I've only seen the trailers for this movie with Ben Stiller but when I walked into the Harvard Museum of Natural History, I could instantly imagine scenes from the movie. In all my years living in Boston, I can't believe that I've never visited this museum treasure. I'd heard of it but assumed it would be crowded and dusty with faded stuffed animals and creaky floors. My husband planned a day there since my son Jake recently switched obsessions from locomotives to dinosaurs, and the museum offers an impressive display of dinosaur fossils. Maybe because I didn't have any expectations and the exterior looked like an old college dormatory, I was very surprised and impressed with each room I entered.
Towering skeletons of dinosaurs and whales. Up close and personal views of tigers and pythons that you'd never get at a zoo. Extensive and complete collections of every species of hummingbird, sparrow, butterfly and beetle. Jake even got to pet a live 3-inch-long cockroach—ick! Exhausting specimens of flowers and plants in the Glass Flowers Collection and minerals and gemstones in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery. Everything is sparkling clean and well cared for. This place is educational and breathtaking. You never get bored; in fact there's so much sensory overload that my brain started to ache! I recommend this museum as a perfect family-friendly outing during the upcoming school vacations if you haven't yet visited. And if you have, go again to see their limited-time special exhibits.
For Massachusetts residents there is free admission on Sunday mornings from 9:00am to noon (year round) and on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00pm (Sept through May) when you show your driver's license or other proof of residency. We arrived at 11:55am on a Sunday and they still gave us free admission for the rest of the afternoon. The Red Line Harvard T stop is the best way to get there because parking is always tough, but on Sundays metered parking is free if you're lucky enough to nab an empty space.