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Self-Guided Visits

Special Covid-19 Message

the big dig
the big dig

Thank you for your interest in our Academy on the Go program! We value your time and your interest in the Academy. We know these are trying times for all of us, and we look forward to continuing to inspire students about the natural world.

For the 2020-2021 school year we are excited to offer guided virtual lessons for school students K-12, which keep you and your students safe while exploring the Academy with us! ‚ÄčOn-site school lessons and the Academy On the Go outreach program are on hold until further notice as we follow state and city health standards and prioritize staff and student safety.

We will be offering support materials, resources and lessons online so you can deliver science learning in your classrooms and homes. Our guided virtual visits and lessons engage students virtually with water quality, climate change, evolution and biodiversity & extinction—the Academy’s key science focus areas. Our teacher guides contain further themed content and activities for your students to continue exploring their passion for the natural world.

We look forward to working with you again and virtually inspiring your students!

Planning a future visit? Check out our offerings below!

 

Take your students on an exciting exploration of the natural world. Our three floors of exhibits, ranging from dinosaurs and dioramas to hands-on interactive stations, are sure to make your field trip to the Academy the highlight of the school year.

Special Exhibits

Permian Monsters

November 21 – January 17, 2022

What did the world look like before the dinosaurs? Step back 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. Permian Monsters blends vivid artwork, amazing fossils and scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate this relatively unknown period when the greatest mass extinction wiped out creatures that will never be discovered. Explore odd-looking sharks, strange reptilelike precursors of mammals, and the vicious predator the giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid. Play paleontologist and dig for fossil casts, enjoy interactive games and more.

Signature Exhibits 

Dinosaur Hall

Explore the exciting world of paleontology, stroll beneath towering fossil skeletons, and examine dinosaur anatomy up close. Stop by the Fossil Preparation Lab to talk with staff as they clean and prepare real fossils.

The Big Dig Now FREE with your admission!
Let’s go fossil hunting! Become a field paleontologist and dig for dinosaur fossils in a setting straight out of the badlands. Academy educators teach you how to use the tools of the trade, supervise the digging, and help identify fossil finds.
Located on the Mezzanine Level of Dinosaur Hall

NEW! Chaperones, download our Dinosaur Hall Scavenger Hunt! Answer key located here.

Dioramas of Africa, Asia, and North America

Travel the globe without leaving the museum! Our ever-popular dioramas let students get nose-to-nose with gorillas from Africa, pandas from Asia, and bison from North America. Chaperons may also find the following exhibit guides useful: Africa and Asia Diorama Hall Activity Guide and North American Journey.

Science at the Academy

Find out what Academy scientists are up to these days in this multimedia exhibit. Watch video footage from research expeditions, see recently collected specimens, and find out about our latest scientific discoveries.

Programs

Meet the Animals

Meet the furry, feathered, and scaly residents of the museum’s Live Animal Center, and explore their behaviors, adaptations, and ecosystems. The museum's Live Animal Center supports a collection of over 100 individual animals and several colonies of invertebrates that make thousands of program appearances annually.

Monday–Friday
11 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Location: Auditorium or Science Live
25–30 minutes
All ages welcome

Naturalist Presentation

Join our experienced Academy Educators as they explore natural history in these informal and interactive presentations involving live animals or museum specimens. 

  • Presentations are held at 2:30 p.m. weekdays.
  • Presentations are held at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekends. 
  • Topics and locations vary daily; Check in the lobby on the day of your visit for details.
  • Presentations run for 20 minutes.

Carts of Curiosity

When you visit a Cart of Curiosity, you get to talk to Academy experts, touch real specimens, meet live invertebrates, play engaging games, learn special information about Academy exhibits, and discover how to be a natural scientist.