Natural History Museum Exhibits

The Natural History Museum exhibits open up a world of wonder, and with more than 120 million artifacts and specimens contained among them, there is no shortage of things to see. And, while some of the Natural History exhibits are permanent, such as the Hall of Dinosaurs, the fact that there are also temporary exhibits helps to keep this place fresh and engaging for return visitors. An example of a temporary exhibit at the Natural Museum of Natural History is Whales: Bone to Book. It runs from May 25, 2013 to May 2014 and offers insight into how the discovery of whale-related artifacts has contributed to scientific knowledge. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to get around to all of the fantastic Natural History Museum exhibits. Admission to the museum is free, so you can return again and again to appreciate the vast collections without worrying about putting a dent in your DC budget.

Natural History Museum Exhibits

Natural History Museum Dinosaurs
Natural History Museum Dinosaurs

The exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are some of the most popular museum exhibits in the nation’s capital. Catering to all ages, they revolve around numerous studies, including anthropology, botany, entomology, invertebrate zoology, mineral sciences, paleobiology, and vertebrate zoology. This is the largest museum of its kind in the world, and since we couldn’t possibly list everything that there is to see, we’ll attempt to point out some of the highlights. The Hall of Dinosaurs exhibit, which is also known as Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology, is a major hit with kids and adults alike and offers a comprehensive look at how virtually all creatures, including the dinosaurs, came about and evolved. The Sant Ocean Hall, the largest and most diverse exhibit of its kind, is another favorite among the Natural History Museum exhibits. It puts the focus on the “global ocean,” offering tremendous insight into the planet’s marine environments.

Natural History Museum Whale
Natural History Museum Whale

For a closer look at the human story, visitors to the Natural History Museum in Washington DC will want to head to the Hall of Human Origins. The exhibits here chronicle the evolution of humans over the course of millions of years and aim to provide an answer to what it means to be human. There’s also the African Voices exhibit, which examines all aspects of African culture in an attempt to give museum visitors a better idea about how the continent has developed and changed over the centuries.

So much more awaits at the National Museum of Natural History. You can see the famous Hope Diamond here, for example, and there’s even an exhibit that spotlights the bird species that are found in the nation’s capital. If you’re visiting the museum with kids, don’t miss the Discovery Room and its creative, hands-on exhibits. Also a hit with younger visitors are the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and the Kenneth E. Behring Hall of Mammals. Finally, no discussion about the Natural History Museum exhibits would be complete without mentioning the African elephant that is on display. The hefty hide of a male elephant from Angola was used to create this life-size model that majestically greets museum visitors as they enter via the Rotunda entrance off the National Mall.   

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