth: Held in the planetarium, this beautiful show, narrated by Lupita N’Yongo (and her soothing voice) takes you through space to other planets for exploration. It’s information and gorgeous all at once and leaves you with wonder and awe at what lies far beyond our view in the sky.
- T. Rex the Ultimate Predator: In this special exhibit you can get up close and personal with the massive T.Rex. With incredibly realistic models and sound effects you can truly see what these enormous creatures were like.
- Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life: Sea creatures terrify me, especially the big ones. But, there is something mythical about them, especially in this exhibit which is submerged beneath a massive blue whale sculpture. I loved seeing these creatures in the middle of New York City, but hope not to encounter them in the ocean any time soon.
- Akeley Hall of African Animals: Most of us have not had the luxury of taking an African Safari, so why not enjoy the next best thing in this gorgeous, richly decorated hall filled with all the glorious animals we know reside in Africa – elephants, zebras, lions and so many more.
- Since you will likely need it (this place is huge), here is a museum map.
- When things get “back to normal” and social distancing isn’t a must, you can even plan to spend a night at the museum (hopefully not quite like the movie)!
As the country slowly starts to reopen, and while we wait for full accessibility into the amazing museums in NYC, and all over the country, you thankfully can experience some aspects of the AMNH from the comforts of your own home. Happy exploring!
Signed with Style,
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