Outside In

girl calmly holding a Madagascar Hissing Coackroach in Outside In

Welcome to Outside In, the children’s nature museum at the Academy. The outdoors have been brought inside in this hands-on discovery center geared toward children ages 3-8 (but enjoyed by all). Its artifacts and specimens challenge inquisitive minds. Its activities provide fun and educational experiences for the whole family.

Coming through our door takes you on a magical trip to the great outdoors. Visit a forest, a mountain pond, or an ocean shore. Touch a real meteorite, view a stream from underneath, crawl through a fallen log, look for fossil footprints, pan for shark teeth, watch a live beehive, or read a book on Lucy’s Back Porch (Lucy was a very special Outside In volunteer).

Outside In is also a great place to meet our live animals. You may encounter a legless lizard, hissing cockroach, tortoise, cowbird, or rabbit. Every day brings a different set of animal visitors to Outside In from their permanent homes in the Live Animal Center on the museum’s ground level.

Interested in reserving Outside In for your class or group? See Field Trips for more information.

This exhibit is one of our more popular venues for volunteering. If you enjoy working with small children and are interested in volunteering, please see Volunteering at the Academy for more information.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.