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American Museum of Natural History Central Park West at 79th Street Manhattan (212) 769-5100 Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 10 am - 5:45 pm; Friday - Saturday, 10 am - 8:45 pm Admission: Adults - $9.50; Students and Seniors - $7.50; Children (ages 12 and under) - $6

Made possible, in part, by Theodore Roosevelt, this museum is probably most famous for its recently renovated dinosaur exhibits and for its historic animal dioramas. The mineral collection, which includes moon rocks and the 563 carat sapphire called the Star of India, should be on your “must see” list, too. We also enjoyed the presentation of human evolution. And try to fit in a screening of one of the museum’s IMAX shows – they are far superior to anything we have seen at the new Sony IMAX theater (see IMAX Disappointment).

The Museum of Natural History is also the home of the new Rose Center for Earth and Space, which includes the revamped Hayden Planetarium. Admission to the Rose Center is included in the museum price, but there is an additional fee to see the Space Show in the planetarium. Ticket prices for complete museum admission and the Space Show are $19 for adults; $14 for students and seniors; and $11.50 for children. We recommend that you buy your tickets in advance (at the museum’s web site or by calling 212-769-5200) because this new attraction has proved very popular and tickets sell out quickly.

To get there by subway, take the B or C train to 81st Street ; or take the 1or 9 to 79th Street.