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Fall Calendar of Events

PHILADELPHIA, May 27, 2014

Chocolate, bugs, mollusks—and the opportunity to eat them all on the same plate—can only mean another season of creative fun and learning at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the nation’s oldest natural history museum.

Chocolate: The Exhibition, in both English and Spanish, opens Oct. 11 with a mouth-watering new look at America’s favorite treat. A week later, Ocean Fest Featuring the Philadelphia Shell Show injects a host of new family-friendly activities into the annual shell show, the largest of its kind in the Northeast. And there’s still time left to see Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science, the cross-disciplinary exhibit featuring the artwork of Christopher Marley and the Entomology Collection of the Academy.

Cuisine from the Collections on Nov. 8 brings it all together with a cocktail party fundraiser featuring both exotic and common foods inspired by the Academy’s 18 million plant and animal specimens. Add in Dinosaur Days and All-Star Days and it will be a wild fall! For more details and frequent updates about the following programs, visit

Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science

August 9–November 9

Art of Science Gallery

Christopher Marley’s insect artwork celebrates what he calls the latent elegance and lustrous beauty of insects. Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science features diverse groupings of framed beetles, butterflies and other bugs that form an irresistible palette of colors and textures reflecting the amazing diversity of the insect world. Dozens of specimens from the noted Entomology Collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University illustrate the story of why and how scientists pin insects for research. Free with regular museum admission.

Chocolate: The Exhibition

October 11, 2014–January 24, 2015

Special Exhibits Gallery

Immerse yourself in a sumptuous world of chocolate and discover the captivating scientific and cultural history of one of the world’s favorite treats in Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Chocolate traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin as a unique tropical rainforest tree, to the Aztecs who used cacao seeds as currency, to the Spanish who added sugar and transformed the bitter drink of kings, to the sensuous sweet millions of people crave today. Chocolate is a sweet, interactive experience that engages all the senses and reveals facets of chocolate most people never thought about before. Chocolate is in both English and Spanish. There is a $5 fee for nonmembers to experience the exhibit in addition to regular admission.

 Chocolate: The Exhibition Opening Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, October 11–12, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of Chocolate: The Exhibition with a weekend of activities devoted to the delicious science behind your favorite dessert. Discover how chocolate goes from the tree to your table and learn about the amazing animals and plants that make the sweet possible. Use your senses to take a closer look at chocolate under a microscope, smell the differences between chocolate and other common desserts, and, of course, get a taste of the ingredient of honor.


Access to Science: Opening Doors to Autism

Saturday, October 11, 9 a.m.

Visitors and families with members on the autism spectrum are invited to enjoy early entry to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for a quieter, more controlled experience. The museum will open one hour early for special access and activities as part of the Academy’s initiative to serve its diverse community. Visitors must register to attend by calling 215-299-1060. Visitors are encouraged to download the Academy’s free “Museum Stories” to prepare for and enhance their visit. Museum Stories are available on the Academy’s website,  This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Mega-Bad Movie Night

October 23, Reception 5:30 p.m., Movie 7 p.m.

Save the date for the next Mega-Bad Movie Night at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Witty experts will be onstage to offer quips and sidesplitting comments on the many scientific absurdities of the “awesomely awful” movie—think Mystery Science Theater 3000! Wander among the Academy’s famous exhibits, meet fellow science nerds, and enjoy refreshments. For the movie title and to purchase tickets, visit the Academy’s website at Fee: $25 includes open bar; $15 “designated driver” includes food but no alcohol.

Ocean Fest Featuring the Philadelphia Shell Show

Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Celebrate marine animals of all kinds at Ocean Fest Featuring the Philadelphia Shell Show at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Examine your favorite mollusk up close, enjoy fun family-friendly activities, and meet the Academy scientists who care for the museum’s Malacology Collection of 10 million specimens. Shell displays, judged and awarded prizes by the Philadelphia Shell Club, will be on view, and hundreds more will be for sale in the international shell market.  Free with museum admission.

Cuisine from the Collections

Saturday, November 8, 7–10 p.m.

 The Cuisine from the Collections cocktail party features edibles from the common to the exotic, all inspired by the 18 million plant and animal specimens in the collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Food stations around the museum will feature ingredients not usually found in the kitchen, plus plenty of chocolate inspired by Chocolate: The Exhibition, which will be open to partygoers. Academy scientists will be on hand with research specimens and to explain what guests are eating. Fee: $175 and $300. Sponsorships available. For an invitation or more information, call 215-405-1542 or email Proceeds benefit the Academy.

Dinosaur Days

Friday Through Sunday, November 28–30

 Celebrate dinosaurs and their closest living relatives—birds—with a holiday weekend of fun family activities at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Explore the world of the dinosaurs as you examine real fossils up close, meet live birds, and talk with dinosaur experts. Fun games and crafts are guaranteed to enlighten even the wisest (and youngest) dinosaur experts in the family. Free with museum admission.

All-Star Days

Saturday Through Tuesday, December 27–30, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University celebrates its most popular attractions and programs with engaging live animal shows, amazing museum specimens, fun family activities, and more during All-Star Days. Free with regular museum admission. The All-Star Days are:

Saturday, December 27, Dinosaur Day

Dig deeper into dinosaurs with special tours through Dinosaur Hall. Handle real fossils and meet living dinosaurs—birds—and the Academy’s naturalists. Make a dinosaur craft to take home.

Sunday, December 28, Animal Day

Meet live animals all day as they wander the halls with their Academy naturalists. Learn more about these critters and their wild relatives through interactive games and activities. Make an animal craft to take home.

Monday, December 29, Bird and Bug Day

Soar with an entire day devoted to our feathered and freaky friends. See specimens up close and meet the Academy’s live animals. Learn how some of these animals help to make your favorite chocolate desserts. Make a bird and bug craft to take home.

Tuesday, December 30, Weird-Thing-in-a-Jar Day

Get a close look at some of the stranger specimens that Academy scientists have collected over the past 200 years. Learn how scientists prepare specimens for study and storage. Make your own weird-thing-in-a-jar craft to take home.

Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043