Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH)
Other Ideas: Edward M. Kennedy (EMK) Institute for the U.S. Senate; Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Old Sturbridge Village; Museum of Science, Boston
Explore 12,000 specimens drawn from Harvard’s vast research collections at the University's most visited museum -- dinosaurs, meteorites, gemstones, and animals from around the globe.
Look closer at hundreds of animals including giraffe, elephant, rhino, tigers, lions, armadillo, platypus, giant whale skeletons, & more.
Get close to the world’s only mounted Kronosaurus, a 135 million year-old, 42 foot-long marine reptile; one of the first Triceratops ever discovered; and amazing gemstones and minerals including a 1,642 lb. amethyst geode.
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.
Find models of bananas, figs, cacao, pineapple, and cashew nuts to learn what they look like as they grow. You won’t believe they’re not real.
For Kids & Families
Check out their event calendar for family days such as I Heart Science, National Fossil Day, Reptile Day, the Fabulous Fungus Fair, the Annual Solstice Festival, and more, often offered with free parking at the University Garage at 52 Oxford Street. Don’t miss Natural Storytime on Sundays at 11am and 2pm.
New and changing exhibitions include Climate Change, Fruits in Decay (in the Glass Flowers gallery), Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep, Microbial Life, and Cosmic Origins.
Explore the world of woodland caribou, beaver, otter and dozens of other wildlife of New England; learn about lichen cities that cling to rocks; and the circle of life within and around a forest pond from tiny tadpoles to giant moose.
Handicapped accessible. Ticket includes admission to the adjacent Peabody Museum -- archaeology and cultures of six continents.
If you are interested in finding more ideas on things to do with kids in Boston, check out our go to list that are sure to entertain children of all ages.
There are many interesting museums to visit in Boston - peruse our Boston Museums guide to find out which one you should visit next.
For more ideas on places to visit in Boston for all ages, our Things to do in Boston guide is a great place to start! We've compiled some of our favorite spots for you right here.
Open daily 9:00am - 5:00pm
Nature Storytimes: Sat.& Sun.: 11 am & 2 pm
The museum is closed on:
• Thanksgiving Day
• Christmas Eve
• Christmas Day
• New Year's Day
Free to Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning (year-round) from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (September through May). Proof of residency required. This offer is not available to commercial groups.
Non-Harvard students with I.D.: $10.00
Seniors (65+): $13.00
Children ages 3–18: $10.00
Free admission: Visitors under age 3 and EBT card holders.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology included with your HMNH ticket.
Mass. Residents Free Admission Days
Wednesdays from 3:00 - 5:00 pm (Sept. - May)
Sundays for MA residents (year-round) 9:00am - 12:00pm
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138 map
The museum is on the Harvard University campus, just a short, 7-10 minute walk through historic Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square MBTA Red Line ‘T’ station.
- Street parking is limited; MBTA public transportation recommended (Red Line to Harvard Square, or Commuter Rail to Porter Square.) No Cambridge resident restrictions on street parking on Sundays or holidays. On weekends, you can purchase a parking pass at the front desk to park in the University’s adjacent garage at 52 Oxford St..
- See the museum’s website for directions to reserve parking online on weekdays. Free parking in the garage is offered for weekday evening free public lectures.
A good experienceWe had a nice to time at the museum this Sunday. There was a do-it-yourself treasure hunt that we followed to find animals of the Chinese zodiac. It was simple but it really made the visit for my seven-year-old. We also tagged along behind a birthday party, because they were learning a lot of cool stuff. There was also a nice story time, and the gift shop has a lot of good stuff in a small area. Even though we arrived a bit after free admittance was over, they were very nice about giving it to us!
Family Programs At Harvard Museum Of Natural HistoryWe attended the Andy Revkin North Pole event Dec 3..and it was great. Children ranged from 4 or 5 to 'tweens, and the speaker, a famous writer for the New York Times, managed to speak at the right level for kids and still fascinate the adults in the audience. The Family Programs are free with museum admission..and my son has loved the giant geode, the giant sloth and glyptodon, and of course the whale skeletons, since he was 2. This museum is a great option to involve kids in fun learning during the Children's Museum's closing...
A Draw-dropping Array of AnimalsLittle and big kids will be astonished at the number of (previously living) animals on display at the HMNH. Giraffes, lions, and other very scary, toothy species give kids a much closer view of wildlife than any zoo. Huge whale skeletons offer a real sense of proportion about sea mammals, and some impressive fossils educate and impress. Check the museum's schedule for special events and presentations.
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