The Museum of Natural History is a dynamic, evolving organization committed to promoting the understanding and appreciation of the natural world and our place in it. We accomplish this through creative educational programs and exhibits for the benefit of the University community, school groups, and the general public. The Museum provides a window onto the research in Natural Sciences conducted at the University of Michigan.
Exhibits include displays on prehistoric life with the most extensive dinosaur exhibits in the state of Michigan, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, and a digital Planetarium. A new gallery for temporary exhibits was created in 2005.
The Museum offers special activities for adults, families, and children that include public lectures, annual I.D. Days, Halloween parties, Discovery Days, and collaborations with regional libraries and other organizations.
Approximately 18,000 school children visit the Museum annually. Most students participate in guided tours and educational programs. The Museum uses inquiry-based styles of teaching, in which children are invited to look, touch, and question. Tours are led in small groups by our 50-60 University student docents extensively trained by Museum staff.
The Museum is open seven days a week, 357 days a year, and attracts over 150,000 visitors each year. Admission is free of charge, although donations are welcomed. Membership is an important source of funding which, along with sponsorships and other private donations, accounts for about half of the annual operating budget.