What can I do with my suitcase while I visit the Museum of Natural History in New York?
January 25, 2010 8:00 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with my suitcase while I visit the Museum of Natural History in New York? Do they have a bag check?

I'm in New York, have a lot of time to kill before my flight out later tonight, and wanted to check out the Natural History Museum. However, I have my carry-on with me and would rather not go all the way up there and find out they don't have a bag check. The only number I could find to call the museum is an unhelpful automated menu. Any ideas? (Or, if anyone knows of a better number to call or another place I could leave my bag...)
posted by AV to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes, they have a bag check.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:03 AM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: The museum's website has info on the bag check:

Visitor notes

The coat check is located in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, directly inside the main entrance of the Museum at Central Park West at 79th Street. An additional coat check is located in the lower level of the Rose Center and operates September through March. Coats, umbrellas and bags may be checked for $2 per person, space permitting.

Visitors are discouraged from bringing large bulky items such as backpacks or luggage into the Museum. Items not accepted in the coat check include perishables, wallets, purses, musical instruments, bikes, computers and other items deemed to be of high value. All articles must be claimed before the museum closes. The museum is not responsible for articles left overnight. The museum reserves the right to inspect any parcel brought into the premises. The Museum’s total liability for items left in the coat checkroom is half the purchase price of the item up to $50.00.

posted by phoenixy at 8:03 AM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: They have a bag check. Large bulky bags are not advisable.
posted by dfriedman at 8:11 AM on January 25, 2010

Hopefully your question is already answered, but for anyone who is wondering, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a bag check but will not check luggage or let you bring it into the museum. If you can show a NJ Transit or Amtrak ticket (flying out of Newark Airport), you can use Amtrak's bag check at Penn Station.
posted by grouse at 8:15 AM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: Layovers are my life.

I've sweet-talked my way into leaving my bags in any number of hotels all over the world, even when I'm not registered at the hotel. This might not work if you look like a terrorist, of course.

There's a place called Schwartz Lockers on West 46th St. (near Grand Central Station) that does a locker-for-a-day, too. I've walked past the window a thousand times. I think it's $5 per bag or $10 per day, something like that.
posted by rokusan at 8:41 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ditto Schwartz Travel. I came in here to suggest that.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:53 AM on January 25, 2010

Despite the wording 'large bulky bags' are not 'not advisable'. In practice, they are 'not allowed'. I know because i tried. They absolutely would not let me check my rolling carry-on suitcase. They did allow people to check backpacks that were bigger than my suitcase, based on the infuriating and illogical rationale that they were 'bags', where as my smaller item was 'luggage', and luggage was not allowed.

Be ye not as frustrated as a I. Leave your bag in your hotel (they'll store it for you even if you've checked out), or in the lockers in the train station, as others have suggested.
posted by Kololo at 10:49 AM on January 25, 2010

My father recounts a similar experience there - 40 years ago, or so.

He called ahead to make sure that cameras were allowed, but then they would not allow his camera case in (a Samsonite style thing). And would not take in the coat check either.

He is still mad.
posted by SLC Mom at 4:20 PM on January 25, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone - I should have clarified I couldn't get their website to load on my phone so I couldn't check that either! We had a blast at the museum and I was able to check my bag (though the attendant said they don't check "luggage," he let me convince him that a carry-on isn't *really* luggage...).
posted by AV at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2010

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