New York State Museum - Dedicated to Exploring the Human and Natural History of NYS

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thank you for all the love you showed for my spring series on shops!  I hope you take time to pay them a visit!  As we are about to say goodbye to March and usher in April, I know some of you are already thinking about spring break.  Or should I say, your kids and grandkids are looking forward to spring break.  As I've said before, this area is full of so many wonderful things to see and do.....many of them we forget about as we travel out of town for adventure.  I hope today's post will get you to consider playing tourist right here in our own state capital, specifically at the New York State Museum.

Did you know this week is Museum Week?  I didn't either!  If you haven't been there in a while, I hope today's post will not only serve to remind you what a treasure it is but encourage you to check it out again.  It's definitely one of the many great places often overlooked by locals.   Did you know the NYS Museum is the oldest and largest state museum in the country??  It was established in 1836 and, located at the southern end of the Empire State Plaza, the museum's 100,000 square feet of exhibition space houses several new visiting exhibits each year in addition to their long-term exhibits. The museum is dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the state and is visited by a half million visitors each year from all around the globe.  The museum has a pretty fascinating history - one I won't go into here today, but I urge you to check it out yourself.....

 I remember visiting the museum as a child when it was housed in the State Education Building.  As a youngster, the mastodon was, of course, one of the most impressive sights I'll never forget as well as the exhibits about the native American Indians. They were so life-like, they were almost scary to a young child.  Both of these are still on display at the current museum on Washington Avenue, although the American Indian (now called the Native Peoples of NY) exhibit may not be as large as it once was.  Even as an adult, I was so impressed by the mastodon exhibit, I wrote a post about it last spring.   This is what the exhibit looked like in the 1920's and in the '60's:

And this is what it looks like now:

To read last year's post about the Mastodon:
These days the museum still features a number of other exhibits, including Fire Engine Hall, Birds of New York, Minerals of New York, New York Metropolis Hall, a very moving World Trade Center Rescue, Response and Recovery exhibit, Adirondack Wilderness, as well as travelling temporary exhibits.  The day we visited it was to see an exhibit on the Shakers.  What an exhibit that was!!  Of course the kids will be most excited about the Discovery Place and Kids Cove where they can take part in a number of hands-on activities, as well as the NYS Carousel on the 4th floor of the museum. Whether you're young or old, go alone or take the youngsters in your life, you can't help but love the NYS Museum.  Here's a glimpse of what awaits you when you go.....(I had so many photos I wanted to share, I had to collage them in order to include more).  Don't forget you can click on any photo to view in a larger format.

The World Trade Center Exhibit

For a closer look at just a corner of this incredibly moving piece of history....
The flag above was actually recovered  at the World Trade Center by State Police .

New York Metropolis
Take a close-up look at this photo....the list on the right gives origins of many famous foods, all created in New York.
In case you can't read the list, 
 I guess NY is pretty famous for creating some popular menu favorites.  Who knew?!?!

The Birds of New York - just a few of many on display!

And for the won't want to miss .....

Fire Engine Hall

There it is.... a tiny glimpse of what awaits you right here in our own state capital.  And that's just a piece of what's downtown!  There's so much more to see and do once you're there.  If you haven't visited in a while, put the New York State Museum on your bucket list.  It's free admission (donations are appreciated but not collected) and it's open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30-5:00.  Closed Mondays and on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.  For more information, please use the links below to check out the museum website and to follow them on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.  Please come back soon to Life As I See It where I'll be featuring more ideas for fun things to do in the coming weeks as we enjoy the arrival of spring!

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