Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact: Leigh Kish
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (0), 412.526.8587 (C)

March 7, 2012


Last chance to register for 2012 Spring Programs for Kids & Families at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Don’t forget about the exciting spring programs for kids and families at Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Explore the museum to earn prize-filled eggs at the Most “Egg-cellent” Egg Hunt, party in your PJs at a Pajama Night, or create your own mini-ecosystem in J is for Jar. Many programs are close to selling out, so register today!


            These spring programs are projects of the Center for Lifelong Science Learning.  


M is for Museum
Through August 30, 2012 

A must-see for families! Kids and grown-ups, guided by the ABCs, discover the wonders of one of America’s best natural history museums! It’s an exciting journey into the behind-the-scenes world of amazing museum objects and the scientists who care for and study them. Be a detective in “A is for Artifact.” Try on Butterfly wings in “B is for Beautiful.” Make your own Collection in “C is for Collect.” Identify animals in “I is for Identify.” Pretend you’re a scientific specimen in “J is for Jar.” M is for Museum is only at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. All that’s missing is YOU! Designed for visitors 5 to 13 years old—but enjoyable for all ages—M is for Museum features multimedia and hands-on activities that help curious young audiences discover how museums protect, explore, and explain the cultures of the world and nature in all its wonder.

Special Events 

Mornings at the Museum
9–10 a.m.
Members: $10 per adult/child pair. Additional guests $5 each (up to two per adult/child pair)
Non-Members: $26 per adult/child pair. Additional guests $11 each (up to two per adult/child pair)
Fee includes same-day museum admission
Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or

Families with children ages 5 to 13, bring your children to the museum and explore the new M is for Museum exhibition one letter at a time! New early-morning hours feature a different letter each day for in-depth investigations through hands-on experiments and creative activities.

L is for Look
March 10
Learn how museum scientists collect and identify invertebrates—animals without backbones, such as snails and insects. Sift through samples collected at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum’s environmental research center. Look for living things in leaf litter and stream water in the museum’s laboratory classroom, then use microscopes and identification keys to examine your discoveries. Learn to look for details while drawing scientific specimens. Register by March 9.  

J is for Jar
April 28
Our collection contains jars of preserved natural specimens such as reptiles, insects, and birds. You can use jars for your own collection and for studying living things! Recycle jars for real, hands-on science experiments that include making your own mini-ecosystem, crafting a temporary bug house, and analyzing backyard biodiversity by setting up a pitfall trap. One jar per participant is provided. Bring more jars from home if you want to take home several projects. Register by April 27.  

Most “Egg-cellent” Egg Hunt
April 7
10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Free with museum admission; no registration required
Scavenger hunt map and prizes available to the first 1,000 children.

This annual event is not to be missed! Earn prize-filled eggs as you journey through the museum looking for clues to egg-related questions. See the largest egg ever laid, discover that you came from an egg, and learn how the museum’s collection of eggs helped save several species of bird. The hunt takes approximately 45 minutes.

Breakfast with Dinosaurs
March 24—Only a few spaces left! (Register by March 15)
April 7 (Register by March 29)
8–10 a.m.; breakfast served 8–8:40 a.m.
Members: $65 per adult/child pair; $10 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)
Non-Members: $80 per adult/child pair; $15 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)
Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or

Spend a leisurely weekend morning doing something truly amazing with your children. Eat a hearty breakfast including French toast, yogurt, fresh fruit, and cereal while keeping an eye on your favorite Mesozoic herbivores and carnivores in Dinosaurs in Their Time! At 8:40 a.m., the tables are cleared for very special hands-on activities developed especially for Breakfast with Dinosaurs families. Investigate dinosaur tracks and touch real fossil specimens, then enjoy a private guided tour of Dinosaurs in Their Time. Same-day admission is included in the ticket price. It is a family fun experience your dinosaur-loving child will never forget. Seating is limited, so sign up today!

All ages welcome. Children under 6 months free. High chairs and boosters are not provided, but you are welcome to bring your own booster seat.


Friday, 7 p.m.–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
$40 per person, including chaperones; payment required 4 weeks in advance
Saturday museum admission is included
Recommended that children be at least 6 years old
One adult chaperone required for every 5 children
Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or

Families, school and homeschool groups, scout troops, and youth groups—bring your sleeping bags for a “camping” experience inside the museum. Sleep tight in the company of a rhinoceros! Enjoy snacks, hands-on projects, museum tours, guest appearances, and games. Overnights include a continental breakfast. Take the opportunity to explore the other exhibition areas with your free admission the next day!

All in One Night
April 13—Only a few spaces left! 
Explore the museum at night as you are guided through a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at our amazing collections. Examine amazing artifacts, play games from around the world, go on an animal hunt, and more. Register by March 16.  

Night of the Living Carnegie
March 30—Only a few spaces left!
Join us for a fright…we mean night …you will never forget. Tour the museum after hours and see the spooky things that come out after dark. Get a behind-the-scenes look at collections that are not normally on display. Register by March 22.  

Slumber Safari
April 20
Take an evening safari to different regions of the African continent: rainforest, savanna, and desert. Learn about the people and customs of African countries and go home with special treasures. Register by April 12.  

Pajama Nights 

Saturday, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
$25 per person, including chaperones; payment required at time of registration
Recommended for children 2–8
One adult chaperone required for every child
Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or

Party in your PJs next to a grizzly! Wear your pajamas and try out our Overnight Adventures without actually staying overnight.

Dino-rific Pajama Party
April 14—Only a few spaces left!  
This paleontological adventure includes a variety of exciting dinosaur-themed activities. Register by April 5. 

