The New York State Museum is a research-backed institution in Albany, New York, United States. It is located on Madison Avenue, attached to the south side of the Empire State Plaza, facing onto the plaza and towards the New York State Capitol. The museum houses art, artifacts (prehistoric and historic), and ecofacts that reflect New York’s cultural, natural, and geological development. Operated by the New York State Education Department's Office of Cultural Education, it is the oldest and largest state museum in the US. Formerly located in the State Education Building, the museum now occupies the first four floors of the Cultural Education Center, a ten-story, 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) building that also houses the New York State Archives and New York State Library.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NYSM, State Archives, and State Library to close temporarily, with museum employees continuing to work behind the scenes, offering virtual programming and online exhibitions. The Museum reopened to the public with reduced hours and days of operation and some exhibits still unopened on May 17, 2021.
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
Holly Greene ootophoto com | Feb 24, 2018
Out of the Ordinary Photography loves capturing weddings at the New York State Museum! It was so memorable with amazing views. I love the steps and the wide openness feel that takes in the entire city of Albany NY and capital buildings. And wow, the night scene is stunning! The location is a perfect walking distance to hotels for guests. The Egg, capital building steps and nearby fountain are great locations for the photographer and videographer. Once inside, the museum feel was so unique with high open ceilings, lots of room to dance and kids loved the inside carousel. I highly recommend this as an Albany wedding venue and hope to photograph there again!
Michelle Nietfeld | Mar 3, 2018
There is plenty to do here to entertain yourself for hours. It is an excellent location to take children, with a discovery section devoted entirely to early education. But, it is dark from being a place for only kids. It also has plenty of interesting information for adults. I think my favorite sections to learn about were the Native American sections (complete with an Iroquois long house) and, as saddening as it was, the September 11th exhibit. I also enjoyed reviewing how New York was instrumental in women's rights. It was well worth my visit, and it is an excellent spot to wander with friends, bring kids, or take a date.
Marc Khoury | Feb 26, 2018
Interesting and needs at least 5 hours to see all the items. I have Been there twice already and feel I Can come back another time. Facing the Capitol amazing view.
colleen o'reilly | Dec 3, 2017
Visited the museum for the first time since I was in elementary school. It was cool then but now - Wow! There are so many exhibits and some are so big. Wandering through is an adventure in itself. Great for adults and kids (there were lots there today and they were loving it).
Riss Ryker | Jan 23, 2018
I loved it here as a kid and STILL love it here! Never disappoints. If you want to spend an amazing afternoon, the museum is the place to go.
Anneliese Ploetz | Mar 29, 2018
We were in town for the basketball game and decided to check out the museum as well. We could have spent an entire day there! We definitely will be going back as we only made it through the 4th floor, the carousels and some planes, and the Adirondack section of the first floor. There's lots of New York history that is well displayed and well kept up. The horses on the carousel are 120 years old!!
Sherry Brissette | Mar 7, 2018
Fire Engines! My grandson is obsessed with fire trucks. Plenty here. Including one in a very moving 9/11 memorial. Be prepared for question from little ones. Cool museum. We will be back!
David Liddle | May 17, 2018
New York State Museum is a must-see whether you have kids or not you should go and visit. It's especially wonderful when you have youngsters because of all the questions are going to have. The displays are awesome one such the display is the 911 Memorial. Caution this particular display is very emotional to some take heed. Wonderful displays about the Adirondacks and of course the Iroquois Indian display is fantastic. The local history from here in Albany as wonderful as well.
Chris Whitton | May 10, 2018
This is a great place to spend the day if you were to ask me. This museum contains a large variety of unique exhibits and it features very interesting background information on each one. The building is clean and the set up is very easy to navigate and enjoy. I had lots of fun visiting this place.
N DeCicco | Apr 29, 2018
A wonderful free resource for learning. Give yourself a few hours to really experience the exhibits. There are usually a few rotating exhibits so there is always something new to see. Make sure to check out the carousel, it’s free too!
Russell Hudson | Jun 10, 2018
I am a tourist. Museums are always interesting to me. This museum chronicles New York history including geology and some ice age Giant Mammoths. There was a section for the World Trade Center event. This was very moving and it brought me to tears. The square that the museum is part of is simply spactacular. You will want to allow time walk around for awhile. I recommend
Lori Chapman | May 23, 2018
It's a good museum. We were visiting from Michigan, so some of the historical items were very interesting. The Women's vote display was very interesting. There is a carousel on the 4th floor that everyone can ride for free!
Jean Cary | Jun 5, 2018
Really educational place to visit and if you don't have much money it is free. Just make a few $ donation to show your appreciation.
Gerry Loney | Jun 26, 2018
About once a month we take our three year-old grandson here when we visit from Vermont. He loves it and so do we. We always start at the Discovery Place, where he does some make-believe, puts together the mastodon skeleton puzzle and checks out the permanent and changing exhibits. A ride on the antique carousel is mandatory, as is the Sesame Street set and video which we watch from the subway, which becomes a train going to Vermont. For as much time as is left we look at the life size dioramas, including the mastodon and the impressive Mohawk Iroquois long house where Grandmother tells us recorded traditional stories. After at least 20 visits I'm not sure we've seen everything. It never loses its attraction for any of us.
Jeanie Purcell | Jul 10, 2018
Great place to visit with exhibits for all ages. Parking was great (using the Visitor's parking garage) and admission is via donation. The exhibits were interesting - all pertaining to New York - covering the span from the ice ages to current day. A few hours is sufficient time to see everything.
Kara M. | Jul 10, 2018
Ah, the good old NYS Museum! Being a native of this area for 30+ years, my hometown friends and I still like to joke around about how this place hasn't changed much since we had elementary school field trips here. I hadn't really been in here in probably 7 years, other than shooting some engagement pics for my friends up by the carousel last year. Yes, you can even rent out the area up by the carousel for your wedding reception! Back to the carousel, yes, it is here and you can ride it for free! I'd recommend heading up there regardless because you can get some nice views of the Empire State Plaza from up that way. I think locals don't give this museum the credit that it's due. When I lived in Albany, this was a great place to take out of town visitors. Heck, it's free, so you can make the visit here as long or short as you'd like. This is also a great activity for inclement weather days! My favorite part of the exam is the 9/11/01 exhibit, I think this appropriately honors the victims and explains the events of the day to younger generations. Of course, the museum in lower Manhattan is a better place to be immersed in the history of the day. Kids will enjoy the subway and Sesame Street exhibits. If you happen to be here on a week day, I'd recommend also visiting the nearby Corning Tower observation deck. That's another FREE activity. Also be sure to wander the Empire State Plaza to check out it's architectural awkwardness. If you are looking for something to eat after your visit, wander up to Lark Street if the weather is mild enough. Some of the exhibits here are kind of corny and dated, for that reason, I'm going to give 4 stars overall.
jessica swota | Jun 26, 2018
My family loves coming here. We learn about our history and the kids are amazed at all the old displays. There is a special are designed just for our little to be explores and scientists too. Great place to go on rainy days and still have a learning experience. On the 3rd floor there is also an old carousel kids can ride on FOR FREE.
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