Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
One of the world’s foremost natural history museums
200 Years of Discovery
The discoveries that rocked the world then and now share four floors of exhibit space in this family-friendly museum that showcases the Academy’s remarkable collections. The fully constructed Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs, towers over Dinosaur Hall, also home to fossils from the Hadrosaurus foulkii, discovered in New Jersey in 1856. You can climb inside a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, try on horns and claws, and dig for fossils.
Multitudes of butterflies from Kenya, Costa Rica and Malaysia flit around you in a simulated tropical rain forest. Large game animals acquired in the 1920s and 1930s are mounted in 3-D painted dioramas that replicate their natural habitats; for Philadelphians of that era, this was their first sighting of an Indian tiger or a wildebeest.
Founded in 1812, The Academy of Natural Sciences is the oldest continually operating museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It sponsored some of the seminal explorations for American wildlife and fossils, and by the early 1900s, expanded those explorations to Africa, Asia and the Antarctic. Researchers worldwide utilize the museum’s more than 17 million specimens for biodiversity studies.
Many of the museum’s live animals are featured in shows throughout the day.
Great Kids’ Stuff
In the Outside-In hands-on nature center, children can touch a hissing Madagascar cockroach or a snake, crawl through a tree trunk and examine fossils under a microscope.
Butterflies! took flight in October 2009 at the Academy, with dozens of different butterflies from around the world encased in over 1,200-square-feet of exquisite gardens and interactive freedom. Witness the different stages in a butterfly’s life cycle, or let your imaginations take flight as you experience the beauty and charm of these delicate creatures.
Plan Your Visit
For ticket information, operating hours and special offers, click the button below.
Buy Tickets In Advance
Tickets for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University can be purchased in person at the Independence Visitor Center or online in advance of your trip using the button below.
In the neighborhood
135 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Sofitel Philadelphia
- Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
- The DWIGHT D,
a City House Hotel
- The Warwick Hotel
Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia – Center City
- Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
- The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
Benjamin Franklin Parkway at N. 16th Street Between 16th & 17th Streets Philadelphia, PA 19103
- KAWS @ PAFA
- Cathedral Basilica of
Saints Peter and Paul
- Robot Revolution
at The Franklin Institute
- LOVE Park
- Washington Monument
- Free Library of Philadelphia
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
- Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
- Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining
41 S. 16th Street
- The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
- Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
- Center City District Sips
- The Logan, Philadelphia’s Hotel
- Pub & Kitchen
- The Comcast Experience HD Video Wall – Comcast Center
- Twenty Manning Grill
- View more Restuarants & Dining