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 

Birds of Paradise

May 3-September 1, 2014

Lace up your dancing shoes for a journey to the remote rainforests of New Guinea, land of the exotic birds-of-paradise. In this special exhibit based on the groundbreaking research of photographer Tim Laman and Cornell ornithologist Edwin Scholes Visitors, visitors will behold the birds’ cinematic courtship dances, puffed-out plumage, wild calls, and wacky behaviors through video, photography, soundscapes, and displays on research and conservation.

Download the Birds of Paradise teacher's guide.

Art of Science

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

Signature Exhibits 


Stroll among beautiful live butterflies and moths from around the world in our year-round tropical garden. Watch colorful adults emerge from their pupae and discover other forms of metamorphosis.

Reservations required, 20 minute per session

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.

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.


Naturalist Presentations

Join our staff as they explore natural history in these informal presentations involving live animals and/or museum specimens. Naturalist Shows are presented daily at 2:30 pm and run for 20 minutes.