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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. 

Long Live Sturgeon! (And Other Amazing Fish of the Delaware River Basin)

Long Live Sturgeon! (And Other Amazing Fish of the Delaware River Basin) 

Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 6–8 p.m.

In conjunction with the Academy’s 2024 Evolution Year and the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, join us for a conversation hosted by WHYY’s Maiken Scott on the Atlantic Sturgeon, a fish that “epitomizes the global biodiversity crisis,” as well as other vulnerable fishes in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Delaware River Basin is home to a wide variety of fishes, including the remarkable Atlantic Sturgeon, which evolved from a family of fishes that emerged some 150 to 200 million years ago. The Atlantic Sturgeon even outlived the dinosaurs after the Chixulub asteroid caused the great extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The Atlantic Sturgeon is “anadromous” — born in fresh water, it spends its adulthood in salt water and returns to natal rivers to spawn. For millions of years, this fish was found in as many as 38 rivers throughout eastern North America.

In the 1890s, the caviar rush drastically diminished its population, and since then, habitat loss, dams, vessel strikes and other factors have reduced the population to near extinction.  While the Atlantic sturgeon became protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2012, today, only some 100–200 adults participate in the spring spawn.

In this conversation, Scott will speak with research scientists Mariangeles Arce H., Dewayne Fox, Eric J. Hilton and David Keller about what makes Atlantic Sturgeon, and other local fishes including shad and iron-colored shiners, so fascinating and important to study. Discover why these fishes are key to our ecosystems and how the Academy’s collections are invaluable in understanding their evolution. Learn what exactly the decline of a species means for our waterways and how we can help scientists and conservationists reverse this troubling trend toward recovery and restoration.

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Learn more about Academy Town Square.

Life Onto Land: The Devonian

life onto land the devonian graphic - an illustration with trees and water in the background

November 11, 2023–September 29, 2024

You’ve likely heard of the Jurassic and the Cretaceous, but do you know about the Devonian? With its incredible diversity of terrestrial life, this fascinating period in geological history — hundreds of millions of years before the age of the dinosaurs — was pivotal in shaping the world as we know it today. All vertebrates living on land, including humans, stem from the remarkable creatures that began the move onto land in the Devonian Period. 

Life Onto Land: The Devonian centers around the Academy’s internationally celebrated paleontological research and the incredible discovery of Tiktaalik roseae. Unearthed in 2004 on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, this transitional fossil has been critical in piecing together a picture of how fins became limbs — or, of how terrestrial, limbed vertebrates arose from aquatic, lobe-finned ancestors. 

This new exhibition features the original holotype specimen of Tiktaalik roseae and a newly commissioned Tiktaalik model by Tyler Keillor. See enchanting drawings by Spanish artist Aina Bestard, breathtaking footage of Arctic and Antarctic research sites and the vivid scientific illustrations of Scott Rawlins. Experience the stunning plant and animal fossils collected from Devonian rock found here in Pennsylvania and around the world.  

Life Onto Land reveals the diverse marine, freshwater swamp and terrestrial ecosystems of this period, as well as the amazing scientific discoveries of the Academy’s team of paleontologists who continue to contribute to our understanding of this transformational time in our planet’s history. 

All exhibits are included with the purchase of a general admission ticket.

Academy Science Camp

Two images, one image with fossils and images of the animals from the fossils and a child looking through a microscope. In the middle, there is a teal circle with text that says 'Academy Science Camp'.

Monday-Friday, June 24-August 30, 2024
For kids ages 6–10
9 a.m.–4 p.m. each day

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?

More information on camp policies and procedures below. Contact Mary Bailey, manager of mediated experiences, for any additional information, at

Learn more about Academy Science Camp

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.

Birthday Parties at the Academy

A teal dinosaur head with other science specimens of different colors with the text 'Party with the Big Guys'

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.

Sensory-friendly Mornings

Sensory Friendly Mornings

Select Dates
9 a.m.-11 a.m.

Sensory-friendly mornings can be a comfortable, calmer way for museum visitors, especially those with sensory sensitivities, to explore the museum. These mornings will include:

  • Advanced ticketing to help avoid lines
  • Smaller crowds
  • More tranquil sounds in exhibitions whenever possible, with soundscapes and roaring dinosaurs softened or turned off
  • An available quiet and relaxing space
  • Time to explore our signature and special exhibits and wander through the dioramas at your own pace.
  • Noise cancelling headphones and fidget toys available for guests
  • Understanding, empathetic staff ready to help and share science with you!

Guests of all ages are welcome at this family-friendly event!

Preregistration is required to ensure a calm, positive experience for all guests. While guests will not be turned away if capacity allows, we strongly recommend reserving your ticket in advance due to the popularity of this program and to help all our families avoid lines.

Learn more about Sensory-friendly Mornings

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.

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.