Self-guided Visits

Diorama with a polar bear and a seal is has just caught.

Take your students on an exciting exploration of the natural world. Our three floors of exhibits, ranging from dinosaurs and dioramas to hands-on interactive stations, are sure to make your field trip to the Academy the highlight of the school year.

Special Exhibits 

Titanoboa: Monster Snake

February 14-April 19, 2015

Deep underground in a Colombian coal mine, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Titanoboa haunted the rain forest during the Paleocene, the lost world that followed the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Stand eye-to-eye with a full-scale model of this massive predator, which at 48 feet long and 2,500 pounds could crush and devour a crocodile. Crawl through a Titanoboa-sized tunnel, see live snakes, and check out authentic snake specimens from the depths of the Academy’s collections. This fearfully fun exhibition delves into Titanoboa’s discovery and reconstruction, as well as what scientists have learned from this enormous reptile.

Animal Grossology

May 16–August 30, 2015

Animal Grossology is the slimiest, stinkiest, and downright yuckiest exhibit you will find in Philadelphia in 2015! Based on Sylvia Branzei’s best-selling children’s book series Grossology, this hands-on 3-D exhibit oozes with disgusting science and provides a slightly off-kilter view of the animal kingdom. Learn why cows chew cud and why snail and slug slime might provide scientists with more insight into treating cystic fibrosis. From poop to pellets and scales to hairballs, check out all the things you aren’t allowed to discuss at the dinner table!

Art of Science

This gallery features changing displays of artwork that explore the interplay between science and art.

Signature Exhibits 

Dinosaur Hall

Explore the exciting world of paleontology, stroll beneath towering fossil skeletons, and examine dinosaur anatomy up close. Stop by the Fossil Preparation Lab to talk with staff as they clean and prepare real fossils.

The Big Dig Now FREE with your admission!
Let’s go fossil hunting! Become a field paleontologist and dig for dinosaur fossils in a setting straight out of the badlands. Academy educators teach you how to use the tools of the trade, supervise the digging, and help identify fossil finds.
Located on the Mezzanine Level of Dinosaur Hall

Dioramas of Africa, Asia, and North America

Travel the globe without leaving the museum! Our ever-popular dioramas let students get nose-to-nose with gorillas from Africa, pandas from Asia, and bison from North America.

Science at the Academy

Find out what Academy scientists are up to these days in this multimedia exhibit. Watch video footage from research expeditions, see recently collected specimens, and find out about our latest scientific discoveries.

Programs

Live Animal Presentations!

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 a collection of over 100 individual animals and several colonies of invertebrates that make thousands of program appearances annually.

September 1–June 30
Monday–Friday
Seating is first come, first served.
Auditorium
11 a.m., 11:45 a.m.
25–30 minutes
All ages welcome. This presentation is open to the public

Naturalist Presentation

Join our experienced Academy Educators as they explore natural history in these informal and interactive presentations involving live animals or museum specimens. 

  • Presentations are held at 2:30 p.m. weekdays.
  • Presentations are held at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekends. 
  • Topics and locations vary daily; Check in the lobby on the day of your visit for details.
  • Presentations run for 20 minutes.

Carts of Curiosity

When you visit a Cart of Curiosity, you get to talk to Academy experts, touch real specimens, meet live invertebrates, play engaging games, learn special information about Academy exhibits, and discover how to be a natural scientist.