North Museum of Natural History
PO Box 3003
400 College Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
(717) 291-3941 • 291-4371 Education

This museum offers a broad range of interesting exhibits, special events, and exciting activities for the entire family.  The Museum's Planetarium is the third largest in the state and features state-of-the-art equipment to bring the heavens up close.

Geology Hall offers stunning exhibits of fossils and minerals from Central Pennsylvania.  A highlight of the geology exhibit is the Fluorescent Room.  Ultraviolet light beautifully illuminates a special collection of rocks and other objects.  Visitors will learn about fluorescence and about the different waves of light.

Native American culture and history is a specialty here.  The Museum features one of the finest and most complete collection of artifacts of the Susquehannock, the Indians of Central Pennsylvania.

A favorite area for children is the Discovery Room, home of Barney the Box Turtle.   Here there are plenty of hands-on, interactive exhibits that kids can use as well as see.  It's a delightful way for them to learn about science, nature and more.  And then there's Barney -- seeing him close up, touching his shell and skin, seeing how he closes up for defense -- is a great educational experience for kids.

The Live Animal Room houses about 25 animals, including turtles, monitors, geckos, a tarantula and several snakes, one of which is a beautiful albino python.  While the animals can only be handled by staff during educational and outreach programs, visitors may get a chance to pet a snake or gecko as they are held by staff. 

The second floor of the Museum features Changing Exhibits with something new and special to see on every visit.

The Planetarium presents great skyshows.  Add computer graphics, animation, and special effects, and you have planetarium events that can't be beat.  Show titles change throughout the year, but past titles are representative of what may be found.  A few include 

  • Constellations for Kids: introducing youngsters to the constellations and showing how to use a star chart
  • Through the Eyes of Hubble: telling the inside story on the remarkable adventure of the Hubble Space Telescope, complete with captivating photos
  • and Star of Wonder: exploring the scientific, historical, and theological mystery of the Star of Bethlehem.
Throughout the year the Museum presents great seasonal events. Call for a calendar, or visit the Museum's official website. Individual children can also enroll in an eight week summer science series.

Groups are welcome to tour the museum, and School Groups have a special treat in store with a Guided Tour designed to accommodate the age level of the group.

Hours: Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday 12:00 - 5:00pm. Closed most Mondays, but open on Mondays during the summer. Call for specifics. Closed holidays, except open on Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day. Visit the official website linked above or call for Planetarium schedule.
Museum only:
Adults $7.50
Seniors (65+) $6.50
Students (3-17) $6.50
Museum & Planetarium:
Adults $10.00
Seniors (65+) $9.00
Students (3-17) $9.00
Call for Group Rates -- only available for groups with reservations.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible.
Directions: Rte 30 West to Harrisburg Pike.  Turn left at light at end of
ramp.  Travel approximately 2 miles to Franklin and Marshall College campus (on the right).  After going under the elevated pedestrian walkway, turn right at second light onto College Avenue.  Turn right at first light onto Buchanan Avenue.  Museum is on the corner of College and Buchanan.
60 - 90 minutes west of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.