Sandra's Canada, Alaska and North America Trip - 2019 travel blog


A day of huge proportions!

The Museum of History Natural was a good choice of activity for a hot, steamy New York day. It is a really nice old museum... you know the type that looks, smells and feels like a REAL museum. Not a new age white tile and glass ‘museum’. It has lovely marble staircases with wooden curved banisters, high ceilings and wide spacious hallways. Of course there are no longer old wooden display cabinets but I’m sure there once was and I could almost see the ghosts of them.

Included in the full experience ticket I bought, I got to view all the special exhibits as well as the normal displays. I booked 4 different activities which I’ll detail in a minute.

Arriving at 10am - after catching 3 different trains to get there - I had time to wander through one of the huge dinosaur halls. It was fantastic. Fossils, actual dinosaur bones and huge reconstructions (some with actual bones incorporated) filled 3 large rooms.

I then went to the first of my extra temporary exhibitions - ‘Unseen Oceans’ - a warren of static displays centred around the geography of the world’s oceans and the creatures (large and small) living in them. One nook had a huge curved wall onto which was displayed a movie showing various sea creatures swimming around. A little boy (about 2 years of age) was running around trying to ‘touch’ the fish. He was so excited and lovely to watch.

From there, I had some time looking in the ‘Hall of African Mammals’ where there were 28 large dioramas depicting various African habitats with relevant taxidermy animals in them. The centrepiece is an impressive herd of 8 elephants. These scenes, in this Hall, date back to the early 20th century although more modern work has obviously been conducted to preserve them.

It was time then for my second special exhibition -‘T-Rex: The Ultimate Predator’. This was a great display related to all things tyrannosaur. It looked at other dinosaurs in the same family, the lifespan of the t-Rex and others and hypothesised on their lifestyle etc. Not as large as the ‘Oceans’ display, it didn’t take as long to view so left me time to get a cup of tea and a roll to eat.

After eating and drinking, I was off to the IMAX theatre for a 3D film, ‘Oceans - Our Blue Planet’. Narrated by Kate Winslet, it looked at tropical, temperate and arctic oceans, the plant life in each and the different creatures who make them their home. Our very own Great Barrier Reef got a lengthy segment due to our unique tusk fish (who I’d never previously heard of). Apparently the tusk fish collects clams and, very cleverly, carries them - one at a time- back to his home where he manages to open them by throwing them at a rock!The movie talked about how it’s the only fish known to use a tool. How clever! And he’s Australian! Go you good tusk fish!

This movie went for about 45 minutes so I had to hightail it to my fourth exhibition at the Planetarium for a wonderful display, ‘Dark Universe’ about dark matter, dark energy and the creation and formation of the universe. Some of it went over the top of my head but the graphics - displayed on the huge domed roof of the Planetarium - were fascinating to watch.

I had a final walk around another dinosaur display, a meander through the inevitable gift shop and a toilet stop before leaving just before 3.30 as I wanted to avoid the awful end-of-workday crush on the subway.

Two trains, a short walk and half an hour later, I was back at my hotel. Time for a cool drink and to put my feet up for a bit.

Only allowed to upload one photo today as I have just about used up my ‘free’ limit.

Tomorrow will be my last full day in New York. Stay tuned to see what I get up to!

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