Things To Do

Florida Museum Celebrates 100 years!

The Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus is celebrating the 100th anniversary of being named the state’s official natural history museum by the Florida Legislature in 1917.

The Museum is made-up of multiple buildings on the University of Florida campus including Dickinson Hall, Powell Hall, the Randell Research Center, and the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. The buildings serve different purposes including conducting research, hosting exhibits and various collections, and promoting an appreciation of the cultural and natural diversity of the state.

The main exhibits and public areas of the Florida Museum of Natural History are located in Powell Hall in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza, which along with the Butterfly Rainforest in the connected McGuire Hall, are where visitors can explore the wonders of Florida, and see one of the largest collections of butterflies and moths anywhere in the world.

Recently, we stopped by the Museum in Powell Hall to explore the exhibits.

The museum hosts a number of permanent exhibits for visitors to explore:

The Butterfly Rainforest

The Indoor Butterfly Exhibits

The Discovery Zone

Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land

Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife

South Florida People & Environments

Exploring Our World

Our Energy Future

In addition, the museum also hosts a few limited time only exhibits. For the rest of 2017, visitors to the Florida Museum can explore these glimpses into the collections and research initiatives of the museum:

Rare, Beautiful &Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMueum

Bark Beetle Calligraphy

Mapping the Museum’s Collections

In addition, there are outdoor exhibits to see:

The Fossil Plant Garden

The Florida Wildflower & Butterfly Garden

The Natural Area Teaching Lab Trails

Of all the exhibits, my favorite was Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land.

The fossils exhibit highlights the last 65-million years of Florida’s history through the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. Florida Fossils tells the story of Florida though fossils, sculptures, artwork, videos, and more. One of the exhibits is a 15-foot giant ground sloth skeleton.  

Many of the fossils within were found within 100 miles of Gainesville which gives the exhibit even more of a connection to North Central Florida.

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There is a lot to see and experience at the Florida Museum. I was able to discover an extraordinary and educational experience.

There was so much to see and with exhibit updates and limited time only exhibits, I can’t wait to come back and explore more.