For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.


Help Care for Your Favorite Animal Friends

Adopt a Critter
Adopt a Critter  

The Academy of Natural Sciences' popular discovery center, Outside In, is a place for our youngest explorers to develop a passion for nature through hands-on activities and up-close animal encounters. The exhibit is home to many of our live animals. Inspired by the curiosity and enthusiasm of our members and regular visitors, we have created the Adopt-A-Critter program. This special program provides an opportunity for you to help us care for your favorite critters. Supporters of Adopt-A-Critter receive a personalized plaque that will be prominently displayed in Outside In

Your donation to Adopt-A-Critter will help us care for the live animals in Outside In and offer our educators essential teaching tools. 

Your gift will help provide:

  • Fresh fruit, produce, meats and animal-specific kibbles and chow to feed our live animals. 
  • Special enrichment for our live animals, such as toys and treats. 
  • New books, games, and activities for our educators to share with visitors. Our reading nook features a rotating schedule to provide a fresh experience each time you visit.


Your personalized Adopt-A-Critter plaque will be an enduring fixture in Outside In. Use your plaque to honor someone special by inscribing your child’s name or family name. You could also recognize a favorite Academy animal, a beloved pet or commemorate a birthday with a special message. The possibilities are endless!

Adopt-A-Critter plaques are available in two sizes and three fun critter shapes: Bunny, Turtle or Fish. Large critters are $150 and can hold up to 35 characters of text, and small critter shapes are $75 and hold 20 characters. To purchase an Adopt-A-Critter plaque, please click here or download our printable form to mail in your order.Adopt a Critter

Frequently Asked Questions

How big are the Adopt-A-Critter plaques?


  • Large Turtle: 8”x4” with 35 characters of text
  • Small Turtle: 6.5”x3.3” with 20 characters of text


  • Large Bunny: 6”x6” with 35 characters of text
  • Small Bunny: 5”x5” with 20 characters of text


  • Large Fish: 8”x5.5” with 35 characters of text
  • Small Fish: 6.5”x4.5” with 20 characters of text

Is my Adopt-A-Critter purchase tax-deductible?

Yes, your Adopt-A-Critter purchase is fully tax-deductible. You will receive a letter acknowledging your contribution within a week of placing your order.

Where will my critter be placed?

Critter plaques will be mounted to the central columns in Outside In.

How much can I write on a critter?

Inscriptions must fit in the allotted characters: 35 characters for large critters or 20 characters for small critters, including spaces and punctuation marks. Any character on the keyboard may be used. For example, you may use “&” for “and,” or a dash instead of a comma and space. Upon special request we can include one of the following symbols as part of your word count:

  • Heart
  • Birthday Cake
  • Balloon
  • Flower
  • Star
  • Dino Head

If you would like to include one of these symbols, or have any special instructions for your critter, please contact the Institutional Advancement office at 215-299-1182 or via e-mail at

What should I write on my critter?

Create a message that is meaningful to you! You might choose a name, date, or phrase. No advertisements or websites please, and the inscription must be appropriate for a public space. Check out others’ inspiring messages and get creative!

What if I want to change the text on my critter or get a larger size?

Changes can be made within 3 days of purchase by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement, at 215-299-1182 or

Can I designate the location of my critter?

Groups of critters can be placed together if they are purchased on the same day. Please note in the comments field of the online order form that they should be grouped. 

For additional questions about Adopt-a-Critter or your order, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 215-299-1182 or

To purchase an Adopt-A-Critter plaque, please click here.