With four floors of exhibits, including the largest display of dinosaurs in Michigan, the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History inspires visitors of all ages to discover the excitement of science and the natural world around us.
In addition to the many dinosaurs, including a Tyrannosaurus rex skull and a complete skeleton of Allosaurus fragilis, the large second floor gallery includes displays of prehistoric animals such as mastodons, ancient whales, a saber tooth cat and an ostrich-like moa. Visitors also can explore Life Through the Ages in a room lined with scenes from prehistoric life in classic dioramas.
In the Michigan Gallery, visitors can identify birds they have seen in their own backyard, see a real wolverine (although scientists now doubt that wolverines are native to Michigan) and find models of Michigan snakes, toads and frogs as well as other animals displayed in their natural habitats. You’ll also see exhibits about ecology including how invasive species impact Michigan’s environment.
On the top floor, minerals such as quartz and aquamarine line the walls, and an archaeology exhibit displays the field work of U-M scientists, including underwater archaeology in the Great Lakes. Temporary exhibits are also housed on this floor, including the current exhibit, It’s About Time.
With shows on weekends and during school breaks, the Planetarium offers highly visual experiences that both educate and entertain, including seasonal star talks about the current night sky and programs on contemporary topics in astronomy and beyond.
A wide variety of free public events and programs take place throughout the year, such as free Dinosaur Tours and Hands-On Demonstrations on weekends. Discovery Days, ID Day, the Butterfly Festival, and the Family Halloween Party are among the most popular annual events. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable university student docents facilitate programs for thousands of K-12 school children each year, and serve as counselors in the Museum’s popular summer day camp.
In addition to exhibits and public programming, the Museum offers outreach programming to schools and libraries throughout southeastern Michigan.
Visit ummnh.org or call 734-764-0478 for more information.