Museum of Natural History Exhibits
The Museum of Natural History, located in Roger Williams Park, is Rhode Island’s only natural history museum and is home to the state’s only public planetarium. For more than a century the museum has served as a unique educational, scientific and cultural resource by offering exciting exhibits and programming that provide ways for children and families to learn about our world and its people.
Circle of the Sea: Re-Visited and Re-Imagined
Showcases the museum’s diverse holdings from Oceania. The exhibit has an array of objects such as those used in daily life for cooking, clothing, fishing, and seafaring. It also features natural history from the region: ornately feathered Birds-of-Paradise, gigantic seabirds and mollusk shells, colorful corals and volcanic geology so pivotal to the Pacific.
The exhibit was made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Special thanks to Kirsten Vacca, Guest Curator, for her contributions and expertise.
Many Inspired Steps: Salute to Apollo 11 and Lunar Exploration
On July 20 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the Moon. Celebrate and learn about the early years of lunar exploration fraught with failures as well as exciting discoveries. Join us as we look ahead at the intriguing prospect that humans will return to the Moon and go beyond in the not-too-distant future. From the Rhode Island State Archives a Moon rock collected from the Apollo 17 mission is featured in this exhibit.
The exhibit was made possible with a grant from the NASA Rhode Island Space Grant Program and support of the Northeast Planetary Data Center. Special thanks to the Rhode Island State Archives, Rhode Island Department of State; Michael Lye, Senior Critic and NASA Coordinator at RI School of Design (RISD); and RISD Rover Team 2017–Max Reice, Robert Wang, Ryan Smith, Sung Wha Kang, Adrian Roop, Jason Chang, Lily Douglas, Carmen Schweizer, Clare Jessey, Paul Meuser, Calyton Wiggers, Iman Serag, Clarke Waskowitz.
Natural Selections: Museum’s Victorian Past to the Present
Step back in time and explore what can be learned about the history of collecting in our region through the museum’s own rich and diverse collections. Even today the museum continues to collect new specimens and objects, and its collections are just as important as when the museum first opened in 1896. Discover the remarkable treasures that are housed here, and what a truly unique Rhode Island legacy the museum’s walls encompass in this exhibit.
The exhibit was made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Special thanks to Heather Field, museum docent, for curating the Ethnology display.
Urban Wildlife: Nature at Your Doorstep
Human designed landscapes occupy more land than ever before. While often discounted as wastelands devoid of nature, urban areas actually play host to a great diversity of plant and animal life. Acknowledging the diversity of life found in cities is an important step toward understanding the impact humans have on the places they live and work. This exhibit focuses on the wildlife living right here in the city of Providence and highlights the urban habitats in which they can be found.
Featuring local fauna from the museum’s collections; imagery from Providence Raptors, urban wildlife photography by Peter Green; and videos from Greg Gerritt, activist, writer, videographer and watershed steward for Friends of the Moshassuck. NASA Satellite Imagery of Providence-sponsored by the Brown/NASA Northeast Planetary Data Center & the NASA/RI Space Grant Consortium.
Seismic Shifts: Earth through Time
Travel through time to discover the formation of our Earth and its transformation into the habitable world we live on today. From Ice Ages to Hothouse Earth, our planet has seen many changes over its vast history. Exhibit sponsored by the Brown/NASA Northeast Planetary Data Center & the NASA/RI Space Grant Consortium.
Wish you were here: Historic Postcards of Roger Williams Park
A current look at the Park through postcards from the past. Experience the beauty of “the people’s park” today as Rhode Islanders have done for more than a century. This exhibit features postcards and photographs of the park by local artist Bob Martin. Complimenting the exhibit are collections from the museum’s archives and vaults.
When is the museum open? When are planetarium shows?
Museum is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am – 3pm, closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sky Views Planetarium show is at 1pm on Friday and Sunday. Planetarium show tickets, which includes museum admission, must be purchased online. Children must be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium. To ensure the safety of visitors, staff, volunteers and the collections, we have implemented enhanced protocols and transitioned to an online timed ticketing system for museum and planetarium admission.
What are the admission fees?
Museum admission is $2 per person. Children age 3 and younger are free.
Planetarium show tickets is $3, includes museum admission. Tickets must be purchased online. Children must age 4 and older to enter the planetarium.
Some special programs have a separate admission.