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Fall at the Academy

Night in the Museum: Halloween Edition
October 6, 2018

Experience the Academy’s towering dinosaurs—including T. rex—after dark! Your action-packed night at the museum barely leaves room for shut-eye.

This October 6, kids 6-14 can celebrate the start of the spooky season by experiencing the Academy’s towering dinosaurs—including T. rex—after dark! Take a flashlight tour of our Xtreme Bugs exhibit if you dare—you’ll come face-to-feet with giant animatronic bugs. Meet some creepy crawlies, and go on a hair-raising scavenger hunt. Then join us in the “lab” for some bone-chilling experiments. Explore the dark (and not-so-dark) corners of the museum, including our dino bone dig and butterfly exhibit. Watch a live animal show, hang out with your fellow brave explorers and enjoy delicious snacks.

Then pick a sleeping spot next to lions, tigers or dioramas. Night in the BOO-seum is perfect for scout groups, birthday parties, kids’ clubs, sports team retreats, families and others. We can’t wait to spook you there!

Click here for more details. 


Smithsonian Museum Day
September 22, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

On Saturday, September 22, get free general admission to the Academy as part of Smithsonian Museum Day.

The Academy will honor women making science history during Smithsonian Museum Day.

Talk with female scientists from our wetlands, environmental science, malacology and invertebrate paleo departments, meet students from our Women In Natural Sciences program and see specimens collected by female scientists. Get free general admission to the Academy as part of Smithsonian Museum Day. To receive the free admission offer, download the ticket to receive free admission for two people. Add on Xtreme Bugs or Butterflies! with an optional Super Saver ticket for $10!

Click here for profiles of the scientists that you will be able to talk to on Saturday.

dinos after dark

Dinos After Dark
Friday, September 28, 2018

Museum open 4–8 p.m.
Dino Drafts: The Academy Beer Garden 4–10 p.m.

Join us for Dinos After Dark and enjoy pay-what-you-wish admission, family activities and an outdoor beer garden right in front of Philly’s Dinosaur Museum. 

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
  • Visit Xtreme Bugs
  • Purchase drinks and food from the Academy Beer Garden: Dino Drafts!
  • Skip the line and pre-register online!

Meet the Animals
5:30 p.m.
7:30 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. 

James and The Giant BUGS from Collingswood Community Theatre
4:30, 6 and 7 p.m.

Join your favorite giant bugs for a special peachy storytime.

Meet the characters from Collingswood Community Theatre’s production of James and the Giant Peach, and meet their real-life buggy cousins! 

Crafts and More!
Make a creepy crawly craft with Miss Spider, do a dance with Centipede or tell fantastical story with Old Green Grasshopper.  

Click here for more details on Dinos After Dark.

access to science

Access to Science: Opening Doors to Autism
September 23, 2018 

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 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 Sunday, September 23, 2018, 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:

  • Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Friday, December 28, 2018
  • Sunday, January 20, 2019
  • Saturday, February 23, 2019
  • Sunday, April 7, 2019

Learn more about the Access to Science program. 

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

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.

halloween outside in

Trick or Treat Weekends

Visit the Academy every weekend in October and on Halloween and trick or treat as you visit our exhibits. Each exhibit (Outside In, Butterflies!, Xtreme Bugs and The Big Dig) will have a small treat for you to take home and cool Halloween-themed specimens for you to check out.

All ages welcome! Wear a costume for $2 off admission. To ensure that we have enough fun to go around, one treat per exhibit per person, please!

xtreme bugs

Xtreme Bugs

Come face-to-feet with nearly 20 massive, colorful, moving bugs! From a fluttering oversized monarch butterfly and a fluffy tri-colored bumblebee to a gigantic Madagascar hissing cockroach and a blood-sucking bed bug, these towering animatronics tell a rarely seen story of the behaviors and intricacies of extreme bugs. Get a bug’s-eye view of the world, explore critter calls, dig for ancient arthropods, and play an Xtreme bug facts game.

Learn more about Xtreme Bugs.

door 19 

Door 19: Skeletons in our Closet
October 18, 2018

Knock 3.14159 times on Door 19 for admission to an oddly charming evening that will forever change how you think about science. Curated for the curious, Door 19 is quirky science meets themed soiree, set against a backdrop of live performances, music, potent libations, and dinosaurs.

For only four nights this year, you will have the chance to go beyond the galleries and into specimen collections off-limits to visitors, alongside experts who will bring our coolest specimens out to play. Our rogue scientists will go a little bit off script to share their most incredible knowledge—from prohibition-era mixology to dinosaur foreplay. You’ll be reminded that no, in fact, you haven’t seen it all—far from it.

This October, we are pulling out the skeletons in our closets—literally! What could be spookier than the strangest stories, the eeriest objects and the baffling-est bone collections, all with a drink in your hand? Come in costume (or come as you are); prizes will be given to a few of our favorites. It will be a super-naturally awesome evening!

Door 19: Skeletons in our Closet:

  • Warm up at our open bar featuring Eight Oaks Craft Distillers
  • Take enchanting behind-the-scenes tours of our Paleontology and Mammalogy collections—included with your ticket price
  • Practice your surgery skills at an Operation tournament to win prizes and the admiration of your friends
  • Enjoy an ethereal performance by the Divine Hand Ensemble, and then learn how to play the theremin, the world’s first electrical instrument (Star Trek fans, take note!)
  • Meet our freaky friends from the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. See some amazing specimens from their collection, and learn how to tell a male human from a female human just by looking at their skulls
  • Eat great food from our exclusive caterer, 12th St. Catering (Vegetarian options available)
  • So much more! Click here for the full list of activities.

film festival

International Ocean Film Tour
September 27, 2018

Adventure. Action. Ocean Life. The fifth voyage of the International Ocean Film Tour arrives at the Academy September 27, delivering the best ocean adventures and environmental documentaries of the year. Hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival, the film tour offers 120 minutes of inspiring stories and exciting sports water action. 

Presenting the captivating sea in all its diversity and beauty, this exclusive program consists of six visually stunning documentary films that take the viewer on a wondrous voyage of the cosmic ocean. The protagonists rollick on and under the water, showing what’s possible with a board under their feet, daringly defying the forces of nature and arousing a desire to heed the call of the sea.