NYC Arts: Museum of Natural History's Spooky Online Slate, Halloween Costume Contest

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The American Museum of Natural History is offering a range of family-friendly online programming in the run-up to the holiday, on topics including 'spooky' insects like scorpions, spiders, and roaches; bat ecology and biodiversity; and fossilized mammal skeletons.

The Museum is also launching a costume contest asking viewers who tune in to online programs next week to share their pictures of natural history-themed costumes on Instagram and Twitter, with the winner awarded four tickets to the Museum.

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And to commemorate Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)—a Mexican holiday honoring those who have died—the Museum is offering an online program in English and in Spanish featuring an archaeologist and conservation biologist who will be discussing the history of the holiday as well as extinct animal species. 

A full list of Museum programming to celebrate Halloween and Día de Muertos is found below. 


Watch Party: Spooky Critters!: Today, October 22, at 2 pm ET, viewers can get into the Halloween spirit by meeting scorpions, spiders, roaches, and other creepy crawlies. During the watch party of this pre-recorded video, entomologist Lou Sorkin will share fun facts about arthropods. Viewers can join the Watch Party here.

Watch Party: In The Field with Bat Researchers: On Tuesday, October 27, at 2 pm ET,  spooky season continues with a watch party of a pre-recorded video with Museum Curator Nancy Simmons and Research Associate Angelo Soto-Centeno, who will discuss their work studying bat evolution and bat ecology, including field expeditions to Belize and Cuba. Viewers will find out what it takes to study bats in the wild and at the Museum, using scientific collections that include fossil and living species. Viewers can join the Watch Party here.

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The Scientist is In: Fossil Skeletons: On Thursday, October 29, at 2 pm ET, join paleontologist John Flynn, Frick Curator of Fossil Mammals in the Museum's Division of Paleontology, to explore some of the most compelling mammal fossils in the Museum's collection in this family-friendly program. Find out about the management of fossil skeleton specimens, fieldwork and discovery of new species, the evolution of mammals and Mesozoic vertebrates, methods for geological dating, plate tectonics and biogeography in this family-friendly program. A link to join the live program will be provided in advance here.

@AMNH Online Costume Contest: Starting today, the Museum is asking those on social media to share a picture of their Halloween costumes (all ages and pets welcome) and tag @amnh on Instagram and Twitter, for a chance to win four tickets to the Museum, with entry to special exhibitions T. rex: The Ultimate Predator and The Nature of Color. Costumes will be judged on originality, detail, creative use of materials, and (most importantly) theme, with a special focus on the best natural history-inspired costumes! Submit a photo by Saturday, October 31, at 7 pm ET. Learn more about the costume contest here.

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Día de Muertos Special - Day of The Dead - Bilingual Online Program Also Announced

The Scientist is In: Day of the Dead Special Edition: On Sunday, November 1, at noon ET (English presentation) or 1 pm ET (presentación en español), join Mexican archaeologist Veronica Perez and Director of the Museum's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Ana Porzecanski for this online family-friendly Day of the Dead celebration. Find out about this special Mexican holiday when we honor those who have left the Earth and the extinct animal species, such as the monk seal, golden toad, and the O'ahu Akiaola, that the Museum commemorates on this special occasion. A link to join the live program will be provided in advance here.

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The American Museum of Natural History is open to onsite visitors, with advance ticket reservations available on or through the Museum's Explorer app.  Additional digital programming and resources are also available to the public, educators, and learners from K-12, with serving as a hub for regularly updated content. Audiences can also stay connected with the Museum on Facebook at, on Instagram at @AMNH, on Twitter @AMNH,and on Tumblr at amnhnyc

Image credits (left to right): Courtesy of M. Puckett/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr, ©M. Rodriguez, C. Chesek/©AMNH

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