Museums

Harvard Museum of Natural History Cambridge

Where is it at?

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Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge
MA
02138
Tel: (617) 495-3045

Directions

The museum is at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, on the Harvard University campus, just a short, 7 minute walk through historic Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square MBTA Red Line 'T' station. Harvard is just 10-15 minutes by T from downtown Boston. Also 3/4 mile from the Porter Square commuter rail station.

Where are we going today?

Explore 12,000 specimens drawn from Harvard's vast research collections at the University's most visited museum - dinosaurs, meteorites, rare minerals, and hundreds of animals around the globe. Get close to the world's only mounted Kronosaurus, a 42 ft-long marine reptile; one of the first Triceratops ever discovered; a 1,642 lb. amethyst geode; 3 whale skeletons. Don't miss the world famous exhibit of 3,000 'Glass Flowers', amazingly realistic models of plants, fruits and flowers created by father-son glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka from 1886-1936. You won't believe they're not real. Explore www.hmnh.harvard.edu for changing exhibitions, free lectures by Harvard professors. Free for Massachusetts residents only: Wednesdays. 3:00-5:00 pm (September thru May) and Sunday mornings year round, 9 a.m.-noon. Ticket includes admission to the adjacent Peabody Museum -- archaeology and cultures of six continents

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$12
  • Children$8
  • Free Under: 3
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

9 am to 5 pm daily

361 days/year. Closed Thanksgiving, Dec 24, 25 & Jan 1

Teachers corner

Check the website education resource pages for the many classes and labs offered for student groups visiting the museum..

I'm Hungry!

There are hundreds of restaurants in Cambridge, and Harvard Square is just a 6-8 minute walk. www.harvardsquare.com. There are several student eateries near by..but no restaurant in the museum itself. There are picnic tables outside where you could eat your lunch, and in the summer, on Tuesday afternoons, the Farmers Market is just 100 yards away. .

Healthy Eating!

The Harvard Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoons spring-fall, is just 150 yards from the museum entrance. Have a picnic with local tomatoes, strawberries. .

Any Top Tips?

There are often free lectures by scientists and authors..so check out the program schedule on the museum's website. On weekends and Wednesday afternoons, volunteers are in the galleries with real specimens you can examine close up. Groups can also make reservations for guided tours of the world famous Blaschka Glass Flowers on display at the museum. .

Doing our bit

Bike racks are provided and the museum is wheelchair accessible. Don't miss the new exhibitions, Thoreau's Maine Woods, Final Flight: th Extiction of the Passenger Pigeon, and New England Forests.

Need a little extra help?

You can come by T, or check out the Super Trolley Tours of Cambridge from the Cambridgeside Galleria, where parking is just $4/day. .

Baby Facilities

There is a baby changing table in the ladies room. Even toddlers love exploring the 500 animals on display. Strollers are allowed, but please bring as small a stroller as possible. .

Can I get one of those?

The museum shop contains books, toys, jewelry, fossils, gems and minerals..not to mention great t-shirts and souvenirs for kids. Natural history themed ties are also popular. .

What people are saying?

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    HMNH is awesome- all the exhibits bring out my inner child, full of wonder!

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    The recent renovations are very well done. The docents are friendly and knowledgeable. The collections will keep you coming back. The museums mission is to give the public access to Harvard's scientific collections: you'll be seeing items that Harvard scientists studied while unravelling the mysteries of our planet. Don't forget to visit the attached Peabody Museum: your admission covers that anthropological collection as well.

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    Educating

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    This a great museum, a perfect choice if you enjoy animal anatomy. I could tour the halls for weeks. My only complaint is the strange, almost maze-like layout.

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    Revel in amazement at this Victorian-style maze of glass cases (mostly dead creatures). Inside, one will find prehistoric fossil invertebrates, reptiles, a Kronosaurus, over 3,000 glass flowers (commissioned in 1886, representing more than 830 plant species), a 1,642-lb amethyst geode, and the world’s largest turtle shell. Pro-Tip: MA residents get in for free on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Sundays before noon (Bring ID, and remind them); plus, any paid admission also provides access to the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology....Read More

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by Joshua Berk

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Revel in amazement at this Victorian-style maze of glass cases (mostly dead creatures). Inside, one will find prehistoric fossil invertebrates, reptiles, a Kronosaurus, over 3,000 glass flowers (commissioned in 1886, representing more than 830 plant species), a 1,642-lb amethyst geode, and the world’s largest turtle shell. Pro-Tip: MA residents get in for free on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Sundays before noon (Bring ID, and remind them); plus, any paid admission also provides access to the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Bring a date (or family) for the Comparative Zoology Exhibit!

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