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Academy Happenings

The Academy is open! 

A woman and two children looking at a dinosaur skeleton.

We are so excited to be welcoming visitors again! 

Current Hours

Weekday Hours: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday - Friday
Weekend Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday - Sunday

Click here for more details and FAQs about our current safety protocols. 

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Flying Full Circle Family Fun Day
Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Flying Full Circle, Family Fun Day

Activities are free with museum admission.

Bring the whole flock to the Academy for a fun-filled day of activities, outdoor family bird walks, museum scavenger hunts and a fantastic film by world-renowned Black birder, Rodney Stotts, detailing his story of empowerment through nature.

Flying Full Circle Family Fun Day Activities:

  • Family Crafts
  • Neighborhood Birding with Women in Natural Sciences (WINS)
  • Bird Walks on the Ben Franklin Parkway
  • Showing of the film "The Falconer"
  • Avian Adaptations: Wing and Egg Demonstrations
  • Museum Bird Scavenger Hunts

Learn more about Flying Full Circle Family Fun Day.

Illuminating Birds
Drawing as a Way of Knowing

Illuminating Birds

May 20–October 15, 2023 

Part gallery and part studio, Illuminating Birds celebrates the enduring appeal of drawing and writing about birds. Requiring prolonged observation and deep curiosity, drawing — in its ability to distill — contributes to creative insights and scientific understanding.

Experience avian artworks by Alexander Wilson, Elizabeth and John Gould, John James Audubon, Edward Lear and Louis Agassiz Fuertes from the Academy’s archives and collections, all documenting the beginnings of the scientific study of birds — and the complex cultural and historical aspects that they carry. Examine colorful, early birding field guides and hand-painted magic lantern slides that demonstrate the role illustration played in popularizing birding and advancing the

In the Avian Art Studio, we invite you to try your own hand at drawing or writing about birds while surrounded by inspiring specimens, field notes, an extraordinary “commonplace book,” feathers and creative prompts developed by Drexel’s Writers Room and many others.

Over the course of the exhibition, avian artist-in-residence Jane Kim, whose work reflects current concerns related to biodiversity loss and climate change, will develop a new public mural for Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood through a joint partnership of the Academy of Natural Sciences and Mural Arts Philadelphia. Follow along with us as the work unfolds!

Learn more about Illuminating Birds.

Conversations With Birds

children running into sunset with silhouettes of birds

Birds are all around us. As they glide through the sky and alight on tree branches, telephone lines and roof eaves, they provide a momentary sense of delight — an accessible way of connecting with the natural world, even in urban Philadelphia.

Opening in time for the 2023 spring migration, Conversations With Birds celebrates the many ways that we are inspired by these magnificent, feathered creatures, here in the city and around the world.

Discover the fascinating lives of local bird populations and the astounding migrators that fly through the region. Glimpse nest-cam footage of a peregrine falcon, and enjoy stunning avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers. Explore unique bird architecture and flight through hands-on activities. Investigate real-time migration data gathered from BirdCast, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s forecast radar, and other innovative bird-tracking technology. Learn about the challenges birds face in urban environments and how you can help protect them by creating bird-friendly habitats or advocating for bird-safe changes in your neighborhood.

Learn more about Conversations With Birds.

Field Trips

kids in dinosaur hall

Whether you prefer a structured visit complete with lessons taught by Academy educators, or you’d like time to explore the museum on your own, we promise that our interactive field trip ideas will make your experience memorable. Museum exhibits are engaging for groups of all ages, from preschoolers to elementary schoolchildren and beyond. In Dinosaur Hall, stroll beneath towering fossil skeletons, examine dinosaur anatomy up close and see real fossils being prepared. Travel the globe through our ever-popular dioramas, visit our special exhibits and touch real specimens as you chat with Academy educators. Meet the Academy’s live animals and learn about animal adaptations, or watch an experiment and get the facts on climate and weather in exciting live stage shows!

Learn more about Academy Field Trips.

Academy Science Camp

Academy Summer Camp, a skink, and two children looking at specimens

Spend your summer at the Academy with our fun educators, cool exhibits and wild science! Sign up for one week or sign up for them all; each day will feature hands-on activities, creative crafts and untold secrets of the museum. Learn about the naturally awesome science at the Academy, from fossils and dinosaurs to bugs, birds and botanicals! Get outside for lunch and explore the urban environment around the Academy. Meet live animals, see rare specimens and explore the museum as you never have before.

This program features small group activities. New topics will be explored every day. Bring home useful make-and-takes and practice your science skills with experiments and projects. Chill out as you take in a special show or look alive when you meet our animal ambassadors. What will you discover about the world?

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Learn more about Academy Science Camp.

Academy Adventure Camp

four kids walking on log in woods

July 31 to August 4, 2023 
Ages 10–12 
Includes two-night stay at Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station 
Transportation, meals onsite and accommodation included 

Attention, nature-loving young scientists ... it’s time to get outside! The Academy is calling all campers ages 10–12 for a brand-new summer program featuring a very special overnight field trip to the great outdoors (but with indoor plumbing).  

If you love learning about science in the wild, this exclusive, one-week summer camp is for you. Spend part of your week at the museum learning scientific techniques with Academy scientists, and then explore and practice your new science skills at Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center. During the three-day, two-night trip to Lacawac, you’ll sleep in comfortable private dormitories in between action-packed days filled with hiking, plant and animal identification, stream testing and practicing ecology. Meals while at Lacawac are included, and allergies can be accommodated. Transportation to Lacawac and all supplies, including bedding, are provided. You just need to bring your hiking shoes, some clean clothes and a sense of adventure!  

Each day will feature hands-on activities, creative crafts and outdoor exploration. Learn about the naturally awesome science at the Academy and Lacawac. Bring home useful make-and-takes and practice your science skills with experiments and projects. New topics will be explored every day. This program features low camper-to-staff ratio, and all staff are up to date with first-aid procedures and child welfare policies.

Learn more about Academy Adventure Camp.

Science Storytime

A collage of children having fun with the text 'Science Story Time'

Join us one weekend each month on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Have some fun with Academy educators and other young natural history fans for a very special science story time.

Each week will feature a science story and a hands-on craft to try.

Learn More about Science StoryTime.

Outside In

young boy looking at fish tank 

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. 

All exhibits are included in general admission.

Birthday Parties at the Academy

A blue t-rex dinosaur and a red triceratops wearing party hats on a yellow background.

With a T. rex that has celebrated millions of birthdays, the Academy really knows how to throw a party!

Celebrate your child’s special day in a one-of-a-kind way! We offer theme parties for kids who love dinosaurs, butterflies, and bugs. Basic parties and add-on options are available. Members also save!

Click here to explore birthday parties at the Academy.

Self Guided Tours

Dinosaur Hall

Down the Hall and Around the World Self-Guided Family Expedition Tours

Free with admission; pick up onsite or download at home.

Ready to embark on an expedition? When you visit the Academy, grab a brand new, free self-guided tour to take a closer look at Dinosaur Hall, North American Hall, and African and Asian Halls.

Explore each exhibit at your own pace. The answers will be right before your eyes or printed in the labels, so have some fun on this expedition and travel to a whole new world in the halls of the Academy. What will you discover today?
Like to preplan your route? Download the guides here!

Science From Home

kids doing science craft

Visit our Science From Home page for simple science activities, coloring pages, outdoor activities to explore the nature around you, and more! We are constantly adding and changing the contents of this page, so check back often!

Click here for 50+ activities to try from home.