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Winter at the Academy

dinos after dark 

Dinos After Dark
February 22, 2019

Join us for Dinos After Dark and enjoy pay-what-you-wish admission, family activities and the Dino Drafts Beer Garden in Dinosaur Hall!   

At Dinos After Dark:

  • Visit Outside In, do a scavenger hunt and meet some of our amazing live animals and buggy boarders
  • Immerse yourself in our tropical butterfly house
  • Observe our technicians preparing real specimens in the Fossil Prep Lab
  • Purchase drinks and food from the Academy Beer Garden: Dino Drafts 
  • For faster check-in, pre-register for the next event today!

Auditorium Shows: 

Meet the Animals
5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

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 over 100 individual animal ambassadors and several colonies of invertebrates.

Philly Improv Theater Presents "Study Hall"philly improv
7:30 p.m.

Head back to class with PHIT and enjoy a fully improvised (and full-on hilarious!) live show. Who knows where it will go? While all audiences are welcome, the performance will be best enjoyed by adults and teens.

Philly Improv Theater has been making people laugh since 2005 with a diverse range of shows, classes, and teambuilding programs for adults and kids alike.

Click here to learn more about Dinos After Dark.

Night in the Museum: Myths and Legends
March 16, 2019

Experience the Academy’s towering dinosaurs—including T. rex—after dark! Your action-packed night at the museum barely leaves room for shut-eye. Night in the Museum is appropriate for children ages 6–14. 

Join us for a legendary night! Discover what Yetis, unicorns and dragons all have in common and investigate the real animals behind these mysteries. Do your best Bigfoot walk past the newly renovated Gorilla diorama, and imagine your own Nessie as you gaze up at Elasmosaurus for inspiration. Arm yourself with a flashlight and your imagination, and see Mythic Creatures like you’ve never seen it before.

Click here to learn more about Night in the Museum.

Can’t make it to our public overnights? Do you have a specific date in mind? Develop your guest list and contact us to reserve the museum just for your own private group of 100 to 300. Contact or 215-299-1060 for more information.

access to science

Access to Science: Opening Doors to Autism
Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Academy provides families of children with autism the opportunity to experience the museum in a secure and comfortable environment. The museum provides specific tools and tactics, such as museum stories, to help plan your visit.

As you plan your visit to the museum, some of the best times to visit are the afternoons after 1:00 p.m. as the museum is quieter for you and your family. The Academy also offers Access to Science events when the museum is open only for families with children on the spectrum. These are scheduled at different times each year. Our next event is Saturday, February 23, 2019, 9-11 a.m.

Preregistration is required (same-day registration is available onsite). If you would like to attend, please contact our visitor services department at 215-299-1060 or Please provide the following information: contact name, email, phone, total number of attendees, number of children and their ages. To ensure a positive experience, space is limited!

Upcoming Access to Science Dates:

  • Saturday, February 23, 2019
  • Sunday, April 7, 2019
  • Saturday, June 1, 2019
  • Sunday, July 14, 2019
  • Sunday, August 25, 2019

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Click here for more details about our Access to Science program.


March 2–3

Every year, the Academy celebrates all things prehistoric during Paleopalooza, a two-day festival of fossils.

This year at Paleopalooza:

  • Get an exclusive look at some rarely exhibited and wonderful fossils and type specimens collected by Academy paleontologists.
  • See a special presentation from Academy paleontologist Ted Daeschler about his recent expedition to Antarctica.
  • Visit our Drawn to Dinosaurs exhibit and watch Academy dinosaur enthusiast and paleoartist Christopher DiPiazza bring Hadrosaurus foulkii back to life in chalk.
  • Take a guided tour of Dinosaur Hall.
  • Stop into the Mesozoic Market for educational displays, fossil vendors, dinosaur tattoos, face painting and more. 
  • So much more! Click here for the complete list of Paleopalooza activities.

Free for members or with general admission. Save $2 when you purchase tickets online.



