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About the Discovery Room:

The Discovery Room offers families, and especially children ages 5-12, an interactive gateway to the wonders of the Museum and a hands-on, behind-the scenes look at its science. Every major field of Museum science and research, from anthropology to zoology, is represented. Children, accompanied by adults, can explore an array of artifacts and specimens, puzzles, and scientific challenges. Activities for older visitors are located on the upper level.

Discovery Room Highlights:

  • Hunt for animals in a majestic two-story replica of an African baobab tree filled with specimens of birds, insects, reptiles, and small mammals.
  • Create your own collection of minerals, skulls, or arthropods from a cabinet full of fascinating specimens.
  • Gather around an authentic Kwakiutl totem pole carved at the Museum in 1992. Learn about cultures in locations from Brooklyn to Bombay by examining traditional and contemporary artifacts from around the world.
  • Assemble a life-sized cast skeleton of Prestosuchus, a 14-foot long reptile from the late Triassic Period, handle real fossils, and unearth an Oviraptor nest in a re-creation of a paleontology field site.
  • Track real-time earthquakes anywhere in the world on a three-drum seismograph and explore the natural world with sophisticated microscopes on the upper level.

Learn about Discovery Room for school groups...

Discovery Room Volunteers Needed

The Discovery Room is looking for volunteers who are outgoing, scientifically-minded, and kid-friendly. The position involves facilitating the use of the room for visitors of all ages, basic exhibit maintenance tasks, greeting visitors, and controlling the flow of traffic in and out of the space.

Currently, we are in need of volunteers for the following shifts:

  • Mondays (1:15 pm - 5:20 pm)
  • Wednesdays (1:15 pm - 5:20 pm)

Our weekday volunteers work one shift per week. A one-year commitment is required. 

Please indicate on the online application that you are interested in becoming a Discovery Room Volunteer.



The Discovery Room was made possible by a grant from the Edward John Noble Foundation.

Additional support has been provided by Capital One Bank, the Ralph M. Cestone Foundation, Nora and Ted Weinreich, the V. and L. Marx Foundation, the Ducommun and Gross Family Foundation, the Daneker Family, the Larkin Family, and the Alice Lawrence Foundation, Inc.

The Family Science Program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New York City Council.

Early Childhood and Family Learning at the American Museum of Natural History provides exciting science learning opportunities for young children and families through OLogy, the Discovery Room, the Science and Nature Program, and Public Programs.

Support for Early Childhood and Family Learning has been provided by the Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation, John and Amy Griffin, Allison and Roberto Mignone, Sylvain Mirochnikoff and Rebekah Mercer, Sharmila and Ravi Sinha, and Beth Kobliner Shaw and David E. Shaw.

Additional funding has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer D. A. Sackler, Amy and John Jacobsson, Jonathan and Kristy Korngold, and Kimberly and Greg Lippmann, Shaiza Rizavi and Jonathan Friedland, and Joella and John Lykouretzos.

Upcoming Offerings

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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