- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Harvard Museum of Natural History Review
Many museums promise something for every member of the family; the vast Harvard Museum complex actually delivers. Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz, who founded the zoology museum, envisioned a museum that would bring under one roof the study of all kinds of life: plants, animals, and humankind. The result is three distinct museums, all accessible for one admission fee.
The Museum of Comparative Zoology traces the evolution of animals and humans. You literally can't miss the 42-foot-long skeleton of the underwater Kronosaurus. Dinosaur fossils and a zoo of stuffed exotic animals can occupy young minds for hours. The museum is old-fashioned. You can almost feel the brush of the whiskers of the ardent explorers and the naturalists who combed the world for these treasures. It's also the right size for kids—not jazzy and busy, a good place to ask and answer quiet questions. Check the Web site for children's events and special engagements, which occur throughout the year.
Oversize garnets and crystals sparkle at the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, founded in 1784. The museum also contains an extensive collection of meteorites.
Perhaps the most famous exhibits of the museum complex are the glass flowers in the Harvard University Herbaria (Botanical Museum), created as teaching tools that would never wither and die. This unique collection holds 3,000 models of 847 plant species. Each one is a masterpiece, meticulously created in glass by a father and son in Dresden, Germany, who worked continuously from 1887 to 1936. Even more amazing than the colorful flower petals are the delicate roots of some plants; numerous signs assure the viewer that everything is, indeed, of glass.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $245-$281 -- Downtown Boston Hotel Through Summer Holiday Inn Express Boston Garden
- $269 -- Boston: 4-Star Back Bay Hotel thru Summer, 30% Off The Westin Copley Place
- $197 & up -- Boston: AAA 4-Diamond Waterfront Hotel, 40% Off — $197 The Westin Boston Waterfront
- $179 & up -- 4-Star Boston Hotel in Back Bay, up to 50% Off — $179 Sheraton Boston
- $150 -- Boston: 4-Star Quincy Market Hotel — $150 Hotwire.com
So what are the odds that my only friend who lives in Boston would decide to have her wedding festivities the same week that a supposed terrorist was on the lose in Boston?!
My husband and I flew to Bosto Read more
8 of us went to the Patriot's Day game on Monday. Read more
Am planning a week long trip to Boston at the end of July. We arrive on the 28th July and leave on the 3rd. Need to book a hotel for a couple of days in Boston (need some recommendations) and Read more
· News & Features
This week has been a strange and tragic one and we've followed the events in Boston with heavy hearts ... Read more
If you want to help in the aftermath of Monday afternoon's bombings near the finish line of the Bosto... Read more
We've thought of 5 reasons for East Coasters to brave chilly temps—an afternoon of culture.... Read more