The Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, preserves and resembles the various collections of birds, seashells, and other things that the founder, John Eleuthere du Pont, liked to collect.

The Delaware Museum of Natural History was founded in 1972 by John Eleuthere du Pont. John had a passion for exploring and collection nature. He wanted to preserve his collection of nature and scientific findings, as well as make it open the public. That’s why he created the Delaware Museum of Natural History. John’s outlook on the importance of exploring, preservation, and education has influenced the current mission of the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

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1.Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions
© Delaware Museum of Natural History

There are a variety of attractions at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. Visitors have the option of exploring the outside attractions or the inside attractions. Outside, there is an array of terrain and wildlife that is showcased for visitors. The inside attractions are where visitors will get to view and learn about the collections that John Eleuthere du Pont started that passed on to the museum’s current employees. While the collection is heavily based on birds and mollusks, the Delaware Museum of Natural History also has a stimulated coral reef, African watering hole, and a permanent dinosaur collection.

Wildflower & Native Grass Meadow is an outside exhibit that is full of tall grasses and an array of wildflowers. Since there are no trees in this exhibit, the sun beams down on the grass. Visitors will notice that there are small paths between the tall grasses. These small paths are used by small animals, such as birds. Since the grasses are tall, it is harder for predators to swoop in and prey on the smaller animals, so it is the perfect place for living and breeding.

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2.More Things to See

More Things to See
© Delaware Museum of Natural History

Pollinator Garden is located near the meadow and the trail outside. A variety of plants surround a bench, which is used by visitors who want to sit down and soak in the beauty. One of the prettiest plants in this attraction is the purple coneflower. Visitors can often see butterflies and hummingbirds hanging out among the plants.

Delaware Rocks is the largest outdoor display at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. This attraction is approximately 1,500 square feet and feature 14 humungous boulders that are from Delaware. This attraction is perfect for people who want to learn about the diverse terrain and climate that Delaware has, along with some information about geology.

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3.More Attractions

More Attractions
© Delaware Museum of Natural History

Larry F. Scott Nature Trail takes visitors along a mile-long walk. Visitors will walk through woodlands and wetlands that showcase a variety of flora, fauna, and animals. There are benches along the trail, as well as an outdoor classroom and a fire pit. While the benches can be used by anyone, the classroom and fire pit are only used by the educational programs at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

Bird Department is located inside and features over 113,000 types of birds. This collection is so diverse and large that is ranked among the top fifteen bird collections in the United States, as well as one of the largest collections of bird eggs that is in North America.

Mollusk Department is also located inside the Delaware Museum of Natural History. This attraction features around 220,000 lots of mollusks, which means that it has approximately 2 million individual mollusk shells. Along with the shells, there are collections of insects, plants, and other types of invertebrates. The Mollusk Department is also ranked among the top fifteen mollusk collections in the United States.

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4.Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit
© Delaware Museum of Natural History

Since the museum’s founder valued education, it should not be a surprise that the Delaware Museum of Natural History has various educational opportunities. The museum wants to make sure that every visitor has a fun and education enriching experience, so they have a variety of specialized and interactive group tours to choose from. When children visit the museum, they can visit the Nature Nook. The Nature Nook is geared towards children from the ages of 1 to 10, and has specially trained staff. The staff teach children about various collections and exhibits in the museum, as well as creating interactive activities for the children to complete.

The Delaware Museum of Natural History is also home to a variety of day camps. These day camps are perfect for kids who are interested in nature and science. Each day camp has a different theme and learning objective. These themes and learning objectives change among the time of year and age group that the day camp is centered around.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Wilmington, Delaware

4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807, Phone: 309-658-9111

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Things to Do in Wilmington: Delaware Museum of Natural History