Museum Info

Boonshoft Museum of

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

Directions & Map


Monday – Saturday
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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.
Learn More

CFC #36476



Q. I have a spider in my house. Is it venomous?

A. It is most likely that you do not have a venomous spider in your house. There are only 2 types of venomous spiders in the state of Ohio; these are the black widow and the brown recluse. Neither of these types of spiders is usually found in this area. Most of the spiders found in the Miami Valley are harmless. Even if they do have any kind of venom, their jaws are not large enough to fit around our thick skin. Although you may not want spiders in your house, spiders are very useful to have around your house. Spiders are a very efficient predator, killing tons of insect pests everyday. It is much better to have spiders around your house than to have harmful insects in your house.

Q. I have a bat in my house. What should I do?

A. First of all, don’t try to kill it. By state law, bats are a protected animal. Bats, like the big brown bat, will often get into peoples’ homes accidentally. They can fit in a hole as small as ¼ inch, but then they do not know how to get out. If the bat is flying around, the best thing to do is to open a door or window, turn down the lights, and wave your hand in the air, going towards the bat as you do this. Try to get the bat to fly towards the opening. This will usually work.

If the bat is hanging on your wall, put on some thick, work gloves, get a small dish towel, and get the bat to go into a paper bag. Making sure the bat is at the bottom of the bag, fold the top and take him outside. You will want to put the bag on top of something high so that the bat can just fly out. You can also take a shoebox and put it over the bat and then slide a piece of paper underneath of him. Then, take the box outside and put it on something high that he can just fly off of.

You may then want to check and see if there is a hole somewhere in which the bat is getting in. There is a way to keep the bats out of your house by sealing the hole. For tips on how to keep bats out of your house, go to

Q. I have found a very rare butterfly specimen. Would you like to purchase it to put in your collection?

A. First of all, if the butterfly is a live specimen, we encourage you to put the animal back outside where it was found. The museum does not take animals out of the wild. Second, although I am sure that you have found a beautiful butterfly or moth of some kind, we cannot purchase anything for the Biology Collections. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a non-profit organization and does not have a budget to purchase specimens from the public. If the specimen is deceased, and it is in good shape, we may take it as a donation to the collection.

Q. I am a teacher for a local school and would like to borrow some insect specimens from the Biology Collection. Would I be able to do this?

A. The Collections Department does allow teachers and other professionals to borrow certain specimens from our collections for a short period of time. We do not allow individuals from the public to borrow specimens, though. We also do not allow anyone to borrow some of our rarer specimens like the ivory-billed woodpecker or passenger pigeon. To borrow from our collections, there are a few stipulations that must be followed. 1) Any specimen borrowed from the Biology Collections must not be touched. Oils from fingers can damage things like feathers from birds and our insect specimens are very fragile and easily broken. The person borrowing the specimen must wear gloves if he/she has to touch the item. 2) The Collections Department does need at least a 2 week notice if anything is to be borrowed. Please note that the curators have to prepare the specimen to be borrowed. 3) The person borrowing the specimen must make an appointment to come in and pick it up. The curators are not always in the building, so you must make an appointment. 4) You must fill out an Outgoing Loan Agreement to borrow the specimen.

Q. A baby bird fell out of its nest and is sitting on the ground. What should I do with it? I heard that if I touch it, the mother will not come back.?

A. First of all, touching the baby bird will not prevent the mother bird from taking care of it. Most birds have no sense of smell. Plus, their mothering instinct is so strong that they will usually not abandon their young. The best thing to do for that baby is to put it back in its nest right away. First, check to make sure that he is not bleeding or injured in some other way. If it is healthy, put the bird back in the nest and leave the area so the mother can come back. Watch for an hour or so from a distance and make sure the mother is coming back to the nest. If you think there is a problem, call the museum.

If the nest is too high, make an artificial nest! Take an old hanging planter or basket and wire it onto a protected spot in the tree, as close to the nest as possible. Put some tissues or a pillow case in the basket and place the baby inside. The mother bird should still come down to feed the baby bird in the artificial nest.

People find thousands of baby animals in their yards in the spring. Often, these animals are picked up and people try to take care of them in their homes. This is not a wise thing to do. Often, these animals do not survive or they become too difficult to handle. Besides, it is illegal to take any wild animal into your home and take care of it. The best thing to do is to put the babies back in the nest or just leave the animal alone. If you are wondering what you should do, call the Biology Collections Department at x114 or the Live Animal Department at x118. You can help out wild animals the most by just leaving them alone.

Q. My son found a bone and he would like it identified. Can I just stop into the museum and have someone identify it for me?

A. Although we enjoy helping people out when they find something cool and unusual. The first thing you should do is to try to find the bone on the Internet or go to the library and look for it in a reference guide. This will help your son learn a lot more than if you came in and just had it identified. If you cannot identify it on your own, please call the museum and make an appointment with the Biology Collections Department. If you just stop in and expect to talk to the Curator, you may be disappointed. Often, the curators are out of the building or they are busy and can’t come down to talk to you. Making an appointment will ensure that you get to talk to someone when you come in. Please call Donna Lewis, Assistant Curator of Biology, at x114 with any biology-related inquiries.

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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%