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My birthday was this month and I wanted to visit the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, seems like we hadn’t been there in years. I did share (small) pictures from one of our pasts trips to the CMNH years ago here. CMNH is right up there near Case Western University.

Have you been up there? Not only do you have the Cleveland Museum of Natural History but the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens are all right there within walking distance of each other with a park setting connecting them! I didn’t realize what a nice area that is or has become.


Visiting the Cleveland Museum of History


We saw pretty much everything we wanted in probably less than three hours. We only did the things that came with general admission. We also caught part of an animal show with a live porcupine. In a previous visit we saw this adorable shriek owl.

The museum also has live foxes, a wolf, and otters outdoors for visitors to see.


Visiting the CMNH 2016 in Ohio


Below is the Smead Discovery Center. This is a really nice hands-on educational room for kids and adults. You’ll find some live creatures off to the left and lots of things to do. There’s a huge wall display (not shown in these pictures) of lots of things to touch which include authentic and reproductions of items from bones to man-made cultural items.


The Smead Learning Center at Cleveland Museum of Natural History


I especially liked the rock and mineral section. Rocks and fossils are fascinating to me and we have a small collection of various kinds. Our boys have just started their first year in 4H and one of them is doing a Rock-Mineral-Fossil Study which I look forward to working on with him.


Two summers ago we traveled to the southern part of Ohio and visited Kings Island and Trammel Fossil Park where we dug up and got to keep for free our own small fossils. You can learn more about the Trammel free fossil park here.


CMNH rocks


The CMNH has an eatery and a gift shop. You do have to pay for parking either in a lot (which can cost up to $14 for a while day I think) or meters along the roadside. And, here’s an “insiders” tip I was given: the parking meters are free on the weekend!


Now, if that changes, don’t blame me! I’m just sharing what I’ve been told. I did not see that mentioned on the CMNH’s website, but one of the employees told me that when I called while we were driving around looking for parking the day we visited (it SO busy that day). We ended up parking over by the Cleveland Museum of Art at the meters for free. No worry, though, the walk was short.


Our family trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History


The CMNH has lots of programs some of which are homeschooling, early learning, adult, field trips, school, scout, youth & family…find more at the website link below.


Visit the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s website here (or call at 216-231-4600) for information on hours, pricing and current exhibits. If you have a combined science and zoo membership you may get free or discounted admission to this museum. See my post here for more info.