Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Harvard Museum of Natural History

We have Boston on the brain.

Maybe it was Icelandair. They’re offering flights from London and three night in a Boston three star hotel for £384 and you can throw in an overnight stay in a four star hotel in poor, bankrupt Reykjavik for an extra £15. Maybe it was the thought that Barack Obama went to Harvard, which got us thinking about bumming around Cambridge which has the largest number of bookstores per capita in the world. Or maybe it was the fact that the Director of Communications and Marketing from the Harvard Museum of Natural History, with the memorable first name of ‘Blue’, sent us an email encouraging us to visit the museum on our next visit across the pond.

Blue makes the case that the Harvard Museum of Natural History is a No Crowds destination par excellence as the museum contains world class collections without world class crowds. Taking a look at the website, we have to agree with Blue.

For starters, we’re smitten with their cool looking zoological collection. They have amazing looking animals, fish and reptiles including dinosaurs and dodos and the world's only mounted Kronosaurus, a 42 foot long prehistoric marine reptile. They have a breathtakingly beautiful collection of more than 3,000 glass flower models (see the photo above) created by a father and son team over the course of five decades. The mineral and gem collection is also impressive with a huge 1,600 pound amethyst from Brazil and lots of meteors from outer space.

Current special exhibitions include “The Language of Color” through September 6, 2009 which looks at the use and meaning of color in animals, “Looking at Leaves” through February 8, 2009 containing black and white photographs by New York photographer, Amanda Means and “Sea Creatures in Glass” through March 1, 2009 by the same father/son team who created the Glass Flowers.

As I combed through the website, I kept asking myself how it was that I had studied in Boston, taken my children there many times and missed this fabulous place. Thanks to Icelandair, I may be fixing the problem shortly. If you are headed to Boston, don’t make the same mistake.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford Street (just pat Harvard Yard)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tel: 617 495 3045

Open 9 am to 5 pm, seven days a week
Except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and New Years

General Admission
$9 for adults
$7 for students ( Harvard students are free) and seniors
$6 for children

Admission also gets you into the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Photo credit: Hillel Burger via the Harvard Museum of Natural History Flickr pool

1 comment:

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