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“Local Hidden Gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harvard Museum of Natural History

Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
617 495 3045
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Boston Shore Excursion: Cambridge, Lexington and...
Ranked #6 of 42 Attractions in Cambridge
Type: Natural History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
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 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Local Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

We were looking for a place to take my nephew in Boston for part of his "experience" birthday gift. We have been to most museums in Boston and the area, but had never been here. Since we also wanted to visit the Harvard Coop and the MIT campus, this was a perfect fit. We went on Sunday morning because it fit our schedule and were thrilled when we learned the museum was free to MA residents on Sundays from 9-12! This museum kept the four of us (two adults and two (early) teens interested for a solid 2 hours. We loved the gem room and the climate change room really got us thinking. The fossil bones in the dinosaur area were awe-inspiring, as were the glass flowers. We swim in a pond in the summer, so the freshwater turtle shell from the prehistoric area really caught our attention!
We spent a fantastic morning there and feel we could go back and there would be much we missed the first time. We saw quite a few people taking advantage of the chairs set up to sketch the animals - what a relaxing way to while away a morning. Parking would have been a bit of an issue if we hadn't arrived right at 9 - make sure you have a plan.

Visited January 2014
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Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“The Glass Flowers is the winner!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

I went there just to see the Glass Flowers, they were talking about it.
I didn't expect much, just thought it would be some flowers made of glass, some sort of shiny cristals.

When I got there, it was an amazing surpreise, it took my friends hours to try to convince me those were made of glass. They didn't.

It is incredible how acurated they were when making them. That could not be glass, too perfect.

It is worth a visit, but trust me, you will never believe that is glass.

I didn't pay for adimission, I had the Harvard ID, but there is a fee to visit.

Visited February 2013
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Lexington, MA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“A Great Classic Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

I grew up within walking distance of this museum and was a frequent visitor through my teenage years. Recently I went back to visit after about 50 years, and I found that many of the exhibits were still familiar to me.
Most reviewers on Tripadvisor seem to have a favorite part of this museum; for some it's the glass flower exhibit, for others it's the mineral exhibit, some even favored the connected Peabody Museum, which is included in the price of admission. For me it's the Great Hall of Mammals. Where else could you see preserved (by taxidermy) examples of almost every mammal you could think of, including lions, tigers, bison, even an elephant, a hippopotamus, and a giraffe? They are all enclosed in clear glass cases, so that you can get very close to them without them being harmed.
The museum itself is what I would call low key and comfortable. I think almost anyone would be able to spend a couple of peaceful hours ambling around from floor to floor and hall to hall, and at the end feel as though he was glad to have had the experience.

Visited July 2013
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Moorestown, NJ
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Good way to spend a rainy afternoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Don't usually go to museums here in the US often, but this one came highly recommended and those whole family loved it.
Give yourself at least two hours. Loved the animal exhibits and the gemstones.

Visited December 2013
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Coventry, Connecticut
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130 reviews 130 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Excellent and Very Interesting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

We liked the glass flowers and the rocks and most things in this place. The parking is a bit difficult.

Visited October 2013
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