The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is a museum and nature education center museum dedicated to showcasing the natural history of Cape Cod and the surrounding area and inspiring a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural environment. The Museum features a fascinating collection of natural history artifacts and objects, which are presented in permanent and temporary/traveling exhibits throughout the year.



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The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History was established in 1954 by a group of conservationists keen to create a place which would encourage and enable the community of Cape Cod to learn more about the animal, plant, and marine life of the region, and facilitate the conservation of the land. The Museum's first base was the Brewster Town Hall, after which it relocated to a tent and then a small building set on an 80-acre site on a salt marsh on Cape Cod Bay. Today, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is housed in a 17,000 square foot building on Main Street in Brewster and is surrounded by 300 acres of town conservation land.

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Museum features an array of fascinating collections-based exhibits, ranging from archaeology, biomimicry, and nature-scapes to live marine science exhibits, whales and birds, and honey bees. Notable exhibitions include Archaeology, Biomimicry, Eldridge Arnold "Wing", Honey Bees, Marshview Room, Naturescape Gallery, People of the Land, Preserved Bird Collection, The Cape Takes Shape, and the Butterfly House and Pollinator Path.

Referred to as 'Bird Alley', the Preserved Bird Collection houses an extensive selection of mounted bird specimens that can be found on Cape Cod, along with a small nest exhibit, while the Honey Bees exhibit offers visitors the chance for a close-up look at one of nature's most fascinating creatures that are such an important part of the food chain.

Boasting beautiful views of the salt marshes, the beach, and the upland wooded area of Wing's Island, the Marshview Room celebrates the wildlife that lives in the 'backyard' with several ecosystems on display to study.

The Cape Takes Shape shows visitors how the Cape looked 10,000 years ago and how the shape of Cape Cod has dramatically changed over time due to coastal erosion. The display also predicts the shape of the land 8,000 years from now and addresses the damage of recent storms and the drastic effect they have had on the landscape.

The Butterfly House and Pollinator Path house free-flying Monarch, Painted Lady, Hummingbird, and Swallowtail butterflies, as well as an exhibit showing caterpillars going through the different stages of a butterfly life cycle. The Pollinator Path features gardens that attract the valuable pollinators, and include other species such as Bumble and Honey bees, Sweat bees, Long Horned and Soldier beetles, and Hoverflies.



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The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers a variety of educational programs and community-based outreach projects that fall in line with their mission of being a nature education center and steward of conservation land. Programs include classes, workshops, lectures, guided walks and field trips, panel discussions, films and much more for all ages of learner. Topics covered range from conservation and stewardship to a variety of important issues related to the natural world with a focus on Cape Cod.

The Museum owns approximately 400 acres of land in Stony Brook Valley and Brewster, including the salt marshes, Wing's Island, and the beach along Cape Cod Bay between Quivett and Paine's Creeks. This land, which is adjacent to the Museum is used as part of the Museum's education and conservation program in which an area is monitored and protected. Other such programs may also take place on Cape Cod and in New England if required.

A variety of programs and workshops are available for all ages, including archaeology-based programs such as 'Digging into the Past,' birding workshops like 'Birdwatching for Beginners,' 'Tuesday Tweets,' and 'Wing Island Bird Banding Station.' Other exciting programs include 'Cape Cod Therapy Dogs', 'Gardening for Life', 'Inflatable Whales', 'KidSummer Day Program', 'Mudflat Mania', 'Nature Knowledge', 'Nature Screen.'

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is located at 869 Main Street in Brewster and is seasonally open to the public on specific days of the year, which can be viewed on the website. Admission to the Butterfly House is included in general admission.

Back to: Cape Cod, MA

869 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster, MA 02631, Phone: 508-896-3867

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