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Winter Break at the Academy

Tuesday-Saturday, December 27-31 and Monday, January 2
10 a.m.-5 p.m.

collage of images including polar bear and moose dioramas dino bone and microscopes

School is out and the Academy of Natural Sciences is open! Get an up-close look at a 40-foot-long T. rex in the famous Dinosaur Hall, come face-to-face with a moose, tiger, lion and more in dioramas from around the world, and see live animals in the children’s discovery center, Outside In. Pilot a life-size submersible from mountain stream to ocean in Ocean Bound during its final weeks at the Academy, examine giant insects in Microsculpture, meet a real scientist (Friday Dec. 30 only), dig for dinosaur bones in The Big Dig, check out the gift shop, watch real fossil technicians at work and see live shows. All exhibits and special activities are free with museum admission!

Tuesday, December 27 is $10 Tuesday! See all the museum has to offer, including the special exhibits Ocean Bound and Microsculpture, all for the price of $10 — more than 50 percent off the price of admission! 

The Academy is closed on December 25–26 & January 1. 

Auditorium Show: Wonders of Weather
Wednesday through Friday, December 28-30
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what causes a bolt of lightning or the wind on a blustery day? Join the Academy of Natural Sciences and NBC 10's First Alert Weather Team on a journey to understand how Earth's weather is created. We will explore different forms of weather, from clouds to thunderstorms, and talk about the difference between climate and weather in this dynamic, all-new, live science show!


Ocean Bound

Flow with us from the rivers to the sea in Ocean Bound. This exhibition features hands-on activities, games and fascinating videos that reveal the moving world of water. Pilot a life-size submersible from mountain stream to the ocean, discovering aquatic life and habitats along the way; make rain cascade down mountains into valleys and rivers and watch it flow to the ocean in a 3D watershed model; play ball to see how water and pollutants become runoff; and take a hands-on test to find out why some materials float readily downstream. More.


Microsculpture: The Insect Portraits of Levon Biss is a groundbreaking project that presents insect specimens from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History like never before. British photographer Levon Biss’ images reveal an unexpected and often breathtaking beauty that brings to life the many intricate adaptations of an insect’s form — what entomologists call their microsculpture. 

Displayed as large-scale photographic prints up to 9 feet high, the Microsculpture project reveals the hidden structure and beauty of insects. Each beautifully lit image was created from around 8,000 individual photographs taken under strobe lights, capturing the microscopic forms of insects in striking, high-resolution detail. Examine extremely fine pigmented scales, velvet-like surface textures, saw-sharp mandibles, swirling patterns and some of the most vibrant, iridescent colors seen in nature. More.

Outside In

Tuesday, December 27 and Monday, January 2
10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Wednesday through Saturday, December 28-31
10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Inquisitive minds of all ages can investigate animal habitats, explore science and the natural world and discover how we all have a role to play in our ecosystem. Explore an eagle’s nest, meet live animals, try out a microscope and more. 

The Big Dig

Tuesday, December 27-Saturday December 31 and Monday, January 2
Dig closes at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 31

Try your hand at “digging” up some dinosaur bones and feel like a real paleontologist. Uncover a Lambeosaurus skull or an Ornithomimus arm and claw, and learn about the bones you find.  

Fossil Prep Lab
Wednesday, December 28-Saturday, December 31 and Monday, January 2

Watch as skilled workers prepare fossils for study. Stop by to watch paleontology in action and ask fossil preparators about their work! Hours may vary according to staff availability. 

Microscope Exploration With Academy Entomologists
Friday, December 30, 2022
10 a.m.-noon

Ready for your close-up? The invertebrates on display in Microsculpture are larger than life, both on the wall and under the microscope. Join Academy entomologists (scientists who study insects) as they bring their work to life by exploring specimens from our world-renowned collection of over 4 million insects. Get a high-tech view of a different invertebrate, learn about some of the Academy’s most beautiful species and speak to our enthusiastic entomologists about their research. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about how to collect, study and preserve scientific specimens. How does examining the finer details of an invertebrate, through photography and microscopy, enable us to uncover an invertebrate’s true nature?