Philadelphia is a city full of wonderful museums, educational institutions, historical sites, and other educational destinations. This area is also one of the most historic and culturally rich in the United States. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas – the perfect embodiment of the history and thirst for knowledge that define this city. Our Philadelphia adoption agents love taking family field trips here with our kids, and during our visits, everyone in the family learns something new.
Some noteworthy exhibits worth checking out at the Academy of Natural Sciences include:
The Xtreme Bugs exhibit opened in late May and is running through January 21, 2019. In this exhibit, you can get up close with almost 20 giant, colorful models bugs in several varieties. These animatronic bugs show the behaviors and inner workers of extreme bugs like oversized monarch butterflies, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, bed bugs, and more. This educational experience gives participants a chance to peek into the life of a bug, respond to bug calls, dig for ancient arthropods, and learn new facts through a trivia game.
Dinosaur Hall is a permanent exhibit and, in our opinion, the most breathtaking part of the Academy of Natural Sciences. When you walk through the front entrance, a giant T-rex is one of the first things you see – measuring at 42 feet long and weighing approximately 7.5 tons. Over 30 dinosaur species are represented here. Roughly half of those species are skeletal mounts, including Avaceratops, Chasmosaurus, Corythosaurus, and more.
Other highlights from Dinosaur Hall include:
- Dinosaur eggs
- Paleontologist tools
- A life-sized model of the internal anatomy of a Stegosaurus
- A green-screen video studio where you can put yourself in the world of the dinosaurs
The Academy is home to a collection of 37 dioramas depicting a wide range of animals in their natural habitats. Dioramas have been a popular way to provide a window into the life of wild animals for decades. Most of the dioramas at the Academy were created between the 1930s and 1950s, and they’re still a popular destination at the Academy today.
In the North American Hall, you can find creatures like bison, bears, moose, musk-ox, and mountain sheep.
The African American Hall has dioramas for native animals like lions, zebras, opaki, gorillas, and antelope.
In the Asian Hall, you’ll find dioramas for tigers, panda, yak, and kiang.
The Butterflies! exhibit is a tropical garden located in the museum, featuring a variety of lush, colorful plants and exotic live butterflies from all over the world – including Central and South America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. The collection changes from day to day, with anywhere from 60 to 150 different butterflies and 20 to 40 different species on average. This exhibit is great for multiple visits, and you can always expect to discover a new type of colorful, unique butterfly here.
Outside In is a multi-room exhibit designed for kids ages 3-8 and their parents. Here, your kids can explore forest and seashores, touch live animals, view specimens under a microscope, and engage in numerous other educational activities.