Visit an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Kimball Natural History Museum
Learn what earthquakes tell us about the movement of tectonic plates, compare fossils of our early human relatives, and see adaptations that make life possible even in the harshest environments—all while strolling beneath the bones of some of the planet's largest inhabitants.
The Kimball Natural History Museum is an embodiment of the Academy's mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. While featuring immersive exhibits that illustrate the patterns and processes of evolution, it also explores ways we can help to protect that diversity.
Tusher African Hall
Explore majestic dioramas of African landscapes, trace the milestones of our own species' fascinating history, and meet our colony of African penguins.
Walk along a wallscape of sea lion skulls, watch a live colony of dermestid beetles demonstrate their “bone cleaning” proficiency, and learn how scientists use the Academy’s vast collection of skulls to uncover clues about life on Earth.
Prepare to be moved! Discover the causes of earthquakes and see what they say about the movement of Earth's crust, a continuous process that builds mountains, relocates continents, and creates the diverse and changing landscapes in which organisms evolve—or go extinct.
The Project Lab
Watch Academy scientists at work in this active research laboratory, where specimen imaging, DNA extractions, and bird and mammal prep occurs daily.
Islands of Evolution
Explore the remote islands of Madagascar and the Galapagos through the eyes of Academy scientists, and learn how islands function as living laboratories for evolutionary change and discovery.
Science in Action
This interactive exhibit (which also hosts live talks by Academy scientists) includes computer stations, multimedia displays, and science broadcasts that reveal recent scientific discoveries from around the world.
A returning favorite from the original Academy, the Foucault pendulum—a 235-pound brass ball attached to a 30-foot-long steel aircraft cable—provides simple and elegant proof of the Earth's rotation.
From our 87-foot-long blue whale skeleton to the towering T. rex that greets you at the door, the Kimball Natural History Museum is packed with yet more fascinating invitations to explore the spectacular diversity of life on Earth.
Located on Level 3, the Naturalist Center is the Academy's home of interactive learning. Touch specimens, ask questions, or join one of our daily programs, all free with admission.
Ideal for children up to 5 years old, it's a play space, reading room, and activities area for our littlest visitors.
Prefer to plan your exploration in advance? Use your smartphone for way-finding? Just click here for an interactive map of the Academy and its exhibits.