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Harvard Museum of Natural History

26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
617 495 3045
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Ranked #7 of 47 Attractions in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Natural History Museums
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: More than 12,000 specimens are on display, including the renowned collection of 3,000 'Glass Flowers,' amazingly realistic flame-worked glass models... more » Owner description: More than 12,000 specimens are on display, including the renowned collection of 3,000 'Glass Flowers,' amazingly realistic flame-worked glass models of flowering plants commissioned to teach botany to students in the early 20th century. Family favorites include the dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals as well as more than 500 current day mammals, including skeletons of a rhino, hippo, giraffe and three whales. Outstanding Earth Sciences gallery with rare minerals and meteorites. New exhibits on New England Forests, Sea Creatures in Glass, Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm. « less
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
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400 reviews from our community

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Gulf Coast Florida
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
23 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014 NEW

The place is ancient, but interesting to see. Go explore! This is a one visit place to see. Once you've seen it, you've seen it. But worth the time to initially explore while in town.

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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
27 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014 NEW

We entered because we had some spare time, and it was a nice surprise. The museum is not big, but it is very well organized. I think it is a good idea for families with small children on a Saturday or Sunday morning! The displays are interesting and curated in a way that keeps you focused.

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
99 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

We were told by a systematic botanist friend that when in Boston we should not miss the glass flowers in Harvard Natural History Museum. She was right, they are far better than anybody might imagine. These are exceptional art pieces and marvelous botany. A must!

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

Worth traveling a long way to see - especially check out the exhibit of hand-made glass flowers and glass sea invertibrates

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Bremen, Georgia, USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

What an amazing place! I could spend hours here - and did. Each exhibit leads you into the next room, and the next and it is inviting, interesting, fascinating. I will be back for more visits over the years.

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Sacramento, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

A Harvard university museum open to public with small entrance fee of $12. Museum is not very big but has good collection of natural artifacts such as rocks, skeletons and various species. One of the exhibit is Tree of Life project which is very interesting interactive and informative. It can find biological connection between any two objects you choose from... More

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Quincy MA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

While the glass botany exhibit, and the famous gems and minerals exhibit, are shown in old fashioned wood and glass cases, this lends atmosphere and brings the viewer back to a time when this was, indeed, the only time such detailed, gorgeous parts of nature could be inspected by lay people. Both exhibits feature a great deal of scientific classification... More

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logan, ut
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
37 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

While this museum lacked the bells and whistles often connected with this sort of facility, the displays, presentations, and material were interesting and informative. I liked being in an older building at Harvard, and especially enjoyed seeing things like dino bones, stuffed animals, and rocks.

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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The collection is average. Some of the items were unique and quite impressive. I actually learned quite a bit through my visit. The walk from Harvard Subway to the museum is a great way to see some of the University grounds. Had tickets through a CItyPass, cheap.

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New jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

Not what I expected. I guess after visiting NYC and DC museums my standards are way too high. This museum is in need of an update. You would think with all the mula Harvard has their museum would be amazing. Not a chance. It was educational but very old and the animals seem to be all stuffed up behind glass... More

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