Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, located in Brewster, Massachusetts, is a fascinating destination for learning about the natural history and ecology of Cape Cod and its surrounding regions. Visit the museum to see the exhibits, explore the nature preserve, and take part in interactive educational programs.

Discover the archeology and ecology of Cape Cod at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. The museum, which includes fascinating exhibits on the region’s plant and animal species, is tucked inside a vast 400-acre nature preserve.
cape cod museum of natural history sign

History of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History        

The Cape Cod Natural History Museum was originally the brainchild of local residents who, in the 1950s, were looking for a way to get the area’s children excited about the environment. For several years, this group put on exhibits and ran educational programs for children at Brewster Town Hall. Eventually, the founders moved the museum to the nature preserve near Stony Brook Valley.

Today, the museum includes several permanent exhibits such as an aquarium with more than eighty marine species, a collection of taxidermied birds, a collection of bird carvings by sculptor Eldridge Arnold, a lively butterfly house, and a working beehive. From time to time, the museum also features traveling exhibits or collaborates with local organizations to host exciting temporary exhibits.cape cod natural history museum_museums in cape cod

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History  stays true to its founding principle by running programs that help children and adults discover their love of the natural world. These programs include nature walks, workshops, panel discussions, and film screenings on issues related to the archeology and natural history of Cape Cod. The museum also runs the Wing Island Bird Banding Station.

Here’s what you can expect when visiting the museum:

  1. Exhibits: Explore a variety of exhibits that showcase the diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and geological features of Cape Cod. From coastal habitats and salt marshes to forests and freshwater ponds, the museum offers insight into the region’s natural environment. Other exhibits look at how humans have interacted with the area over the last 10,000 years, beginning with the first Native American settlements and ending with nineteenth-century industrialization.

  2. Interactive Displays:  Learn about local flora and fauna, geology, climate, and conservation efforts through immersive exhibits and educational programs.  The museum is rooted firmly in its own natural environment. In the Marshview Room, visitors can begin to explore the nature preserve outside the museum by birdwatching through the binoculars or by watching ospreys’ nest on livestream displays.

  3. Aquarium: Discover marine life native to Cape Cod and the surrounding waters in the museum’s aquarium. See live fish, shellfish, and other aquatic creatures up close, and learn about their habitats, behaviors, and importance to the ecosystem.

  4. Nature Trails: Take a stroll along the museum’s nature trails, which wind through scenic woodlands, salt marshes, and meadows. Enjoy opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife observation, and exploring the natural beauty of Cape Cod’s landscape.

  5. Educational Programs: Participate in educational programs, workshops, and lectures led by knowledgeable naturalists and scientists. Learn about topics such as birding, botany, ecology, and environmental conservation through guided tours and field trips.

  6. Special Events: Attend special events and seasonal activities hosted by the museum throughout the year. From guided nature walks and birding festivals to art exhibits and family-friendly programs, there’s always something happening at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

  7. Gift Shop: Browse the museum’s gift shop for nature-themed books, toys, jewelry, apparel, and souvenirs. Support the museum’s mission while finding unique gifts and mementos to remember your visit by.

cape cod museum of natural history_cape cod museum gift shop

Exploring Outside the Museum

The nature preserve encompasses a wide range of habitats, including Stony Brook Valley, Wing’s Island, the salt marsh, and the ocean beach between Quivett Creek and Paine’s Creek. Visitors can explore these different habitats on the nature trails that crisscross the preserve.

Check out their Website for Events.

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