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Visiting the Academy

lion with mask

exterior of the Academy of Natural Sciences 

Welcome back!

The Academy is happy to welcome you back! Our staff, our dinosaurs and our live animals missed you...Now we can’t wait to see you in person! Thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to serving you soon.


Current Hours (as of July 31, 2020.)

Members only: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
General Public: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

What's open?

What's closed?

The following exhibits and experiences are closed temporarily due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. We apologize that these visitor favorites are unavailable, but we have chosen to close them temporarily to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers.


For the health and safety of our visitors, we are offering timed ticketing. This allows us to reduce museum capacity to 25% or less and encourages social distancing of 6 feet, while providing a fun and relaxing experience for everyone. 

We highly recommend purchasing your tickets online for a low-touch entry. Your online tickets will be emailed to you as a PDF attachment. When you arrive, we will either scan your tickets off your phone, or you may choose to print your tickets at home and bring them with you. Tickets will be on sale soon.

A limited number of tickets may be purchased at the door, however, time slots are still required and you may have to wait until a slot is available to enter the museum.

Your tickets will grant you full access to the museum at one flat fee. This includes Dinosaur Hall, the dioramas, and the special exhibits. Special exhibit Survival of the Slowest, where you can see our live sloth, Lulu, will be open through October 25th, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year will open through February 15.

To maintain visitor safety, some of our regular high-touch exhibits are closed at this time; this includes Outside In, Butterflies!, and The Big Dig. 

There will be no school or camp field trips until further notice. Please check back regularly for status updates on virtual events and programs.

reopening guidelines

What to expect for your health and safety

To ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff and volunteers, we have carefully developed new health and safety protocols, following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the  Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Drexel University, and in consultation with national museum organizations as well as fellow museums around the world, across the nation and in Philadelphia.

We are committed to these precautions and protocols for as long as necessary:

  • Face-coverings for visitors and staff are required.
  • Advance-reservations are highly recommended.
  • Timed ticketing is in place to control the number of visitors and facilitate contactless transactions.
  • We are operating with limited building capacity to facilitate social distancing.
  • All are expected to practice social distancing.
  • All public spaces and surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the galleries.
  • We have installed plexiglass partitions in admissions and other areas.

Comprehensive health and safety protocols and training are in place for Academy staff. Public restrooms, elevators and steps are reserved for our visitors and volunteers.

Exhibits to Explore

New! 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!

The Academy will continue to follow guidance from the state and city, plans and opening dates are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are helpful tips to help you prepare for your visit.


What is a timed ticket?

In order for us to maintain a 25% building occupancy at all times, we will be selling tickets based on visitor time slots. Guests will need to purchase a ticket for the reserved time.

Timed tickets are available at these intervals:  11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. 4 p.m. is the last available time slot. Please ensure that your visit begins during your reserved time slot. With our current exhibit offerings, we estimate your length of visit to be around two hours. We recommend you arrive 10 minutes before the start of your visit.

How do I buy a ticket?

We highly recommend purchasing your tickets online for a low-touch entry.  All tickets are timed tickets that will be sent to your email in a PDF attachment. Upon entry to the museum, we will either scan your tickets off your phone, or you may choose to print your tickets at home and bring them with you. 

Here is a video for step-by-step instructions or download instructions here: mobile tickets | desktop tickets

Can I buy a ticket at the door?

Yes, we are setting aside tickets for guests to purchase at the door. However, the number of walk-up tickets available will be limited. 

I am an Academy member. Do I need to get a timed ticket?

Yes. Since we are tracking capacity, we recommend reserving your timed tickets before you arrive. You will not be charged; you are simply reserving a time slot for your visit. For more information on reserving your member tickets or using your member benefits, click here.

What entrance should I use?

  • If you have purchased your tickets online, please enter through the Parkway entrance.  
  • If you are purchasing your tickets onsite, please enter through the 19th Street entrance. 
  • If you have a stroller or need wheelchair accessibility, please enter through the 19th Street entrance. 

Please contact us directly at 215-299-1060 if you have specific requests and we will be happy to assist you.

Are all the exhibits open?

For the time being and for your safety, some of our high-touch exhibits are closed. These include Outside In, Butterflies!, and The Big Dig. The Academy Café is currently closed. The coat room is open.

Entrance to our special exhibits is now included with general admission. Your tickets will grant you full access to the museum, including Dinosaur Hall, our dioramas and the special exhibits, Survival of the Slowest (closing October 25) and Wildlife Photographer of the Year (closing February 15, 2021.) 

To allow for proper social distancing, we will be operating at 25% capacity or less, and staff will be monitoring the number of visitors in and out of our smaller galleries and other public spaces.

The Academy will continue to follow guidance from the state and city, plans and opening dates are subject to change.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is of the utmost importance to us. Here are some of the health and safety steps we have taken to make your visit feel safe, relaxing and enjoyable.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

Yes. We are following guidelines provided by the CDC, state and city health departments, Drexel University and others. We require face coverings for all visitors age 3 and older, staff, and volunteers unless they are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons. The face covering must be worn throughout the museum visit and most cover the mouth and nose at all times. For information on CDC guidelines on usage please click here.

Will there be hand sanitizing stations?

Yes, we have installed many hand sanitizing stations throughout the museum for visitor use.

How are you ensuring that the museum stays clean?

We’ve been planning for our reopening since we temporarily closed. We formed a multi-departmental team, surveyed our audience and consulted with national museum organizations and sister institutions. We developed comprehensive guidelines and step-by-step procedures to make visitors of all ages feel safe, comfortable and at ease from the time they enter the building to the time they leave.

We also have comprehensive guidelines for our staff. We looked at the visitor journey and staff journey and made sure we limit capacity, and in both cases, ensure the proper safety protocols are in place. 

In addition to an increased frequency of building-wide cleaning, we have enhanced our cleaning protocols to include the use of hospital-grade cleaning solutions and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces (like elevator buttons, door knobs, handles, railings and restroom fixtures) and common areas throughout the day.

What other safety protocols will be in place?

In addition to hand sanitizer stations and increased cleaning protocols, we urge visitors to maintain a 6-foot distance between groups. Look out for signs around the building that will help guide you on your journey through the museum.  

Only one family in each elevator at a time. 

Most bathrooms have reduced fixtures to encourage social distancing.   

Please note that a risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. When guests redeem their tickets, they acknowledge notice and acceptance of the COVID-19 exposure risks associated with visiting the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Upon redemption, guests agree to hold the Academy and Drexel University, their trustees, officers, employees and affiliates harmless from any and all causes of action, claims, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for injury or loss, that may result from exposure to COVID-19 during their visit to the Academy. This release extends to heirs and personal representatives.

Let's continue to keep each other healthy. Please follow all signposting and notices throughout the Academy. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!