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New York State Museum

Visit the oldest and largest state museum in the country to learn about science, history, anthropology art and more.

Explore the oldest and largest state museum in the country. Home to some of the nation’s leading scientists, the New York State Museum seeks to continuously educate New Yorkers. Through its collections, exhibitions and programs, the museum allows visitors to learn about science, history, anthropology and art.


Several exhibitions in the museum explore New York State and its history. Collections and research showcase archaeology, biology, geology, paleontology, history and Native American Ethnography. The Discovery Place offers an educational experience in the form of a hands-on learning center for young visitors. Kids can explore through touch and observation with interactive tables as well as microscopes, puzzles and collections to learn about different animals and museum objects.


Admission to the museum and its famous Carousel are free, although they suggest donations to help expand the educational experience.


Current galleries to experience include:

  • New York Metropolis Hall
  • Adirondack Hall
  • Bird Hall
  • Cohoes Mastodon
  • Fire Engine Hall
  • Ice Ages
  • Native Peoples Hall

Areas that are temporarily closed include:

  • Discovery Place
  • 4th Floor Terrace Gallery/Carousel
  • Museum Shop
  • Museum Cafe

“The museum, just a 10-minute walk from the Capitol across the 98-acre, white-marbled expanse of Empire State Plaza—thank you, Nelson Rockefeller—is an even more ambitious repository of NY artifacts and archives. Its exhibits trace the natural and cultural origins of the state.

You could spend hours here in the towering exhibition halls. Make sure you don’t miss the 9-11 artifacts, the collection of antique fire trucks and subways, the dioramas of NY birds, an eons-old mastodon and a ride on the century-old carousel.

At the museum, science, anthropology, education and art exhibits tell the story of the state’s cultural and natural history. Popular displays include the World Trade Center, Birds of New York and the operational 1912 Herschell-Spillman carousel.”

Click here for more of Don Wildman’s top museum picks across New York State.

Taking Amtrak to the New York State Museum

Reach the New York State Museum via Amtrak to Albany-Rensselaer Station—Don’t forget to use the New York By Rail 15% discount!

Get picked up from Albany-Rensselaer Station and taken to your reserved #NYTRAIN Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Click here to reserve your car or call the Albany office today at: 518-427-3893.