AMNH Whales, Butterflies & More Family Activities

Recently I enjoyed a family playdate with at the American Museum of Natural History. We planned to spend the day at the museum seeing some of the different exhibits including the Whales: Giants of the Deep.

The Whales: Giants of the Deep at American Museum of Natural History

The Whales: Giants of the Deep exhibit was amazing. We learned how whales live in the ocean, how they're being affected by the whaling industry and how some culturals have coexisted with them for many years.

The Whales: Giants of the Deep at American Museum of Natural History
photo credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008

The exhibits also included real skulls and skeletons of whales. One of which stretched across the whole room. We weren't allowed to take any personal photos inside the exhibit, but you can learn more by visiting the The Whales: Giants of the Deep Highlights on the AMNH website. There you can find photos, video and more information.

Butterfly Conservatory at American Museum of Natural History

We also took the kids to The Butterfly Conservatory to see the live butterflies. They were able to get up close and personal, while learning about the different types of butterflies, what they eat and where the live.

Butterfly Conservatory at American Museum of Natural History

My son joined in an experiment to try and get a sleepy butterfly to open it's wings. He was told to lightly blowing on it. It didn't work but my son learned something special and got some one on one time with a butterfly, which is just as fun.

Rose Center for Earth and Space at American Museum of Natural History
Rose Center for Earth and Space at American Museum of Natural History

My son and I also enjoyed some time in Rose Center for Earth and Space learning about different rocks on the earth. He even got a chance to touch a real Obsidian stone ( a lava rock) and to learn how some rocks are magnetic.

These were just 3 of the exhibits I went to at the AMNH, there's tons more exhibits and special events to enjoy as a family.

Here is a brief list of some upcoming family friendly activities happening at the AMNH

How Whales are Unlocking Artic Secrets
Thursday, May 30, at 7-8:30 pm
Price: $25

A discussion presented in collaboration with the World Science Festival. Researchers are racing to uncover the implications for the Arctic of rapidly vanishing polar ice—and they are enlisting help from the very animals that stand to gain the most from their discoveries: narwhals, bowheads, and beluga whales, three of the most elusive species on Earth. Join a riveting discussion with explorers and scientists who are using daring new tactics to “recruit” these animals, featuring spectacular photographs, rare footage, and musical performances inspired by whale song.

Ticketholders also receive free after-hours access to the Museum’s special exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep from 6–7 pm.

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
May 18, 2013 through January 5, 2014

An engaging, dynamic exhibition that features more than 150 live frogs, including ten species of colorful dart-poison frogs. On view from the exhibition explores the diverse world of these complex amphibians by introducing visitors to their biology and evolution, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the wild.

Doodle 4 Google at AMNH: My Best Day Ever
May 22, 2013–July 14, 2014

The Museum has partnered with Google in the 2013 Doodle 4 Google contest to present a special exhibition of student artwork at the Museum. This year will be the sixth year of the national contest and the third year that Google has honored the program and its finalists by hosting an exhibition of participants’ artwork in New York City. Rose Center Gallery, second floor

Adventures in the Global Kitchen: Exotic Flavors in Fine Dining
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 pm
Linder Theater
Price: $30

How have immigrant culinary traditions of New York City influenced the food served in its finest restaurants? Chef Daniel Humm and General Manager Will Guidara of acclaimed restaurant Eleven Madison Park will discuss how they’ve melded Jewish, Italian, Irish, and other traditions drawn from New York City’s mass immigrations into contemporary fine-dining cuisine. Humm and Guidara will be joined in conversation by Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation. Tastings from Eleven Madison Park included.

Ticket holders to this event are invited to arrive early for a free visit to the exhibition Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, from 5:45–6:15 pm.

A Night at the Museum Sleepover Program
Saturday, June 22, 6 pm to Sunday, June 23, 9 am
Friday, June 28, 6 pm to Saturday, June 29, 9 am
$145 per person

During A Night at the Museum, the Museum’s popular sleepover program, guests will get to explore the halls of the Museum, including the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, Cullman Hall of the Universe, and the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, where they will find the T. rex. Participants will settle down beneath the 94-foot-long blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, around the African elephants in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, or at the base of a volcano in the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth. This month, sleepover guests will see a special screening of the film Flight of the Butterflies, about the epic 3,000-mile journey of monarch butterflies, in the LeFrak IMAX Theater, and see live butterflies in The Butterfly Conservatory with Museum explainers. For children ages 6?13 and their caregivers.

Evening Bat Walks in Central Park
Friday, July 12, 8:30 pm
Friday, July 19, 8:30 pm
Friday, July 26, 8:30 pm

$40 per walk ($25 children ages 12 and under; minimum age 3)

At dusk, bats leave their homes in warm spaces under city roofs to feed on flying insects. Join Brad Klein, Danielle Gustafson, and other members of the New York City Bat Group for a walk through Central Park. Aided by a detector that amplifies the bats’ otherwise inaudible high-frequency chirps, bat watchers can monitor and catalogue the species that call the city home.

Meet at the Museum entrance on 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Enrollment is limited. Please register no later than one week in advance.

The Museum is open daily, 10 am–5:45 pm, and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For additional information, call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website,

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  1. WOW! Skeletons of whales are crazy looking!

  2. That is such a neat museum!! I wish we had one closer to me!

  3. That looks like an amazing experience!

  4. Very Cool!! I love when something educational turns out to be fun for the whole family :)

  5. That's awesome!! I bet it was so much fun!