Please note: To mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the City of Providence has closed the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium until further notice. All programming is cancelled. Still looking to connect with us? Many wonderful, free resources are being shared. Follow us @rwpmuseum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Also check out our Museum at Home coloring pages, crafts, activities and storytime.
Do you have a cafeteria?
No, we do not. Food or drink are NOT permitted in the museum and planetarium, this includes the museum’s lobby and entryway.
How long does it take to look around the museum?
The length of a visit varies, depending on individual interests. We have five exhibit halls and an exhibit in our lobby. We also recommend children participate in one of the museum’s quests to explore the exhibit. The quests are located in the museum lobby.
Is this museum good for toddlers?
The museum is open to visitors of all ages. Whereas some exhibit content may not be accessible to the youngest of our audience members, we do provide a craft activity table which families with younger children can enjoy. Please note: Children must be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium.
Does my RWP Zoo membership get me a discount?
No, it does not.
Is the planetarium open to the public when there are no shows?
No, it is not. The planetarium is not an exhibit. It is a theater with a Zeiss star projector, ASH Warped Media Full Dome System and other special effects. Refer to the Calendar of Events for show schedule. Shows are subject to change.
When do you offer planetarium shows?
Public planetarium shows are offered on weekends; during RI school vacation weeks; and daily in July and August. Planetarium admission (includes museum admission) is $3 per person. Children must be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium. Please note: there are no planetarium shows on Saturday, March 14; Sunday, March 15; Saturday, March 21; and Sunday, March 22.
How long is the show?
Planetarium shows are approximately 30-35 minutes long.
How early should I get there to get planetarium tickets?
There is no general rule, as our attendance varies from day to day, but tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis until sold out, and are available for purchase, on the day of the show, as soon as the museum opens. Groups larger than 15 must book a private show.
Why must children be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium?
Minimum age requirements for planetarium programs have been established based on a number of factors, including visitor/child safety.
Do you accept credit or debit cards?
Yes, the museum currently process credit cards or debit cards used as credit at this time. Credit card payments are not accepted for school group programs.
Is the Museum handicapped accessible?
Yes, the museum is equipped with an small elevator, which can be used to access all public areas of the museum.
Can we register for programs on the same day?
There are a number of programs offered at the museum which require pre-registration. Please refer to the desired program’s information page for additional details.
Can I sketch or draw in the museum?
Sketching and drawing the museum’s specimens with dry mediums is encouraged. Spray paints, adhesives, fixatives and other wet materials are prohibited as they may contain substances harmful to the museum’s collections and visitors. Please refrain from using objects or exhibit cases as support for drawing boards. Easels, stools, or anything that interferes with movement in the exhibits are not permitted.
Are the museum and planetarium available for rental for private events, weddings, or corporate functions?
No, they are not available for rental at this time.
Was it always a museum?
Yes, it was always a museum.
When did the museum open?
The museum opened in 1896. The north wing (Natural Selections and planetarium area) was added in the early 1900s.
When did the planetarium open?
The original planetarium opened in 1953 and the original projector can still be seen in the upstairs back hallway. The planetarium as it exists today was opened in 1993, and has added a number of multimedia enhancements over the past few years.
Are the animals in the museum real?
YES! All the animals in the museum are real, just no longer alive.
What is the Roger Williams Park Conservancy?
In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation celebrated its 100th anniversary as the sole community foundation dedicated to Rhode Island. In honor of their centennial, the Foundation is leading a $10 million campaign to preserve and enhance one of Rhode Island’s most treasured spaces, Roger Williams Park, in partnership with the Providence Parks Department.