While the winter weather arrives outside, it's always 85 degrees in our Butterflies! exhibit! See tropical butterflies from Central and South America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, with 20-40 different species in the exhibit daily! 

fossil guys antarctica

Paleontology in Antarctica

Academy Paleontologist Ted Daeschler has returned to McMurdo Station in Antarctica after almost a month in the Transantarctic Mountains of the continent looking for Devonian era fossils!

Daeschler is co-leading a team for a second field season of fossil research and collecting at the bottom of the world. This time he will scour a targeted region in the Transantarctic Mountains of Southern Victoria Land. He’s looking for 390-million-year-old vertebrate fossils from the Aztec Siltstone, specimens that will shed more light on the evolution of the earliest limbed animals, Daeschler’s specialty.

Click here to read Ted's latest post from Antarctica on the Academy Blog, where he discusses the difficult conditions his team faced what happens next to the fossils that were unearthed while in the field.

door 19 

Door 19: Renais-Science Faire
Thursday, February 21, 6–9:30 p.m.

Hear ye, hear ye! Let the (science) faire begin! Enjoy an enchanting evening of myths and legends against a backdrop of science and inquiry. Come in costume or come as you as you are. It’s going to be a knight to remember!

  • Warm up with some grog at the tavern (well, open bar)
  • Marvel at sea monsters and explore ancient tomes behind the scenes in our Ichthyology and Archives collections
  • Enjoy the medieval stylings of roving minstrels
  • Share a selfie with a pirate
  • Dissect a kraken and use its ink to write a special message
  • Meet living armored beasts and cheer them on as they joust for glory
  • Separate fact from fiction and investigate specimens of dragons, cyclops and bigfoots (bigfeet?)
  • Have your fortune foretold with a “professional” tea leaf reading
  • Find out if unicorns are real in our special exhibit, Mythic Creatures (don’t worry, they are)
  • Stand in the shadow of dragons (dinosaurs, that is) and talk to our most engaging fossil experts as you piece together the remains of the past
  • Eat great food from our exclusive caterer, 12th St. Catering (vegetarian options available)
  • And … did we mention the open bar?


Through February 6 - $65 Public/$55 Members/$60 Drexel Alumni
February 7–February 14 -  $75 Public/$65 Members/$65 Drexel Alumni
February 15–February 21 -  $85 Public/$65 Members/$65 Drexel Alumni

educator with owl

Live Animals at the Academy

You can meet live animals at the Academy every day! Get up close to birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates on your next visit! Join us for our daily Meet the Animals presentations and even get a chance to touch some of our live animals in Outside In!

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 over 100 individual animal ambassadors and several colonies of invertebrates. Cared for by a team of full-time keepers, they make thousands of program appearances annually.

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

Learn more about Meet the Animals.

Outside In

Designed for children ages 3–8 and their parents, Outside In is a warm, welcoming place where inquisitive youngsters can investigate a forest, visit the seashore, see and touch live animals, and much more.

Learn more about Outside In.

Dinosaur Hall

Dinosaur Hall

It’s one of the first things visitors see when they enter the Academy of Natural Sciences: measuring up to 42 feet in length and weighing in at an estimated 7.5 tons, Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest predators to ever walk the Earth. This impressive animal is one of many dinosaurs and other Mesozoic creatures you’ll encounter in Dinosaur Hall. More than 30 species are represented, about half of which are full skeletal mounts, including Avaceratops, Chasmosaurus, Corythosaurus, Deinonychus, Pachycephalosaurus, Tenontosaurus, and Tylosaurus.

mythic creatures

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids
Opens February 16

For thousands of years, people have brought mythic creatures to life through art, stories and songs. Even as scientific discoveries have drawn distinctions between myth and reality, these beasts of the land, air and water have maintained an enduring hold on the human imagination. Discover how real animals such as dinosaurs, mammoths and narwhals may have stirred tales of griffins, giants and unicorns. Learn why so many legendary water spirits look like mermaids. Touch fossils, explore winged mythological creatures, build your own dragon and come face to face with a giant legendary sea monster.

Learn more about Mythic Creatures.