Pajama Safari
March 23
Ever wonder what it would be like to go on safari in your pajamas? Explore the homes of a variety of African animals and enjoy safari-themed activities. Register by March 15.  

Powdermill Nature Reserve
The environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 

Powdermill Nature Reserve is located in Rector, PA, 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh amidst the rolling Laurel Highlands—home to wildflowers, trees, songbirds, salamanders, and many other wild creatures. The classroom and exhibition areas in the nature center as well as the trails outside provide meeting and program spaces for field trips and workshops. Our environmental research programs make Powdermill a world headquarters for studying the biodiversity of the mid-Appalachian region.

Free Family Nature Hour
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Free; no registration required 

Powdermill Nature Reserve offers indoor and outdoor activities year-round for nature lovers of all ages! Join our naturalists every weekend for free outings.

Scientific Lecture Series
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Free; no registration required

Enjoy a scientific lecture series given by naturalists, scientists, and researchers from Powdermill Nature Reserve and Carnegie Museum of Natural History as well as special guest speakers. Talks are geared toward adults and last between 30 and 60 minutes in the Parker Room of the Nature Center. Check website for updated schedule.

Vernal Woodland Pools
March 18, April 1

Every year, thousands of amphibians, insects, and reptiles use seasonal woodland pools as breeding sites…and then they’re gone! After an indoor talk, come along on a tour of one of these elusive pools to catch a glimpse of the life forms that are active in late winter.

Early Signs of Spring
March 11, 25

From flowers to insects, birds to mammals, learn the early signs of spring throughout western Pennsylvania and uncover some of them on the trails of Powdermill.

Spring Peeper Frogs
April 15

The cheerful chorus of peeper frogs is one of the earliest and most welcome signs of spring. Get a look at these tiny—and loud!—residents of seasonal pools.

NEW! Family Overnight at Powdermill  

April 20: Spring Life at Powdermill (Register by March 23)
Friday, 6:30 p.m.–Saturday, 9 a.m.
$40 per person, including chaperones; payment required 4 weeks in advance
Recommended that children be at least 5 years old
One adult chaperone required for every 5 children
Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or to register.
Limited to 40 participants

Explore the nocturnal habitats of Powdermill Nature Reserve! Discover the amazing nightlife of local insects, birds, amphibians, and mammals. Most activities take place outdoors, so please dress for the season and wear comfortable walking shoes. Flashlights are appropriate, but not required.

These overnights take place in Rector, PA, 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. 

  • Sounds of the night: Discover the amazing night sounds of local insects, birds, amphibians, and mammals. Learn to identify animals by their unique calls and understand why they make their strange noises. Try to locate some of the seasonal wildlife, such as owls in fall and peeper frogs in spring.
  • Campfire stop: Enjoy an evening snack of hot dogs, s'mores, popcorn, and beverages around the fire and catch a story or two about nature after dark.
  • Night hike: Navigate the trails without the use of a flashlight. Learn how nocturnal animals have evolved to survive when the sun goes down. Set up motion cameras in the evening and check them in the morning to see what animals use the trails at night.
  • Seasonal activities: Decorate Powdermill's trails with edible ornaments you create to help the wildlife get through the end of winter. Explore vernal pools—springtime woodland puddles used by a variety of wildlife.

Free Family Activities 

Bonehunters Quarry
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 1–4:30 p.m. *
Thursday, 1–7 p.m. *
Saturday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday, noon–4:30 p.m.
* May also be open weekdays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. when not reserved by groups.

Experience the thrill of hands-on excavation!
Using real tools just like paleontologists do in the field, scrape away simulated earth and rock to reveal realistic fossil casts. Museum educators interpret the experience and help identify the finds. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Discovery Room
For all ages; children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 1–4:30 p.m.*
Thursday, 1–7 p.m.*
Saturday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 1–4:30 p.m.
* May also be open weekdays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. when not reserved by groups.

Calling all nature lovers to the Discovery Room!
Investigate our world through hands-on activities, real and replica specimens and artifacts, and other exciting adventures that enhance nature and science learning for children and adults. When the Discovery Room is reserved by groups, family expedition kits packed with hands-on materials for kids and grown-ups may be checked out at the information desk, first floor, Grand Staircase.

Family Expedition Kits
Check out a kit of hands-on materials that enhance your exploration of selected museum exhibitions. Kits cover exciting natural history topics such as Birds of the Night, Search for Ancient Egyptian Treasure, and Joey’s Journeys: Climate Quest. Family expedition kits are available in the Discovery Room or from any information desk when the Discovery Room is reserved by groups. Family expedition kits are ideal for repeat visitors! Quantities are limited.

Discover Carts & Exploration Stations
Saturday, noon–4 p.m.
Sunday, 1– 4 p.m.

Share your scientific curiosity with museum educators and teen volunteers stationed throughout our galleries. Hands-on investigations for all ages illuminate science topics and help you to explore the natural world using real and replica specimens and artifacts.

Center for Lifelong Science Learning 

The Center for Lifelong Science Learning brings together museum staff and partners from area universities, community organizations, and national experts devoted to science education to conduct and explore research into informal science learning—the many ways people learn about science in settings outside school classrooms, such as museums and community organizations. The Center links these theories and practice so that the research findings are applied in the development of new educational programs and exhibitions for all ages. This research is catalyzing changes in our museum, including more immersive experiences, exciting hands-on interactions, and expanded access to collections for museum visitors. The Center for Lifelong Science Learning was launched in November 2010 and is under the direction of Mary Ann Steiner.


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,