Mar 052014

Last weekend, Chris & I took the boys the The Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, THAT Harvard) because of a friends recommendation.  I am so glad we listened because the museum was amazing and my boys LOVED it.

The museum was sort of split into two sections.  One was filled with fossils & taxidermied animals. The other was the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery, which has thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones on display.  Today, I am going to show you the pictures I took of the fossil & animal galleries.  Why?  Because I took SO many pictures that I didn’t want to overwhelm you all in one post.

We got there right when the museum opened and walked right into the EVOLUTION exhibit as soon as we got there, so we spent a while examining the fossils on display!

EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical, and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. View animals and plants that sparked Darwin’s theory, dramatic displays of diversity within species, and computer simulations that demonstrate how natural selection acts.

See a model of the 375-million-year-old fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseae (see image below)—a fossil fish dubbed the “missing link” between fish and land animals—discovered in 2004 by a team of scientists in northern Canada.

EVOLUTION offers a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing evolution research at Harvard, from exciting new discoveries about human origins, to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin’s finches.








We spent a lot of time walking around the Africa Gallery, the Fishes Gallery, the Great Mammal Hall and looking at the Arthropods!










I have to say, that I love it when we come interactive displays at museums and at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, there were several of them scattered around the building.  I think they are a great way for people to be able to learn even more about the exhibits.

harvard-natural-history-museum-interactive exhibits

I couldn’t have been more impressed with this museum.  Honestly, we could go back there every day and the exhibits would never get old.  It’s a hidden gem and if you have never been there & live in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit.  We will absolutely be going back.  My boys LOVED it there.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is located at 26 Oxford Street in Cambridge, MA. They are open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Here’s how much the tickets will run you:

General admission (includes all exhibits):
Adults: $12.00
Non-Harvard Students with I.D.: $10.00
Seniors (65+): $10.00
Children ages 3–18: $8.00
Children under 3: Free

But get this – the museum is FREE to Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning (year-round) from 9:00 am to noon and on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 pm (September through May) – just be prepared to show your ID.

Check back tomorrow for some of the pictures I snapped in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery!

  88 Responses to “Our Visit to the Harvard Museum of Natural History – Part One”

  1. So much to see there and you can’t beat free.

  2. I love that it’s free every Sunday! Our art museum does the same thing on Tuesdays, which is great during the summer so my kids don’t sit and play video games all day :) My boys would love this museum, my oldest is obsessed with fossils right now!

  3. This looked like a lot of fun and wish we had more free places like this to take our girls to around here.

  4. Wow, what a great museum. I had no idea that was there. How do you find out about all these awesome places? You’re always on the go!

  5. That’s wonderful that it is free on Sunday and certain Wednesdays to MA residents! Looks like a fun place to visit with plenty to see. The bat display would freak me out. :)

  6. Cool! I wish I was closer. My daughter would love that.

  7. That’s a nice perk on the free admission day for residents!! This does look like a nice place to visit. I love museum visits.

  8. I love the natural history museum! Your boys look like they had a great time.

  9. That looks like a really cool museum! I bet your boys learned a lot from visiting the natural history museum. Have a great day!

  10. Wow, that looks like a wonderful museum. You live by some neat places!

  11. I never would have thought all that would have been there. They have some very interesting displays and how awesome it’s free every Sunday! I’d probably go often if any of our museums offered a free day here.

  12. Such awesome displays! I bet kids really like the interactive displays. Looks like a fun and educational time!

  13. The best kind of education!

  14. Creepy, but I actually like the bats a lot! There’s a museum like that an hour away from us. My husband helped them dig up a Plesiosaur. It was a pretty neat project!

  15. Wow! Is that a turtle shell? That thing is huge!! How cool to go there, can’t wait to see more

  16. That is super cool. Love it. Thanks for sharing

  17. Nice post Robin! You get to see the coolest stuff where you live. We have a nice new Natural History Museum in SLC now and we will be right by it at this new hospital. Hmmm?

