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“Funky Old School Museum”

Harvard Museum of Natural History
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Go Boston Card
Ranked #4 of 85 things to do in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: More than 10,000 specimens are on display, including the 2,000 models of Harvard's renowned collection of Blaschka '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 some 500 current day mammals, including elephant, rhino, tigers, giraffe and skeletons of three whales. Outstanding Earth Sciences gallery with rare minerals, meteorites and a timeline of Earth history. New exhibits on Microbial Life, New England Forests, Sea Creatures in Glass, and Marine Life in the Putnam Family Gallery.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed April 15, 2014

This museum is a throwback to yesteryear. The taxidermy is ancient and the pelts a bit tatty BUT The setting and variety are right out of a movie set that called for "dusty academic museum". The hummingbird collection is stunning as are the big game animals. A highlight exhibit is a huge collection of glass flowers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is a great place to visit while in Cambridge and Harvard Square.

Thank SarahConnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"glass flower"
in 83 reviews
"stuffed animals"
in 57 reviews
"mineral collection"
in 24 reviews
"animal exhibits"
in 15 reviews
"mammal hall"
in 13 reviews
"sea creatures"
in 22 reviews
"climate change"
in 18 reviews
"father and son"
in 9 reviews
"plants and flowers"
in 11 reviews
"amazing glass"
in 10 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 11 reviews
"museum of natural history"
in 25 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 18 reviews
"on display"
in 31 reviews
"large collection"
in 11 reviews
"rainy day"
in 17 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 11 reviews

527 - 531 of 975 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2014

This was my second trip to this museum ( the term does not do it justice.) Went on a class trip when I was ten. The glass flowers are even more startlingly intricate and interesting. They impressed me at ten and blew me away at 68.
One wants to stop and listen to every commentary, read every explanation, eavesdrop on every teacher with a group of beautifully behaved youngsters. Alas I just went into overload and know I can't wait 58 years to go back. PS - I used to hate cockroaches. I am now a believer in these prehistoric garbage collectors.

1  Thank Deb W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is a great space where you can spend a lot of time. The large mammal skeletons are perhaps my favorite. In the geology section then are meteorites that you can actually touch. Currently there is a photo exhibit showing how Thoreau may have first experienced the state of Maine as he traveled up river to Mt. Katahdin- it's beautiful. The crowning jewel I believe is the great mammal hall which is still set up the way it was 130 years ago- the designer felt that you should be able to look at a cross section of all mammalia together - it's like nothing else. I have been here MANY times, and my young children also love visiting again and again.

Thank Meaghan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

If you've been to a few of the BIG and FAMOUS modern museums you've experienced a visit that is about 30% education and 70% entertainment. I'm the first to admit that entertainment can educate but there comes a point when it can overtake the learning experience. I am reminded of a visit to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and while I was attempting to study the fish and whales exhibit the museum had scheduled an kids amateur talent show that consumed the museum experience. At Harvard they've managed to preserve a pure gem of a natural museum. Some might find the displays old and stodgy. I say this classic museum is what makes it all perfect. A superb collection of minerals, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. No light shows nor lasers...just a classic old fashioned great museum. Well worth a visit.

1  Thank MikeyBoy12804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2014

So much to see at this museum! Meteorites, mammals, flowers etc..! You will not be disappointed taking the trip up to Cambridge (if you are staying in Boston) to go to this museum! Plus it's really awesome to see Harvard, too - which it's right on it's campus!

Thank Hashbrown719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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