What did we do during our last visit to New York? Well, we spent a lot of time walking with dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History!
I first encountered the Museum of Natural History in 2002 during my first year as a New York City public school teacher.
I was hired to teach sixth grade English and Drama but two days before the school year began, I was summoned to the principals office. The science teacher had just quit and I was being asked to step in. In addition to teaching English and Drama, I was to teach science as well (and we wonder why the USA is far behind other countries when it comes to STEM education). I panicked. A Theatre and English major, my last science class had been taken in high school and I had passed Physics by the skin of my teeth. I was not qualified in any way to add science to my roster. Luckily, I was teaching in New York City and had one of the finest resources in the world at my fingertips- The Museum of Natural History. Summoning my best Ms. Frizzle (remember her!), my students and I visited the museum twice weekly and worked directly with scientists and curators. We all learned something that year!
Fast forward 14 years, and I found myself walking the expansive marble corridors of the museum once more. This time with my children in search of dinosaurs or "dinersers" if you ask my four year old.
Falling right into step with my former middle school teacher self, I grinned- I still had every turn and permanent exhibit memorized.
The Museum of Natural History overlooks Central Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
We left feeling inspired. It was a good day!
The Museum of Natural History is easy to find. It sits opposite the park at roughly 79th street through 81st streets and Central Park West. The C train to 81st will get you there seamlessly!
Admission to the museum is accepted on a donation basis making it wonderfully affordable for anyone who desires the experience. Pay two dollars, twenty or two hundred...
A trip to the Museum of Natural History can stand alone or can be combined with a visit to Central Park which is literally across the street. From there, you can let your feet guide you, or you can grab a nice meal.
There are a host of delicious restaurant options on the Upper East Side that are within walking distance. My favorites are:
Good Enough to Eat (520 Columbus Avenue- walk North and West for amazing comfort food with a farmhouse feel) Cafe Lalo (201 W. 83rd street- walk North and West for to die for pastries, coffee and sandwiches. This restaurant was featured in the movie You've Got Mail) Vai (429 Amsterdam Avenue- walk North and West for delicious Mediterranean food and wine galore...)
On this day, we went to Vai!
It was so good...
A day in the city, well spent!