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 Tyranosaurus 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. Don’t miss the small but dazzling gem and crystal collection.
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
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In the neighborhood
120 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Hilton Inn at Penn
- The Westin Philadelphia
- Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia
- Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
- Embassy Suites Philadelphia – Center City
- AKA Rittenhouse Square
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
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Museums & Attractions
1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Opera Philadelphia
- The Barnes Foundation
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
- Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
- Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs
- Rittenhouse Square
- Philadelphia Open Studio Tours
- Philadelphia Theatre Company
- City Hall
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Restaurants & Dining
1549 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
- McCrossen’s Tavern
- Sabrina’s Café & Spencer’s Too
- West Tavern
- The Comcast Experience HD Video Wall – Comcast Center
- The Barnes Foundation
- Kite & Key
- Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
- Dilworth Park
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
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