    Thanks for the “kickin’ it’s arss” motivation. I love it! I am mad and that anger is going to tranfer to warfare, dang soon! ♥

  18. Our Pennsylvania Game Commission has a place like that in Linesville that we have gone to before. Very interesting.

  19. Another great review of a museum. Seeing stuffed animals would kind of creep me out though!

  20. I love visiting museums with the kids because they learn so much and everything is visual and hands-on.

  21. Looks like a great time! And I love the Batman shirt!

  22. Looks like fun and who doesn’t love dinosaur bones?

  23. I was looking at the pictures and everything looks huge. I am like you, I love the interactive displays, it is a great way to get people interested in learning – especially kids. My youngest would love this section, my oldest would probably prefer the other section as he is big into anything that teaches about any planet. I love that they have free admission for residents, even if just for one morning a week – I wish more would do that.

  24. Totally love this place!! Heading there with my family next year!

  25. How cool! Mt daughter recently requested to visit different museums and attractions in the Philadelphia area. I kept finding reasons not to go but your post makes me want to soak it all in.

  26. What a nice time! You can’t beat free! I think people overlook activities that local colleges can provide. I live a mile away from University of Northern Iowa, and they have kids activities there all the time! You guys have so many around you too! My best friend from HS went to BC. :)

  27. So awesome! Love the dinosaur fossils! I’ll have to admit though- I’m so creeped out by insects that I don’t even think I’d be able to stand next to the insect displays {shudder}.

  28. I want to hang out with you! Y’all do such fun stuff! Can’t wait for part two.

  29. This looks so cool. We have a children’s museum down here and the fern bank which is kind of similar but it draws in the kids. I want a museum for the big kid in me lol

  30. We’re going to have to add this stop to our list when we go down to the Lego place when it opens in May. We’ve been the the Boston Aquarium and the Museum of Science there but I didn’t know about this place. Definitely going to check it out! Thanks!

  31. Your museum is way better then ours! I love that dinasour exhibit and that shark.

  32. This looks like a great place to take my kids too. We love museums and based on the pictures you took we’d love this one for sure!

  33. I have to tell my niece! her fiancé is a big science guy and they live right near Harvard!

  34. I love the name of your blog! I used to live in Mass when I attended B.U. I live in NYC now and my four year old son LOVES the natural history museum here. Your post has inspired me to take a trip to Boston and check out the Natural History museum there!

  35. I love visiting museums of natural history in different cities. Everyone always has something different!

  36. This is seriously cool! My husband would love it! If we are ever in the area, I will suggest we go!

  37. What a cool museum. Seems like you and your family always do a lot of fun stuff!

  38. This looks like so much fun, again you all go to the best places ever. I hope this Summer we can take full advantage by going to some of the places you have. Those that are within a couple of hours from here that is.

  39. Looks like a really cool museum. We have one local that’s called The Creation Museum and my kids absolutely love the full-size dinos and interactive exhibits. We will definitely have to keep this one on the list if we ever get over that way.

  40. Free, really?! That’s awesome. I wish we had more free stuff for the kids to do here. Sadly, we don’t even have a zoo, or anything of the sort.

  41. You have so many awesome attractions around you! How sweet to get in free!

  42. I had no idea there was a Harvard Museum of Natural History, so I learned something today. You posted some great pictures, I feel almost like I was there. My kids would love this place.

  43. My oldest loves science and dinos, too bad we don’t live in Mass. Will have to show her your pictures.

  44. I’d love to go to this museum some time. You took some really great pictures.

  45. My three sons love dinosaurs so I bet they would especially love this museum. It looks very interesting and like a very fun place to visit.

  46. What a fun museum! My son would love looking at all of the fossils.

  47. This looks like such a fun museum. I like that MA residents get free admission on certain days!

  48. Oh wow, this looks so fun! My kids would love it! Especially the fossils and dinosaurs!

  49. I love museums but I haven’t had the fortune to get this far north and visit Harvard yet. I’m definitely keeping it on my things to do list if I can ever get the time to come up there. I’m just not going in the winter. Too much cold!

