Backyard Adventures

June 9–September 10, 2017

backyard adventures

Leap into a garden of wonders, where you can experience the magic of a special backyard world. As you ride the bee bike, collect nectar, check out a food web pond, copy critter calls, and even dress up like living creatures, you’ll uncover surprising details about how organisms live and interact in their environments. You can even become a mechanic or engineer by learning the feats of construction that go into building a shed, solving the paver puzzle, and playing garden mini-golf. Figure out how to turn your own garden into a mini-exhibit—you’ll discover more science in your backyard than you’ll ever imagine!

Backyard Adventures is designed and produced by SciTech and produced by Imagine Exhibitions.

Backyard Adventures Member Preview

Thursday, June 8, 5:30—9 p.m.

Click here to register! 

backyard adventures 

Backyard Adventures Opening Weekend

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

Celebrate all things ecology with a whole weekend of family fun as we open our brand-new exhibit, Backyard Adventures!

You can “BYOBB” (Bring Your Own Birdseed Bottle) to make a cool backyard or window birdfeeder, check out special shows featuring live animals that are found right here in Philadelphia, and even learn how your backyard would be different if you lived in Australia, Africa, or Asia. Try your hand at “citizen science,” and discover why science starts with you, right in your own backyard or park!

Auditorium Show: Animals of Philadelphia
11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

We humans aren’t the only ones who call Philadelphia home. Learn all about the animals you might see in a backyard right here in the city and their adaptations, habitats, similarities, and differences. Meet some furry, feathery, and scaly Academy ambassadors!

Auditorium Show: Backyard Bugs
1 p.m.

Did you know that bugs outnumber humans 200 million to 1? Check out some awesome arachnids or cool cockroaches in this technology-enabled show featuring the live invertebrate collection of the Academy. Compare these bugs to the ones you see in your own backyard!

Backyards Around the World

How would your backyard be different if you were growing up in Australia? How about the Arctic Circle? What if you lived in the rainforest or the desert? Check out Academy specimens and touchable biofacts from around the world. Think about how the plants and animals you find most ordinary might be very exotic to someone from far away!

Bird Feeder BYOBB Craft

BYOBB (Bring Your Own Birdseed Bottle) or borrow some of our supplies to make and take a birdfeeder for your backyard, windowsill, or park. Learn how you can reuse and recycle everyday objects to create a rest stop for local birds.

Backyard Adventures Microscope Cart

There’s so much science to discover right in your own playground, park, or backyard! Science starts with you at this engaging, hands-on microscope station. Practice plant and animal identification, check out slides from local species, and even get down and dirty looking at soil samples.

backyard adventures

More about Backyard Adventures

Backyards and parks are full of science! You will learn about:

  • The biological interactions between plants and insects
  • The know-how that goes into growing giant vegetables
  • The mathematical genius needed to lay pavers
  • The feats of construction that can go on in the garden shed
  • And so much more!

What is there to do in Backyard Adventures?

Did you know that science is in everything and everyone can be a scientist? Get the facts and exercise your imagination as you explore the biodiversity of a backyard garden. Figure out how to see the unseen and take a closer look at the world around you. You can:

  • Play backyard-themed mini golf
  • Dig in the dirt of an augmented reality garden bed
  • Find out how fast you can throw and kick a ball
  • Dress as a spider, bee, or ladybug
  • Take a walk through our digital garden and observe plants growing in super time
  • Create the world’s biggest vegetable
  • Using special lenses, see how different creatures such as bees and dogs see the world around us
  • Step inside the shed and build something with the tools and objects on the work benches
  • Help complete a garden path using oddly shaped pavers
  • Try your luck at pollinating flowers and collecting pollen for honey production
  • Match critter calls with their sources

Backyard Adventures is $5 for nonmembers in addition to general admission and $3 for individual and family members. Family plus members and above see it free. Tickets will be available for purchase soon! Check back for updates on Backyard Adventures opening weekend, June 9-10, 2017.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
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