Delaware Museum of Natural History
Located in the greater Wilmington, Delaware area, the Delaware Museum of Natural History opened to the public in 1972, but its inception began in 1957 when John Eleuthere du Pont began collecting birds, birds’ eggs, and seashells. Henry Francis de Pont donated the land for the museum.
The Dupont Corporation along with the National Science Foundation and other science trusts provide funding for the museum along with generous support from museum patrons and members. Over 75,000 visitors experience the Delaware Museum of Natural History each year.
Exhibits and Collections at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
Visitors entering the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) are greeted by a pink giant squid replica hanging over their heads; however that is just a beginning of the wonders that await those with open eyes and ears.
The DMNH is proud of its birds’ eggs collection, which is the 2nd largest in the country and boasts the world’s largest bird egg. Along with eggs, the Hall of Birds exhibit also displays birds and nests. Such birds on display include the extinct Passenger Pigeon along with only a small fraction of the 118,000 other bird and nest specimen possibilities that the museum houses.
In the Shell Gallery, the Delaware Museum of Natural History showcases a top ten sea shell collection of over 2 million specimens that display the beauty and diversity of sea shells along with a 500 pound clam.
There is also a dinosaur gallery which has impressive dinosaur skeletons towering over visitors. There are interactive paleontology activities conducted by volunteers that teach visitors about the study of dinosaurs.
The Hall of Mammals Exhibit displays mammals from around the world. Its premier sight and sound display is of an African Watering Hole. However, the exhibit showcases the mammals that live in Delaware’s streams and marshes.
The museum also offers many educational programs, along with a summer camp program. In addition, throughout the year there are special exhibits and annual events.
Delaware Museum of Natural History Outdoor Exhibits
The DMNH if not just an indoor museum; it is also dedicated to exhibiting the outdoors. There is a mile-long nature trail with two loops. The yellow loop focuses on a bird house. The red loop goes through wooded areas and then into wetlands so visitors can enjoy the natural Delaware vegetation and the small creatures that live there.
There is also a butterfly garden—planted in native purple coneflowers and milkweed—that attracts not only butterflies, but hummingbirds and beetles.
Delaware Museum of Natural History Hours of Operation and Admission
The Delaware Museum of Natural History is open from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday, and the museum is open on Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m. The museum is only closed five days a year: New Year’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Children (3-17) $5
Seniors (60+) $6
2 and younger: Free
The Delaware of Natural History is located off I-95 by taking the Wilmington Exit 7, Delaware/Pennsylvania Ave. The address of the museum is 4840 Kennett Pike (Route #52). It is between Greenville and Centerville.
Phone number: 302-658-9111
Fax number: 302-658-2610.
Mailing address is:
4840 Kennett Pike
P.O. Box 3937
Wilmington, Delaware 19807-0937
It is also possible to email by going to www.delmnh.org/contact.php