Interested in natural history? The Buffalo, New York area has a number of natural history and science museums. Whether you want to spend an exciting day learning about dinosaurs with the kids or a quiet afternoon learning about local plants and animals, the WNY area has a Natural History museum for you.
The Buffalo Museum of Science
Since opening its doors in 1929, the Buffalo Museum of Science has provided locals and visitors with access to exhibits on local natural history. Today, the Museum houses over 700,000 specimens and has everything from local natural history exhibits on Western New York woodlands and the ecology of the Niagara frontier to exciting exhibits on vertebrate evolution and dinosaurs.This natural history museum also houses the Brown Bear Bistro Cafe for a quick snack while you enjoy the exhibits, as well as a museum shop for a souvenir of your natural history adventure!
The museum is located at 1020 Humboldt Parkway in the City of Buffalo. The museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
The Rochester Museum of Science
Another great resource for those seeking to delve into Western New York’s natural history is the Rochester Museum of Science. This museum has large collections of local bird, mammal, and insect specimens. The museum has also recently come into possession of two of the most complete mastodon skeletons in NYS and has one of the nation’s largest collections of extinct passenger pigeons. Of course, the museum also has fun kid-oriented natural history exhibits, such as Adventure Zone, where children can learn about local natural history by looking at the rock layers of the Genesee River Gorge or pretending to explore underwater Lake Ontario. In addition, the Museum houses a gift shop, library, and cafe.
The natural history museum is located at 657 East Avenue in Rochester, NY. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Royal Ontario Museum
Less than two hours north of Buffalo, NY, Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum has an extensive natural history collection with stunning public exhibits. These include a Gallery of Birds, which displays hundreds of species of birds as well as dioramas on extinct species. Also part of the ROM’s natural history collection, The Age of Dinosaurs exhibit displays a large dinosaur skeleton collection, along with other ancient fossilized animals. The museum also houses an Age of Mammals exhibit, along with exhibits on biodiversity and on the first animal communities from over 505 million years ago. The most popular natural history exhibit for children is undoubtedly the Bat Cave, which reconstructs the look and feel of a real bat cave with animatronics and dramatizations. This natural history collection has something for everyone.
The Royal Ontario Museum is located at 100 Queen’s Park in Toronto, ON. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, with hours extended to 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
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