The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History focuses on the natural world and is one of the largest natural-history museums in the country. Its collections and research focus on fossils, plants and animals and the history of science. It also stewards nature preserves in Northeast Ohio, as well as serves as a center for science education. Learn more here in Cleveland.


The Museum offers a range of educational experiences, from interactive displays to hands-on learning. There are permanent and traveling exhibits that illustrate the evolution of life, explore the formation of the Universe and explain the role of humans in the past.


CMNH has also launched an ambitious, 17-year renovation and expansion plan that will transform the museum’s facilities to create more inviting and engaging spaces for visitors. This will also allow the museum to expand its programs and engage a wider audience in science.


As part of this ambitious project, a new exhibit wing is being built north of the Museum’s main entrance. This wing, designed to be flooded with light and connected to the outside world, will showcase a variety of specimens and artwork that are important to the Museum’s mission.


These include signature pieces such as a reconstruction of "Lucy," the first known human ancestor discovered by CMNH scientists, as well as a geological sample collected from the moon and more. A portion of the wing will showcase animal specimens from all over the world, including Balto, the Siberian husky that was the basis for the movie “Balto.”


Other permanent galleries are focused on astronomy, geology and a host of other topics that connect the past to the present and future. Some are more interactive than others, but all provide a rich, up-close experience for people of all ages.


Another highlight is the Perkins Wildlife Center, which features a large collection of Ohio native species. The center also features innovative overhead animal trailways and the Smead Discovery Center, which offers hands-on activities to learn about different animals, their habitats and behaviors.


A large, state-of-the-art planetarium reveals more than 5,000 stars, nebulae and galaxies. There is also a planetarium theater that shows 3-D movies.


CMNH also is working to increase its outreach programs, which include partnering with schools and organizations. The museum also is developing a new curriculum for its high school and middle-school students, and launching a new adult education program called Science in Action.


The Museum is also re-inventing its lobby to better engage visitors and showcase new ways to tell stories. The lobby now includes a Current Science Area and is testing out new concepts and approaches that will be used in other parts of the museum.


The museum is undergoing a major renovation and expansion project that is expected to be completed in 2024. This phase includes the installation of a new 50,000-square-foot addition, which will be seamlessly integrated into the existing building. Other phases of the project will include a new visitors hall and renovations of older exhibit areas. Learn more information about The Cleveland Museum of art.


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