We were recently at the American Museum of Natural History and prior to going we’d heard stories of how you need loads of time or umpteen visits to see everything. We had about 3 hours so were keen to make sure we saw everything we could and not miss the good bits – if you’ve every watched Night at the Museum than you’ll know there’s certain exhibits that you just wouldn’t want to miss!
Before we got to the museum we remembered reading something about an app for the museum so we nipped into a Starbucks and downloaded the free AMNH iPhone App to see if it could help us make the most of our visit.
From the iPhone Store:
Chart your own course at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City with AMNH Explorer—a new app that is part custom navigation system, part personal tour guide for the Museum’s world-famous halls.
When you first fire up the app you are given the option of finding specific exhibits, choosing a museum tour, finding the food outlets, locating the restrooms (which in a museum that size comes in very handy indeed!) and finding your way round with maps.
We chose the museum tours first which gave us an easy choice of tours to suit our needs and time constraints. We could have chosen specific ‘Night at the Museum’ tours to Dino tours but in the end we opted for the Highlights Tour as this would give us a taste of the whole museum but still let us see the ‘must see’s’ (Lucy and Dum Dum for example!)
What I really liked about this feature was being able to choose what we had time for without having to research what we wanted to see beforehand. We ended up choosing the Long Tour and it took us all round the museum in around 2 hours.
The other thing I loved about this app was that it gave further information about each exhibit which wasn’t always detailed on the exhibit information itself.
Once an exhibit had been visited we hit the ‘visited’ option and it let us easily keep track of what we’d still to see and where we still had to go. One comment about this feature though, we found that if we visited the exhibitions out of sequence then the preceding ones were sometimes marked as visited when they hadn’t been. Could be a bug, could be us accidentally hitting visited when we shouldn’t have!
The app was also great at helping us find our way, if we got lost (maybe just a few times…) then we just had to click on the ‘directions to here’ button and it told us exactly where to get to from where we were standing meaning we lost minimal time wandering around looking lost.
I really enjoyed using this app and would recommend it to anyone visiting the AMNH to get the most of a visit. At last look I could find very few in the UK that offered an app like this and it’s definitely something I’d be looking for next time I visit a museum.