Three valuable museums in Manhattan

Hop on the subway, head in any direction in Manhattan, and you are guaranteed to find a museum. Many of the museums in Manhattan offer discounted prices, interesting exhibitions, and a multitude of activities for college students.

    Three museums that stand beyond the realm of “average,” are the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. With an overwhelming size of exhibition space, microscopic entrance costs, and a team of experts to answer any questions – these museums are sure to be a hit with St. John’s University students.


   With four floors of exhibitions, suggested admission prices, and a prime location on the Upper West Side at 79th Street and Central Park West – The American Museum of Natural History is a great place for students to spend an afternoon. Take the B or C train to 81st street, and you will arrive at the main entrance for The Rose Center for Earth and Space. The museum only asks for a suggested admission donation, so students can enter with pocket change.


  After entering the Museum, pick up a map and highlight the exhibits you want to see. The floors are organized into “halls”- Fossils, Mammals, Birds, Biodiversity, Culture, and many others. From dinosaurs to the well known “hanging blue whale,” the museum is filled with an overwhelming amount of history. Each hall is labeled with information, in front of each exhibit, explaining the significance and importance behind the work.


 The American Museum of Natural History houses the world’s largest collection of vertebrate fossils, totaling approximately one million specimens. A deep understanding of various animal species is made possible through the placement of the halls, and most importantly, the dioramas, which present a 360-degree depiction of the animals’ environment.

    Museum visitors are invited to “travel around the world,” from Mexico to Egypt, experiencing the culture and customs of various people, and view artifacts from around the world.

    Heading across town to the Upper East Side, students will find a different kind of museum filled with some of the world’s most renowned artwork. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is perhaps the most beautiful and serene place in all of New York City. Admissions is also donation based, so students can enter with under a dollar, and spend the entire day (closes around 5:00, so get there early,) studying the most impressive collection of artwork in New York.

    This place is a safe-haven of artistic genius with the museum broken into various sections, presenting different varieties of art, from American decorative art to Asian art. Pick up a map and work your way around, focusing on exhibits that interest you and some that you wouldn’t think to see. If you have time, take the elevator to the rooftop exhibition, which changes every few weeks, highlighting the work of upcoming and renowned artists.

    Perhaps the most popular works in the museum are the Mastaba Tomb of Perneb and the Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian wing, which leave guests in awe with the amount of intricacy and detail. Another crowd favorite is the European Sculpture wing, filled with some of the most delicate and alluring pieces of artwork in the world. With bright red walls, magnificent marble window fixtures, and elegant lighting- this wing is filled with the largest crowd, sitting and soaking in the atmosphere.

    Permanent exhibits include American Paintings and Sculpture, Arms and Armor, Asian Art, the Costume Institute, European Paintings, Islamic Art, Modern Art, and Photography.

    Current special exhibitions include Jan Gossart’s Renaissance and John Baldessari’s Pure Beauty, which end in early January. Make sure to take time walking through the museum, grab some lunch in the cafe, bring a notebook or sketchbook and observe everything this charming place has to offer.

    The most historic and perhaps personal museum in the city is the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, located in Upper New York Harbor. With free guided tours, films, and the access to discover your family roots, this is an experience unlike any other.

    Ellis Island is accessible by ferry, making it a tad more expensive ($12 for students) but completely worth the price. Tickets can be purchased at Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park. Remember, all of the activities at the museum are free, so it works out to be around the same price as the others.

    Since being opened in 1990, The Ellis Island Immigration Museum has allowed American citizens to trace ancestors through a compilation of resources. Three floors filled with nostalgia and sheer beauty, the museum is meant to be explored slowly, with brochures available in seven languages. The renowned film “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” is played throughout the day, and lasts around 45 minutes, providing a visual experience of Ellis Island.

    The most exciting point in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is the database, housed in the American Family Immigration Center, which can be used to search a family’s roots. There is also an outdoor marble wall which extends hundreds of feet, listing all of the people who entered America through Ellis Island. The history and personal connection between guests and the museum is extensive, displaying the importance of such a landmark.