If youre making the American Museum of Natural History the centerpiece of a family getaway this fall, youll be in good company, not only at the museum but within the citys hotels, which have long relied on heavy occupancy from October to December even during trying economic times.
This doesnt mean you wont find last-minute fall hotel deals in New York but if youre looking to book a sure and elegant thing now, midtown Manhattans Buckingham Hotel will let two grownups and two children overnight in one of its one bedroom deluxe suites for rates starting at $299/night. The suite layout affords a separate bedroom, living room with pull-out couch, and a kitchenette.
The hotel will also throw in four admission tickets to AMNHs Race to the End of the Earth exhibit, which chronicles a contest between two explorer teams to reach the South Pole from 1911 to 1912. If the Buckinghams website wont accept the promo code race, call the hotel and request the Race to the End of the Earth promotion, running through January 2.
The Buckingham is about a mile south of the museum a crisp walk or an easy bus or subway ride away. If you prefer to be a mile north of the museum and couched in the family-friendly embrace of the citys Upper West Side, Broadway Hotel & Hostel gives a boutique-like twist to the hostelling experience.
Play around for a few minutes at Broadways Web site plugging in dates from October to December rates most nights range from $32 to $34 a head and youll likely hit upon availability for the propertys double double ensuite, which includes two double beds and a private bathroom as well as a flat-screen TV. The room, which I saw during a site visit last fall, will run about $200 including tax and will exceed your expectations about what a family can find at a hostel. Gravy here is a tastefully decorated ground floor common area with free Wi-Fi.
If you want to eliminate a hotel stay completely, lets deal with the big elephant or, in this case, whale in the room: Is the AMNHs $129 per person Night at the Museum sleepover worth the hype? You betcha. The experience, available to kids 7 to 13 accompanied by a guardian, enables you to sleep (or restlessly lie awake) on a cot in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, better known as the whale room, or in one of two other halls. Activities as well as roaming access to selected museum floors are included, as are a nighttime snack and breakfast the next morning. Pack a sleeping bag and toothbrush at the very least. And if you survive the night without the dinosaurs coming to life and freaking you out, you’ll like that the sleepover fee includes free museum admission for the following day.