  50. I lived in Boston for five years and I missed so much cool stuff. I have to get up there with the family!

  51. Oh wow what an wonderful looking museum, I would have adored it as a kid. x

  52. That looks like a great museum with tons of interesting exhibits. It’s really nice that they have free days but their normal prices are very reasonable too. If I’m ever in the area, I’ll be sure to check it out.

  53. You shared so much of your visit with us. I liked seeing all the animal skeletons.

  54. How fun and what a memorable experience that will be for you all.

  55. It looks like you had a great time there. I have to admit that the stuffed animals always creep me out!!! But, I think I would be happy just sticking to the fossils.

  56. It’s been awhile since I went to a museum – it’s always fun and educational.

  57. That’s pretty cool! I love the shark!

  58. Wow….I felt like I just stepped out of Jurassic Park and Finding Nemo all at the same time! Those were some really cool and wild looking creatures and animals. Love the moose!

  59. What a fun and educational looking museum, I bet both you and your boys had a great time. It’s so cool that they have a day where they allow state residents to get in for free!

  60. What stuck out to me the most was that turtle shell! Man that was huge!!!

  61. This looks like a ton of fun!

  62. Looks like a great museum, my boys would love the insects!

  63. What a great museum. I bet the boys love seeing all the large animals exhibits up close. Seeing the dino bones is always awe inspiring

  64. Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said you took a lot of pictures, but they are great! My kids love going to the Museum of Natural History here in NYC, I bet they would love to do this on our Boston trip later this spring!

  65. That is THE COOLEST museum. My boys would flip over the dinosaurs!!

  66. I’ve never been there. It sounds and looks absolutely fascinating. And free is always good!

  67. Wow I Never Knew They Had ALL This & I Lived In Massachusetts For 30 Years!!

  68. I never even knew that there WAS a museum. That looks so cool

  69. I always love seeing your pictures and all the new and interesting places. This place looks like SO Much fun! Your kids look like they are having fun!

  70. FREE? Wow! The Science Museum I usually go to on the east coast is DEFINITELY NOT FREE. (It is cool, tho). Looks like a really fun time, tho.

  71. My son would love this museum! Especially the interactive sections! If we are ever in the area, I know where we are going to stop.

  72. I love Natural History museums, they’re my favorites. I can imagine Harvard’s must be pretty amazing. The pictures are awesome!

  73. We have a wonderful natural history museum where I live in Philadelphia, but this one looks awesome, too. What a great opportunity for MA residents to visit for free.

  74. Wow, I didn’t realize that Harvard had a natural history museum. It looks very interesting though. It’s definitely a place we would check out while vacationing up there.

  75. I love finding new museums that the kids enjoy.

  76. Wow! This looks super fun. Really wishing I lived in Massachusetts, right now. Thanks for all the great pictures, I feel as if I really was there!

  77. That looks like a great educational and fun trip. I gotta do more of that with the kids

  78. What an amazing outing. Your pictures are terrific too. I love this post and what you shared.

  79. I would love to do this sometime. What a terrific experience.

  80. Wow! That is an awesome museum to tour with! How neat that admissions are free for Massachusetts residents. I remember going to American Museum of natural history in NYC, it was fantastic!

  81. This is our first year for museum trips and I can’t wait!

  82. I haven’t been to a natural museum history in a few years, but I always enjoy them. We’ll be moving up near DC this summer, so I can probably start going to the one there.

  83. What a fun place, you got great pictures toO! My kids and hubby would love to visit!

  84. I love museums that offer a day that is free and that are educational for the kids!! This looks like a super cool place with a lot to do!!

  85. Love the pictures. Looks supper fun!

  86. Wow! What a great spot! We have a museum here in Toronto but I haven’t been in many many years.

  87. Fun! Looks like you guys had a great time!

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