How Long Does It Take to Go Through the Museum of Natural History?

Are you planning a visit to the Museum of Natural History but wondering how much time you need to set aside for the experience? The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your interests, the size of your group, and how much time you want to spend exploring each exhibit.

The Basics

The Museum of Natural History is a massive institution that covers over 2 million square feet. With that much ground to cover, it’s impossible to see everything in one day. However, if you’re limited on time, you can still make the most of your visit by prioritizing the exhibits that interest you most.

Exhibit Highlights

One must-see exhibit is the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs which features some of the most well-known dinosaur fossils in the world. Here, visitors can view fossils from Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus among other species.

Another favorite is the Rose Center for Earth and Space which explores our planet and beyond through interactive exhibits, videos, and displays. The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life also receives high praise with its life-size models of whales and other ocean creatures.

Time Considerations

To fully explore each exhibit at a leisurely pace would take several days. However, if you’re short on time or just want a quick overview of what each exhibit has to offer, plan for at least two hours per floor. There are four floors in total so budgeting at least eight hours allows for adequate exploration time.

If you’re visiting with children or have a larger group with varying interests, it may be best to spend a little more time and plan for an entire day or multiple days at the museum. This gives everyone an opportunity to explore their favorite exhibits without feeling rushed.

Tips for Visitors

To make your visit as enjoyable as possible, here are some tips:

  • Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Check the museum’s website to see if there are any special exhibits or events happening during your visit.
  • Consider purchasing tickets online ahead of time to avoid long lines at the entrance.
  • Bring snacks and water with you as there are few food options inside the museum.


To sum up, there is no definitive answer to how long it takes to go through the Museum of Natural History. Depending on your interests, group size, and time available, your experience will vary.

However, budgeting at least two hours per floor is a good starting point for those looking to explore the museum in full. Remember to take your time and enjoy everything this incredible institution has to offer!