Museum Info

Boonshoft Museum of
Discovery

2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, OH 45414
(937) 275-7431
Fax (937) 275-5811
TTY (937) 278-6076

Directions & Map

Hours

Monday – Saturday
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Closed: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Chistmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter

General Admission

Children (3-17) $11.50
Seniors (60+) $12.50
Adults $14.50
Children under 3 and members are FREE.
Help us create a fun, safe environment for all our visitors! Children under 16 should always be accompanied by an adult in the Museum.
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CFC #36476

Collections

Collections Department

The majority of the collection consists of materials excavated during decades of archaeological research in the Miami Valley, including many items from the SunWatch site.

Overview of collections

Collections LabThe Dayton Society of Natural History curates approximate 1.8 million objects and specimens across several disciplines. The Anthropology Collection is our largest (1.4 million items) and is dominated by archaeological specimens, including those excavated from SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park. The Biology Collection (280,000 specimens) includes many insects as well as a wide variety of plants and animals. Our Geology Collection (15,000 specimens) has many rocks, minerals, and fossils. Our Astronomy Collection consists of several dozen meteorites and our Live Animal Collection has over 100 animals, including both exotic and local species that are on display in several areas of the museum.  Exotic species on display include porcupine and agoutis from South America, meerkats from Africa, a 16-foot long Burmese Python, and many others.  Local species represented include large animals such as otters and small creatures such as turtles and salamanders.

Galileo TelescopeEach of our collections has diverse and interesting holdings, but we have many objects and specimens that we take exceptional pride in curating. An item or group of items may be a highlight of our collections due to its uniqueness, age, appearance, or scientific value.

Our Astronomy Collection includes a piece of the “Dayton Meteorite,” one of the most unusual and famous meteorites ever found. This meteorite contains two minerals that have never been found anywhere else in our solar system. The Collection also includes a replica of Galileo’s telescope, one of only four in the world modeled directly from the original.

Highlights of the Anthropology collection include the extensive SunWatch archaeological collection, historic and modern Native American items from many parts of the United States, and large collections from Ancient Egypt (including a human mummy), Japan, the Philippines, Oceania, and China.

Textiles CollectionIn our Biology Collection, we curate a number of specimens from species that are now endangered or extinct, though they were not at the time of collection. These include Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, a Carolina Parakeet egg, and two Passenger Pigeons. We have a number of insect type specimens, the John W. VanCleve herbarium collection from the late 1800s, and a comprehensive bird collection also dating back into the 1800s.

Our Geology Collection includes specimens of Pleistocene (Ice Age) mammals excavated locally by DSNH, the second largest trilobite ever found, and many other fossils. We also curate a large mineral collection with many beautiful and unusual specimens.

Our Live Animal Collection has over 100 animals, most of which are species that are or were native to Ohio. Of our locally native animals, our bobcat, red-tailed hawks, and otters are some of the most well-known residents of our museum. We have a smaller number of exotic species in our care, some of whom are on display in the Bieser Discovery Center such as our sixteen foot long Burmese Python and an Emerald Tree Boa.

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Under Construction

  • Kids' Playce is currently under construction. Look for brand new additions to this exhibit starting in the fall through early 2016!

What is your favorite exhibit at the Museum?

Science On a Sphere® - 23.3%
Water Properties Table - 20.3%
Cassano’s Pizza Kitchen - 21.6%
Recycling Center - 16.6%
The Courthouse - 8.5%