Built in 1881, the Natural History Museum is also a world-renowned research center and boasts as much historical significance as scientific: Specimens collected by Darwin can be still be found in its halls. In addition to permanent galleries (we love the Earth Galleries, designed by Neal Potter) and exciting exhibitions, the museum features a wildlife garden, shows, films, hands-on activities for kids, and more. Especially fun for kids are the Dino Snores sleepovers, where, in Night at the Museum fashion, kids discover what happens when staff and visitors go home. During the holidays, they’ll also enjoy the museum’s outdoor skating rink (which can be reserved in its entirety for private sessions with an ice marshal). While it’s wonderful for families, the museum proves equally interesting for adults, who can enjoy programs like Nature Live and talks with experts in science and natural history. Go right before 10 a.m. and enter on the right-hand side near the science museum to dodge the lines.

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