Fifty years after originally opening to the public, the fully-renovated and re-imagined Delaware Museum of Nature and Science welcomes the public starting May 23
After an extensive $10.8 million, 17-month renovation project, the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science opens to the public on Monday, May 23. The museum, formerly the Delaware Museum of Natural History, closed at the end of 2020 for the project. All of the exhibits – many in place since 1972 – were removed and the walls were taken down to the studs. Installation of the new exhibits has been ongoing since the end of 2021.
“We’ve completely shed that dusty, old museum perception. The Delaware Museum of Nature and Science is dynamic, engaging, interactive, relevant, and modern,” Executive Director Halsey Spruance said. “Our focus is on what we know about nature and science, why it matters to us, and what we can do to protect the environment. There’s a huge emphasis on how we are all connected and how our actions matter.”
New galleries include:
- Regional Journey Gallery: Stroll across a giant floor map of the state and explore deciduous and mixed forests, the Bald Cypress Swamp, a saltmarsh, dunes, and the Delaware Bay. Designated areas such as the Fair Play Foundation Field Station and the DuPont Research Headquarters provide an opportunity to learn what is happening in our local region and beyond.
- Alison K. Bradford Global Journey Gallery: A giant floor map of the world occupies the center of this gallery, surrounded by three land-based ecosystems, including a tropical rainforest, Arctic tundra and African savanna, along with three different ocean environments (shallow, mid-water, and deep). The ecosystems demonstrate nature’s diversity, the interdependency of life, and how humans play the biggest role in change.
- Ellice & Rosa McDonald Foundation PaleoZone: Meet the creatures that lived in the Mid-Atlantic during the Cretaceous Period. Skeletons of the fearsome Dryptosaurus dinosaur, the flying “bat lizard” Nyctosaur, and the aquatic giant Mosasaur are joined by smaller Cretaceous specimens.
Other new exhibit spaces include the Tree of Life in the atrium with a visual interpretation of the Tree of Life, depicting the evolution of organisms over billions of years and the relationships between them in increasingly diverse branches. Adjacent to the Atrium, the Bill & Denise Spence Discovery Gallery offers rotating, hands-on exhibits. Opening exhibits include Delaware Mineralogical Society, First State Robotics and the University of Delaware, in addition to the museum’s Collections & Research Division.
New amenities include the Rest, Relax, Recharge café with prepackaged sandwiches, salads and snacks from Jamestown Catering, along with coffee, water, and other beverages. The Delaware Community Foundation Respite Room is a dedicated, calming space for visitors with sensory challenges and developmental disorders to take a break, as well as being a quiet and private option for nursing parents.
Visit Information: The museum will be open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission price is $12.95 for ages 3 and up, $3.95 for toddlers ages 1-2, and free for infants under 12 months. There is a $1 discount for tickets purchased in advance online.
Admission is free for DelMNS members. For the first year, members of Delaware Art Museum, Hagley Museum & Library, Mt. Cuba, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and Tyler Arboretum also receive free general admission.
About the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science
Everywhere you look, our dynamic Earth is full of diverse life. At the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science, discover how nature connects us all in surprising ways and explore how we all have a role to play in caring for our environment and the planet. In addition to all-new exhibits, the museum offers nature and science programs and events including programs for schools and community organizations, summer camp, and rental opportunities. Above the galleries are millions of scientific specimens, including some of the largest mollusk and bird collections in the country. Learn more at delmns.org or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or TikTok.