Can You Eat a Picnic in the Natural History Museum?

Are you planning a trip to the Natural History Museum and wondering if you can enjoy a picnic inside? The answer is unfortunately no, picnicking is not allowed inside the museum. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other dining options available for visitors.

Why Can’t You Eat Inside the Museum?

The Natural History Museum has strict rules against consuming food and drinks inside the exhibit halls. The reason behind this rule is to protect the artifacts on display from any potential damage caused by food or drink spills. Additionally, food odors can attract pests and insects that may harm the exhibits.

Where Can You Eat?

Fortunately, there are plenty of dining options available for visitors. The museum has several cafes and restaurants located throughout its premises where you can grab a quick snack or enjoy a full meal.

One of the popular options is the Food Court located on the second floor. It offers a variety of cuisines ranging from Italian to Asian and American favorites. The Food Court also has vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

Another option is CafĂ© on 4, which offers lighter fare like soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. It’s located on the fourth floor near the Mammals exhibit hall.

If you’re looking for something more upscale, visit The Restaurant at The Museum of Natural History situated on the ground floor near Central Park West entrance. This restaurant offers an exquisite menu inspired by seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Reservations are recommended.

Tips for Dining at the Museum

– Plan your mealtime in advance: The museum can get crowded during peak hours, so it’s advisable to plan your dining time in advance to avoid long lines. – Consider dietary restrictions: If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, check out menus beforehand to ensure that there are options available for you.

– Don’t forget to hydrate: Staying hydrated is crucial during your visit to the museum. Carry a water bottle with you and refill it at the water fountains located throughout the premises.


While you cannot eat a picnic inside the Natural History Museum, there are plenty of dining options available for visitors to enjoy. Plan your mealtime in advance, consider dietary restrictions, and don’t forget to hydrate during your visit. With these tips in mind, you can have an enjoyable experience exploring the museum’s fascinating exhibits while satisfying your hunger cravings.