American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational and cultural institutions. It houses 45 permanent exhibition halls, state-of-the-art research laboratories and a permanent collection of more than 34 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Six fossil halls with more than 600 specimens are arranged by evolutionary relationships in the form of a giant family tree. The Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus are three of the most popular fossil skeletons.</br>The Hall of Biodiversity celebrates the variety of life on Earth and examines threats to the planet's health. The hall's centerpiece is a 2,500-square-foot walk-through diorama that depicts part of the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest, one of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems. Featuring more than 160 species of flora and fauna, the diorama uses video and sound to re-create the ecosystem at dawn, at an elephant clearing and degraded by human intervention along a road. The Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals features 46 mammal species in dioramas of various North American environments.</br>Guided tours are available. Food is available. </br>
(includes Rose Center) $23; $18 (ages 60+ and students with ID); $13 (ages 2-12). Combination ticket for museum, Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium show $28; $22.50 (ages 60+ and students with ID); $16.50 (ages 2-12).
Station: 81 St-Museum of Natural History
Hours: Daily 10-5:45. Guided tours depart daily every hour 10:15-3:15. IMAX films are shown daily; phone ahead for schedule. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Allow 4 hours minimum.