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
For ticket information, operating hours and special offers, click the button below.
In the neighborhood
1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Sofitel Philadelphia
- Latham Hotel
- Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
- The Westin Philadelphia
- Embassy Suites Philadelphia – Center City
- Hilton Inn at Penn
- Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
- Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel Philadelphia
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
118-128 N. Broad Street
(Broad and Cherry Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19102
- Emergence of a Modern Metropolis Walking Tour
- Henry J. Cadbury Library
- Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
- Duck Girl
- Shoe Museum
- LOVE Statue
- The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining
1836 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
- The Comcast Experience HD Video Wall – Comcast Center
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
- Capriccio at Cafe Cret
- McCrossen’s Tavern
- Granite Hill
- The Barnes Foundation
- Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
- Rose Tattoo Café
- View more Restuarants & Dining