This American treasure is amazing for adults and children alike. I love having a free day or more to enjoy the spectacular things one can find right here in New York City. The American Museum of Natural History www.amnh.org is one of those things. Founded in 1869, it enlightens all who visit about human cultures, the natural world around us and the universe with its ever changing exhibits and scientific collections. Ocean life, dinosaurs, meteorites, rare gems, fossils and the amazing Hayden Planetarium are just a few examples of the wonders found in these walls. There is also a kids’ discovery room for children ages 5-12 which is a very hands on, behind the scenes look at science. The museum is open 10-4:45 everyday. Plan to spend the whole day if you possibly can. They do have a coat check, but do not allow large backpacks or luggage in the museum, nor can they be stored in the coat check.
Parking is very expensive, so take public transportation. From Ivy Terrace, take the E train uptown, switch to the C at 59th Street and get off at 81st Street. There is a subway entrance which is less crowded to enter, but the main entrance on Central Park West displays the amazing dinosaur skeleton as you first walk in. This truly impresses the kids! If the weather is beautiful, consider a picnic in Central Park after your visit.
For a kid-friendly restaurant nearby, try Good Enough to Eat, 520 Columbus at 85th Street, 212-496-0163. They are open from 8 am -10:30 pm.