The Heard Natural Science Museum and Animal Sanctuary offers a close-up, hands-on look at the natural world. Connecting kids and their families with nature is the museum's primary goal, and they do so with innovative and interactive programs, like bird-watching, geology workshops, and summer camps. They even offer animal presentations both inside and outside of the museum where children can learn about animals and amphibians by seeing and touching them.
This museum was founded in 1967 when local philanthropist Bessie Heard wanted to devote an area to preserving nature. With over 280 acreas of land, the Heard Natural Science Museum uses its animal sanctuary and interactive exhibits to bring families together and allow them to enjoy, experience, and learn about the environment in an effort to help preserve it for generations to come.
Things to Do
- Birding: The Audobon Society awarded the museum as an official birding area; visit the museum and bring your camera for bird photography, attend a birdhouse workshop, and enjoy bird walks on the second Saturday of every month (Sept-May)
- Geology Workshops: Perfect for teachers, this workshop is geared toward enhancing your classroom with tools for teaching Earth Science; also great for visitors who simply want to learn about the earth; each attendee will leave with a specimen kit, door prizes, and a certificate of completion
- Night Hikes: Explore the Heard Trails at night and keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal animal life; hour-long tour is led by a guide who will also teach you about the animals that reside in the Heard Animal Sanctuary
- Preschool Programs: 26-hour classroom program that will connect your youngster to nature with interactive and explorative classes, both inside the museum and outdoors.
- Dinosaurs Live: Animatronic dinosaurs live at Heard from September through February; see the famous T-Rex and other dinos, including the Rugops and pterodactyls, animated and in what could have been their natural habitat millions of years ago
- Pioneer Village: Playground fixed with interactive playhouses that mimic the lifestyle of the 19th century pioneers; children learn about the shrinking prairie ecosystem around the world
Heard Natural Science Museum Insider Tips
- Entry to outdoor exhibits and trails closes at 4PM while the rest of the museum remains open until 5PM. Plan your visit accordingly so you and your family can enjoy all that Heard has to offer.
- Ticket prices change throughout the year, with cheaper rates during the summer. Bear in mind that many of their workshops, hikes, and programs may cost an extra fee and often require a reservation.