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“Quite a collection!”

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A museum that resembles a storybook castle offers a variety: vintage toys and weapons to fossils and antiques.
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Quite a collection!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2013

Great collection of all sorts of animals from around the world. It's like a tiny tiny version of the museum of natural history in NYC. Lots of stuff in a small space, we did have to squeak by with the BOB stroller, but the staff was fine with it. Some interesting historical data about St. J itself upstairs, along with some photographs of birds and other artifacts. We did not do the planetarium with this visit. Downstairs on the way to the bathroom was a nice exhibit on the Fairbanks scale company.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Steven B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    65
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Lincolnville, Maine
Level Contributor
141 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A real time capsule”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

This museum has become something it was not intended to be-- it is now a museum which shows what a late nineteenth century museum was like. With few exceptions, the contents of this museum have been on display for over 100 years. The building is over 100 years old. But it's fascinating to see the things that exposed our ancestors to the larger world. A visit here is well worth the time.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Steve3434
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
80 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Excels at Being a Museum of Nature and History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

The Fairbanks Museum is a throw-back, and a very good one at that. Long ago, museums were places to display the wonders of nature and human civilization. They had things mere mortals would never see. They had information unobtainable anywhere else (other than a good library). They were entertaining without being showy or flashy.

This is what the Fairbanks Museum does. An amazing percentage of the exhibits have been with the museum almost from the get-go, when the Fairbanks family set upon the mission of showing the people of St. Johnsbury the wonders from the world collected by the Fairbankses on their travels. Their association with a fabulous taxidermist produced displays of animals that have stood the test of time for a century.

The Fairbanks is not large and it does not pretend to be something that it isn’t. But it is excellent, you will learn more than a thing or two while you are there, and it’s quietly worldly. This is where the world came to Vermont. If you’re in Vermont, this is where you can step inside and see the world.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank DougDavidoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Center, Vermont
Level Contributor
48 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Quirky eclectic gem”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

This museum is a relic out of the late 19th century. The collection covers it all, from Aardvark to Zither! The first floor is an ode to zoology, boasting probably thousands of ornithological specimens, animals of the north woods, and all manner of flora and fauna. Ascending to the second floor or what is actually a mezzanine, one finds the accent on incredible eclecticism— a series of small galleries each dedicated to a theme, from dolls, to American Civil War paraphernalia, to a wooden model of an oriental dwelling of the late 19th Century, to geology, and of course the obligatory tip of the hat to dinosaurs, and I could go on and on, just as do the exhibits. It’s a nearly overwhelming assemblage of stuff, with something of interest for everyone. On the bottom floor of the museum is a planetarium, which we did not have the time to attend, as well as the Eye on the Sky weather service, which provides multiple daily broadcasts on Vermont Public Radio. If you find yourself in St. Johnsbury, spend at least several hours here; you’ll be fascinated.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank HSRSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Well Worth a Visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

This long-established natural history museum has a large exhibit of birds, both American and European, as well as large mammals. There are also very unusual artworks. The barrel ceiling resembles that of the library at Trinity College, Dublin.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank CuriousWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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