Monday, April 30, 2018

Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge MA


Are there things you loved as a kid that you soooo want your kids to love too (partly so that you can keep enjoying it too?).  For me, natural history museums are one of those things.  I was a kid collector.  I spent my summer collecting specimens: rocks, leaves, seashells, wildflowers, butterflies and bugs in one hand and a nature guide book in the other. 

The Harvard University Natural History Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts  (https://hmnh.harvard.edu) is an underrated little gem of a museum tucked away inside an unassuming brick building on Harvard’s science campus just outside of Harvard Square.  It’s free to Massachusetts residents on Sunday mornings before noon (and reasonable admission of $12 adults/ $8 kids/ free under 3 for everyone else).  We’ve visited with the kids once before, but I was a little disappointed that neither of them was as excited as me about exploring the vast collection of animals, birds, bugs, rocks and fossils.

Today was one of those cold and grey March days where we were all dreaming of playground weather, beach weather, gardening weather...but it’s all yucky grey snow and mud.  We decided it’d be worth another visit to the Natural History Museum, and this time I made each of the kids a scavenger hunt book which totally made all the difference!  It took me all of 5 minutes, a few pieces of construction paper and a stapler, and it bought us almost 2 hours of excited kids loving the museum!  Our 6 year old was the most excited to put his Kindergarten writing skills to good use, and he’s a kid who never turns down a challenge.  Our 3 year old just knew her brother was excited and she was thrilled to run around copying him, pointing to animals and scribbling on her pages. A win for Mom! 

































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