Drawing on the Academy's 160-plus years of scientific research, Kimball Natural History Museum explores some of the most significant discoveries and issues of our time.

Learn about the fascinating role of color in the natural world, compare fossils of our early human relatives, and marvel at captivating and important specimens from the Academy's scientific collections—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.

Biologist during a daily penguin feeding in African Hall

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. 

Guests exploring Color of Life exhibit

Color of Life

This interactive family favorite illustrates color’s powerful influence on animal behavior in a variety of habitats—from ocean floors to coral reefs to forest canopies.

Family inside redwood ascent interactive in Giants of Land and Sea exhibit

Giants of Land and Sea

Explore Northern California's giant natural phenomena, like ancient redwoods, marine mammals, earthquakes, and fog, in this immersive new exhibit.

Crocoite geology specimen from Gems and Minerals Unearthed exhibit

Gems and Minerals Unearthed

Marvel at nearly 400 dazzling and dramatic specimens from the Academy's renowned geology collection.

A researcher peers into the microscope-like setup of one of the Project Lab's imaging stations.

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.

Closeup of large, golden ball of the Focault Pendulum.

Foucault Pendulum

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.

The toothy, open mouth of a T. rex skeleton greets visitors at the Academy entrance.

Other Highlights

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.


Visit the Naturalist Center

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.