Add: Due to the Covid-19 public health emergency please check our website for updated information on reopening.
The mission of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is to inspire appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural environment through discovery and learning.
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History integrates the three strands of its organizational identity - as museum of natural history, nature education center, and steward of conservation land.
As a small museum of natural history, we will preserve, exhibit, and interpret our own collections of natural history artifacts and display relevant traveling and loan exhibits. We may also collaborate with local and regional organizations on co-sponsored exhibits.
As a nature education center, we will engage children and adults in high-quality programs, classes, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films, walks, field trips, traditions and interactive exhibits that reveal the many facets of the natural world and the reciprocal impacts that humans and nature exert on each other. As befits a nature education center, we will explore our potential as a center for citizen scientists and amateur naturalists, and as a forum for informed discussion of important issues related to the natural world, especially on Cape Cod.
As a steward of 400-plus acres of museum-owned land in Stony Brook Valley and Brewster conservation land adjacent to the museum, including Wing's Island, the salt marsh, and the beach along Cape Cod Bay between Quivett and Paine's Creeks, we will monitor and protect the land and focus our programming on its varied habitats - our outdoor classroom and teaching tool. Programs may also take place elsewhere on Cape Cod and in New England when appropriate.
Did you know?
The Museum is housed in a 17,000 square foot building on its own 80-acre site and abutted by 320 acres of town- and Conservation-owned land.
Three nature trails traverse a microcosm of Cape Cod’s landscape, from upland woodlands, to brackish marsh, to salt marsh to barrier beach tidal flats and creeks that are home to fish, crabs, shellfish and horseshoe crabs to the tiniest of species living within the mudflats of Cape Cod Bay. Guided field walks are offered daily in the summer. There are special programs for children, including school vacation programs, school field trips, and Kid Summer Day Program designed to introduce and engage children from the ages of 3 to 15 to the wonders of nature.
The Museum houses two floors of exhibits: The Main Hall includes the geologic history and archaeology of Cape Cod including a permanent Wampanoag exhibit, an archaeology exhibit of the Stony Brook Valley, The John Hay Room, which has been renovated into an Interactive Science Lab and has numerous STEAM related projects for kids of all ages. Continuing on into the Eldridge Arnold Wing are the rotating exhibits, observational bee hive exhibit, the Marshview Room where visitors can relax and enjoy the spectacular views over the salt marsh to Cape Cod Bay and also view birds in their natural habitat, which includes our very popular Osprey Cam. The Marshview Room will lead you to bird carver Eldridge Arnold’s studio with extraordinary examples of his work.
On the lower level is Bird Alley with over 200 preserved birds, a whale exhibit, and our Aquarium that exhibits different species of crustaceans, mollusks, fish, frogs, turtles and snakes. Several displays are interactive and geared toward children. Special, temporary exhibits enhance the permanent collection. Outside the Museum is a seasonal Butterfly House and Pollinator Path as well as other beautiful gardens.
Popular monthly programs include Nature Screen, showing compelling, educational and visually stunning nature documentaries; Naturescape Gallery, featuring artists from Cape Cod and the New England area, Digging into the Past Archaeology/History Series, and a continuing speaker/lecture series designed to inform, educate, and entertain the public on a wide variety of subjects concerning Cape Cod residents.