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New Science Center at Museum of Natural History

by Barbara Rogers

Mar 20, 2023

© Nyker1 | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

New York’s American Museum of Natural History was already a kid-pleaser, but the opening of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation on Feb. 17 gives family travelers another reason to visit the city. In this new 230,000-square-foot center, kids can travel throughout the world of science, exploring everything from DNA to leafcutter ants.


Floor-to-ceiling exhibits include the immersive Invisible Worlds experience, combining science and art in wall-high projections to look inside the human brain, explore the ocean depth and examine a strand of DNA. The new center will hold more than 4 million specimens and artifacts in the museum’s scientific collections. Three floors of exhibits show how these artifacts reveal more about nature and world cultures, as well as how all life is connected.


While these collections are static, kids will find more activity in the vivarium, where 60 species of colorful butterflies fly free. In the insectarium, kids can eavesdrop on insects living across the street in Central Park. A transparent sky bridge leads to views of the country’s largest colony of leafcutter ants.


Along with these permanent exhibits, families will also want to visit the museum’s current special exhibition on sharks, where touch-free interactive exhibits accompany dozens of life-sized shark models, some as long as 33 feet. That exhibition remains open until Dec. 1.


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