Explained: Pay What You Wish at the Museum of Natural History

When planning at trip to the Museum of Natural History you might start seeing the confusing term of "Pay What You Wish".

Many people wonder if this "Pay What You Wish" is too good to be true, so we're here to explain what exactly the Pay What You Wish program is and how it should be used for your trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Questions We'll Answer About Pay What You Wish At The Museum of Natural History:

  • What Is "Pay What You Wish"?
  • How Much Should You Pay?
  • Do You Have To Pay Anything To Enter The Museum Of Natural History?

 

Mammoth Skeleton

What Is "Pay What You Wish"?

The Museum of Natural History in New York City actually has a unique model for admission pricing known as "Pay What You Wish". 

Upon entering the Museum of Natural History you'll see multiple signs with pricing that you will notice in the fine print say "Suggested Price". At first glance this is definitely confusing when you're accustomed to paying a fixed price for just about everything in your daily life. 

Museum of Natural History Entrance

"Pay What You Wish" allows you to pay whatever amount you'd like to enter the museum that you find appropriate for the experience - this can be more or less than the suggested price. 

If you purchase your tickets in-person at the museum you will automatically be charged the suggested price unless you specifically tell the cashier how much you'd like to pay. 

Keep this in mind as you won't be asked how much you'd like to pay!

If you're purchasing tickets online then you'll have to pay the suggested amount unless you're a resident of New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. 

Pay What You Wish Online

During the final stages of the checkout process online you'll be taken to a screen which shows the suggested admission price and then a blank box that allows you to input how much you'd actually like to pay for the tickets. 

The same rules apply here as in-person, you can pay as little or as much as you'd like to enter the museum. 

How Much Should You Pay?

Theme Park Center recommends paying the "Suggested Price" to enter the Museum of Natural History. 

The museum is a massive experience that can requires at least 3-5 hours to enjoy, and for some is an entire day experience. 

Giant Whale at Museum of Natural History

TIP: While we recommend paying the Suggested Price, we definitely suggest taking advantage of any Student, Military or Senior discounts at the museum. When purchasing your tickets you should feel free to ask about what discounts might be available for anyone in your group. 

For the cost of the "Suggested Price" the Museum of Natural History is an incredible value, not just in the amount of time you'll spend there, but in the quality of the exhibits and experiences.

The Museum of Natural History is truly one of the best museums in all of the world!

Elephant Herd Statue

Do You Have To Pay Anything To Enter The Museum Of Natural History?

With "Pay What You Wish" always comes the question "Do I need to even pay anything to enter the museum?". 

The answer here is yes. The Museum of Natural History is not a free experience and you do need to pay some amount in exchange for admission. 

Giant Gemstone

The minimum amount you can pay to enter the museum is $0.01 per ticket. 

While this is an option, we don't recommend doing so. As we mentioned earlier in this article, the museum is an incredible experience and much more valuable than a single penny.

While Pay What You Wish is a generous program offered by the museum, if it's taken advantage of it may stop being offered to those who truly need it!

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Ultimate American Museum of Natural History Parking Guide

Is The American Museum of Natural History Free?

Is There A Six Flags In New York?

3 Best Theme Parks In New York