Harvard Natural History Museum: 26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Harvard_Fossil_2Natural history is the study of organisms including plants, animals, ecosystems, geology and more! While in Boston, we visited the Harvard Natural History Museum which is located on the Harvard University campus and is only a short walk from Harvard Yard. We invited our friends, the Ellmore family, who were in our Monterey, California episode, to join us for a fun day out at the museum.

We started our day at the Harvard Natural History Museum with a lesson about minerals and gemstones in the Earth and Planetary Sciences gallery. It was pretty cool to see how the minerals became fluorescent when the guide shone a flashlight on each mineral. We also touched some dinosaur poop…that’s not something we do everyday!

The rest of our visit throughout the museum included a stops in various rooms including the New England Forest where visitors are encouraged to use their senses. There are guides available to encourage children to look, listen and touch items throughout the rooms. We had fun listening to the birds chirping in the background and trying to guess which type of bird it was.Harvard_Museum_skeletons

We also visited the Romer Hall of Vertebrate Paleontology for the perfect photo op! We stretched out hand to hand trying to reach the length of the kronosaurus on display. We needed a few more family members, however, to meet the 42 feet long mounted prehistoric marine reptile’s full length.

Before you go, check out the list of gallery activities for kids in grades K-12. Events such as story times, lectures, and classes are also offered. You can make a whole day of it on campus. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is next to Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and admission during regular hours to one museum admits you to the other. If you have older kids, you might want to take a college tour while you are on campus!

Some Additional Tips & Fun Facts:
• Save money with a CityPASS ticket to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and other attractions in Boston
• Free admission for Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning (all year-round) from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (September through May). You must show proof of residency.
• Accessible parking is limited, but can be arranged in advance by contacting Harvard University Disabilities Services, or call (617) 495-1859 for parking options.
• You can take photos without a flash or use of tripod.
• The museum is located on the campus of the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States

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