Museum Background 

The Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) opened its doors to the public in 1972 to excite and inform people about the natural world through exploration and discovery. The Museum’s purpose is to help develop a caring society that respects and values our planet. As the only natural history museum in the state, DMNH welcomes approximately 70,000 visitors each year to experience an African watering hole, gaze up at a giant squid, encounter a jaguar face-to-face, and marvel at the diversity of shells from around the globe. Gallery highlights include the only permanent dinosaur collection in Delaware, a simulated coral reef, and a Science in Action paleontology lab. The Museum also hosts several special exhibits on national tour annually. 

Museum researchers maintain an expansive collection of mollusks and birds, including the second-largest collection of birds’ eggs in North America. Scientists, researchers, and students from around the globe access the collections for study.

The Nature Nook features hands-on science activities geared to meet the needs the Museum’s youngest guests, ages 2-10, and their families. Educational programs include summer camp, school tours, community outreach programs, homeschool classes, scout activities, and more. In addition, visitors can view nature films in the DuPont Auditorium, shop in the Museum Store, enjoy the Butterfly Garden, or hike along the Larry F. Scott Nature Trail. 

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) institution, the Museum relies on members, donors, government grants, and corporate sponsors to help sustain its high-quality exhibits and provide affordable educational programs for the community.  The Museum also depends on revenue from Museum admissions, facility rental fees, fees for programs, income from the Museum Shop, and an annual draw on investments.


  • The Museum welcomed 62,771 visitors in 2012
  • DMNH displays birds, mammals, shells, and bird eggs in multi-disciplinary dioramas.  
  • Collection of more than 2 million mollusks ranks among the top 15 in the United States.
  • Bird egg collection is the second largest in North America.
  • Bird collection is one of largest in the country, with more than 112,000 specimens.
  • The Museum offers three or more special exhibits every year.
  • Nature films appear daily in the DuPont Auditorium.
  • The Museum is a popular venue for corporate events, fundraisers, and wedding receptions.
  • The Museum’s Education Fund makes it possible for underprivileged schoolchildren to experience tours and outreach programs along with their classmates. This fund provided opportunities for 4,114 in 2010, 3,531 in 2011, and 3,644 in 2012.
  • Museum educators conduct teacher-training at all levels and recently created and implemented a pre-school teacher-training program in natural science for area Head Start and Day Care programs serving moderate to low-income families.

Admission: $9 adults, $7 children (3-17), $8 seniors, FREE for children 2 and younger, FREE for members.

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