This Friday, I was able to take a half day (hooray for vacation rollover!), so I decided to use my time off to do something fun and different. Earlier that weekend, my boyfriend, Matt, found out about the Harvard Museum of Natural History while looking up fun things to do in Boston. I was surprised that after several months of living in Boston (and 22 years of living in the Greater Boston Area), I didn’t know this place existed. Since the weather was less than desirable — AKA, several inches of heavy snow — we figured spending time walking around a museum would be a good way to go somewhere cool and different but stay shielded from the snow.
LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY:
The museum is a short walk from the Harvard T stop and practically steps from Harvard Yard. The museum is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, which sounds like a very British address to me. Various buildings of sciences, from zoology to computer science to chemistry, surround the museum; this is no coincidence, as many contributions to the museum are from student and faculty research.
THE MUSEUM’S EXHIBITIONS:
The exhibitions, though very different, are very interesting, with a great amount of artifacts and replicas. I found myself immersed in the animal kingdom of Africa, in a New England forest, in Native American villages, and in prehistoric times through the highlight of sights that make up the museum. Anthropods: Creatures That Rule is another highlight; this exhibition includes a honeybee installation at certain times of the year. Finally, the famous glass exhibitions, Glass Flowers and Sea Creatures in Glass, are captivating and memorable spots.
If you have an active Harvard ID, admission to the museum is free. However, if you aren’t an employee or student at Harvard, admission is $12.00 for adults, or $10.00 for students with a non-Harvard student ID. (Unfortunately, my college ID says “Class of 2016” on it, so I can’t milk those discounts anymore. So sad.) Admission to the Peabody Museum Of Archaeology and Ethnology, which is next door and attached, is included in the purchase of entry to the Museum of Natural History.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
The museum is open almost every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with the exception of a few holidays. However, they stayed open a little later than 5:00 when I went; people were coming in and out when Matt and I left around 5:15.
If you decide to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History or have been there before, let me know what you think!
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