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Winter Calendar of Events

PHILADELPHIA, August 27, 2015

Live tarantulas, a family festival that celebrates dinosaurs, and a day of pay-as-you-wish admission are coming up this winter at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the nation’s oldest natural history museum.

Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close opens Jan. 30 and features a stunning array of live tarantulas and their amazing story. Paleopalooza, the Academy’s popular annual festival with dinosaurs as a central theme, packs in plenty of fun to entertain and enlighten even the wisest (and youngest) dinosaur experts in the family. And on March 21, the Academy celebrates its founding by giving back to the community with  pay-as-you-wish admission.

For more details on the following programs and to purchase discounted tickets in advance, visit

Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly
Special Exhibits Gallery
September 30 through January 10, 2016

Get eyeball to eyeball with live deadly snakes, colorful lizards, bizarre turtles and rugged crocodilians from around the world at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Nestled in naturalistic habitats, these cold-blooded animals will help dispel common myths and foster a basic understanding of how reptiles fit into the animal kingdom and their native environments. Engaging, interactive components let visitors “milk” a viper, learn to speak croc in less than five minutes, and test their knowledgewith Turtle Trivia and Lizard Wizard.

Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close
Special Exhibits Gallery
January 30 through May 30

Tarantulas have a reputation that precedes them—terrifying, fast, hairy, scary—the biggest, baddest and most fearsome of all spiders. In the Academy’s newest exhibit, Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close, visitors will come face-to-face with a stunning array of live tarantulas—fangs and all. Interactive activities highlight the unique attributes of some of the 900 known species of tarantulas, which thrive in diverse habitats around the world. Experience an air current and find out why tarantulas are so hairy; climb a kid-size tarantula burrow and get your photo taken. Some 20 species will be on display and each has a unique story to tell.

Drawn to Dinosaurs
Art of Science Gallery
November 1 through December 31, 2016

 Drawn to Dinosaurs delves into the science and art of visualizing a living animal based on fragmentary fossils. This intimate exhibit illustrates what scientists can deduce from the fossil record when creating a reconstruction of a skeleton or model and what they must look to artists to interpret. The centerpiece is a full cast of the plant-eating dinosaur Hadrosaurus foulkii, discovered in 1858 in Haddonfield, N.J. The Academy created a full cast of this duckbilled dinosaur and put it on display in 1868, becoming the first place in the world where the public could go to see a dinosaur. Free with regular museum admission.


Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6, All day

Celebrate dinosaurs and other fossils at this fun, family festival of gigantic proportions. Explore the world of the dinosaurs as you examine up close rare fossils pulled from the Academy’s world-famous collection just for this festival.  Talk with Academy paleontologists, meet live birds, take guided tours of Dinosaur Hall, and enjoy games, crafts and other activities that are guaranteed to enlighten even the wisest (and youngest) dinosaur experts in the family.


Founders Day
Monday, March 21

 The Academy of Natural Sciences is offering pay-what-you-wish admission to celebrate the founding of the nation’s oldest natural history museum. The Academy was founded on this date in 1812 for “the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences and the advancement of useful learning.” Today the Academy is a leading natural history museum and the place to discover towering dinosaurs, experience a working fossil preparation lab, stroll among live butterflies, see live animal shows, participate inhands-on activities, see special exhibits, and more.

Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043