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Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the oldest natural history museum in the Americas. The excitement and wonder of the natural world come to life for visitors of all ages through hands-on exhibits, live-animal shows, video presentations, dynamic speakers, special workshops and classes and evening programs with environmental themes.  

Academy scientists are world renowned for their biodiversity and aquatic ecology research. A collection of more than 17 million animals and plants, housed in the research portion of the museum, is among the best specimen collections in the world. The Ewell Sale Stewart Library, with rare books dating to the 1500s and accounts of early explorers, is a major treasure trove for researchers around the world.

  • Dinosaur Hall

    See the towering Tyrannosaurus rex and fossils of other dinosaurs and Mesozoic reptiles. Don goggles and dig for fossils in The Big Dig, then watch as our fossil preparators work on specimens in the Fossil Prep Lab.

  • Butterflies!

    Stroll through a lush, tropical indoor garden filled with live butterflies.  Check out the pupae chamber; you may catch a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

  • Outside In

    Designed especially for children, Outside In features live animals to touch, a working beehive, microscopes to peer through and more.

  • Live Animal Encounters

    Meet our live animal ambassadors at regular naturalist presentations and impromptu encounters throughout the museum.

  • Changing Exhibits

    The Academy hosts a range of engaging and hands-on traveling exhibits and creates exhibits based on its own collections. Our Art of Science gallery features displays of science-themed artworks and our library creates a changing round of displays of rare archival materials.

For Adults

Science On Tap is a free monthly informal science café series in partnership with the American Philosophical Society, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science. Science on Tap takes place at National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant, 22 South 3rd Street in Old City.

Tapping Our Watershed is a free science cafe that brings devotees of water science together for conversations with top experts in the field.  Third Monday of each month at National Mechanics. 

Workshops, Classes, Field Studies:  Each month offers a different opportunity for adults to learn more about nature and science through hands-on workshops, classes and field studies with Academy scientists. Collect insects in the Pine Barrens of N.J.; learn how to draw dinosaurs, examine birds-of-prey up close. Check often for the on-line schedule.

For Kids

The Academy offers weekend activities, spring and summer camps, birthday parties, Scout programs, sleepovers and more for kids.

Outside In:  The outdoors have been brought inside in this hands-on discovery center especially designed for children ages 3-8.  Touch live animals, pan for shark teeth, look for fossil foot prints and more.  Center on the museum's Ground Floor.

Birthday Parties:  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 with dinosaurs, butterflies, hands-on activities and personalized attention from our staff.

Summer Academy Explorers Camp invites campers ages 5-12 to learn about natural science in a safe, fun and engaging way. Each week of camp explores an exciting new theme and features an off-site field trip.

Tiny Tot Explorers:  Children ages 3 and 4 and their favorite adults can join us Wednesday mornings in July and August in exploring nature through games, crafts, songs and museum .

Safari Overnights:  Enjoy interactive activities and meet some of our live animals—all with the guidance of the Academy's experienced naturalists. Sleep overnight in the shadow of T. rex and other museum favorites.

Boy and Girl Scouts:  The Academy offers workshops and camp-ins for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

For Students, Schools/Teachers

Education is central to the mission of the Academy. We provide a wide variety of services and resources for schools, home schooling families, youth camps and educators.

Field Trips: Take your class or group on a field trip to the Academy.

Academy on the Go: Find out how the Academy can visit your organization.

Home Schooling Days: Visit the Academy on special home-school days in spring and Fall each year and participate in a journey of discovery.

Education Programs: A variety of special education programs are offered by the Academy of Natural Sciences, including: 

Teacher Resources: An assortment of educator resources include a Museum Pass, online supplements, professional development, and an online form to request information be sent by mail.



Adults $15.95
Children,  Seniors, Military $13.95



Behind the Scenes Tours take groups of visitors into the laboratories and research and specimen collection areas of the Academy’s biodiversity and aquatic ecology scientists. For these ultimate insider tours, make reservations in advance by contacting 215-299-1060 or groups@ansp.org.

Special Programs for All Ages

The Academy offers a variety of day and evening programming, field trips, workshops and classes, and lectures specifically designed for children, adults and families. Four weekend festivals are held each year : Paleopalooza in February, Bird Fest in April, Bug Fest in August and the Shell Show in October. Check the Calendar often for updates.

Evening Activities

Town Square:  lectures, forums, and panel discussions on critical environmental and scientific topics, Science on Tap:  monthly science cafe, Safari Overnight sleepovers in the museum.


Academy Cafe has a variety of hot and cold items, including pizza, hot dogs, fresh salads, fruit, soups and sandwiches.


The Academy Shop carries a variety of collectibles and gifts, educational kits, books, souvenirs and more. 


Opportunities abound on the floor of the museum as well as in the research departments and other offices.

© 2010-2017 Parkway Council Foundation. All rights reserved.