The dioramas of animals from around the world displayed in their natural habitats give this natural history museum an old-fashioned charm. The most popular attraction is Dinosaur Hall, with reconstructed skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus rex and some 30 others of its ilk, as well as the "Big Dig," where you can hunt for real fossils, and "Outside-In," an interactive area where kids can crawl through a log, investigate a real beehive, and touch a legless lizard. Another draw is "Butterflies!," where colorful, winged creatures take flight in a tropical garden setting. Founded in 1812, the academy is considered the oldest science-research institution in the western hemisphere and a world leader in the fields of natural-science research, education, and exhibition. It will mark its bicentennial with a year-long series of events set to kick off in March, 2012; the present building dates from 1876. That history is celebrated in the Ewell Sale Stewart Library, a trove natural-history books and artworks.
Apr 13, 2010
I've been here many times over the years with my kids. They used to remember the dinos the most, but now have other favorite spots within the museum: the "dig," the butterflies, the Inside Out play area, the live animals on the 1st floor, and the mummy. The lobby was recently renovated, and looks great. Special exhibitions are also quite good.
Oct 19, 2008
There are better natural history museums in other cities, but this one is pretty good, especially for kids. Includes reconstructed fossils, dioramas with mounted animals in habitats, a few smaller science related exhibits, some Egyptian artifacts, and a few things relating to Robert Peary's Arctic expedition. Kind of expensive for what you get, but it's the place in Philly for dinosaur bones.