I’ve been looking forward to the Museum of Natural History for a long time. It’s a fantastic, beautiful museum, with stunning architecture inside. I love old buildings full of character. We used CityPASS for entry again, so no waiting. After scanning our passes, we were offered a choice between two movies. A documentary about whales or the planets and solar system. The kids voted for the solar system. We only had about 45 minutes until the movie began so we decided to go see a few exhibits. We started with the planets and the solar system exhibit which was a little ho hum to be honest, so I decided to try to get a few photographs. That was mostly unsuccessful but I managed to chase Keiren and grab him for a picture. He doesn’t like getting his picture taken so he ran as soon as the camera was out, but I managed to nab him. It was a fun moment.
We wandered pretty aimlessly before the movie, and ran into some dinosaur bones. The bones looked like those of the velociraptor, but I can’t be sure. There also seemed to be another line to get tickets and it was extremely busy. I’m not sure why everyone was on this particular side of the building buying tickets, but we picked up our tickets with absolutely no wait in line. This really confused us as there was someone checking for tickets and we weren’t sure which tickets we had. Sure enough we already had the correct tickets so we moved right through. It was about time for us to get to the movie so we headed towards the theater. Sahki didn’t like the looks of the elevator so he and I went down the escalator instead. Once I managed to find everyone we got in line for the movie. A picture was taken of all of us and we were ushered into the theater and repeatedly told not to use our cell phones. The seats were comfortable but I found the movie to be dreadfully boring. Outer space and the solar system aren’t my favorite topics and I just wasn’t interested. The video was more informational than fun and I really wished we had seen the whales instead. Especially since whales are my favorite mammals.
After the movie we explored some more. This museum is HUGE. There’s practically no way to see everything in one day. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through too much with the kids but I really enjoyed the Native American exhibit, the dinosaur bones of course, and the ocean exhibit with the iconic big blue whale floating above. Keiren enjoyed looking at all the replicas of homes people lived in. He asked a lot of questions about people living in “mud houses.”
The amount of bones throughout the museum is quite extensive. It’s not just dinosaur bones, but many other prehistoric and modern animals as well. T-rex skeletons are actually quite rare, but the museum does have the most intact t-rex skull in the world. Pretty cool. Parts of the museum are pretty dark so it was hard to take good photos of everything.
I think the Museum of Natural history in New York is a lot better than the one in Washington DC. I recommend you plan for two trips to this museum if time allows, or plan on getting here in the morning, take a break for lunch, then see a few more exhibits and the movie. It will take all day to get through this museum so you will need to prioritize which exhibits to go to, or plan your day accordingly. Definitely do not come on the weekend or school holiday if you can avoid it.
We leave the museum around three o’clock and walk past a delicious smelling waffle stand on our way to the subway. Now we’re on our way to Chinatown. Its a longish ride from where we are but I really don’t want to skip Chinatown. Once there, I’m in love. We turn the corner and there’s one of many beautiful produce markets. I can smell the meats being roasted, hear the chatter of Chinese, and the ever present sound of traffic and honking horns. It’s a country within a city. We walk by herbal stores and shops for Chinese medicine. There is a fish market with an entire octopus displayed.
We keep walking and take in the scenery. While Chinatown still bears a lot of the markings of New York, it still manages to feel distinctly Asian. We discover a nice playground and take a break while the boys blow off some steam. It was a very nice playground but I noticed it was falling into some disrepair. Some of the swings for bigger kids were nonexistent and I noticed some other broken equipment. Hopefully these minor things will be fixed as summer approaches but the boys had fun.
I decide I really need to buy something here, so I went out in search for a plate of dumplings. I cross the street to nearest restaurant called “Dumpling House,” so I figured I can’t go wrong here. I have a little bit of trouble communicating to the woman at the register that I’d like vegetable dumplings and not pork dumplings. Then even more trouble because this restaurant does not take credit cards. Luckily the dumplings are only $3 because that’s all the cash I had. I got a really big container of dumplings and they were really delicious. The dumplings were really big too, about the size of golf balls. I shared them with Michael as we watched the boys play. I wanted to see Little Italy but the kids were getting hungry and my daughter wasn’t feeling too great. We decided to head closer to the hotel and go to overpriced Shake Shack by our hotel.
On the way back to the subway, my son found an empty pack of Chinese cigarettes to keep as a souvenir. After searching for Shake Shake we finally found it due to my son’s brilliance with directions, and got in line. The place was extremely busy so we had to hover and pounce to get a table. The food was good but not great, and I felt the portions were small considering the price. On the walk back to the hotel, Sahki really needed the bathroom. So the walk back was less than peaceful with squawks from Sahki every minute about needing a toilet. Luckily we made it to our hotel in time and there were no accidents.
Just one of many good days in New York.