Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Brewster, MA

The Cape Code Museum of Natural History in Brewster, Massachusetts was built in 1954. The founders believed a history museum was needed to encourage the understanding of the natural environment. They also wanted to ensure its conservation. The museum is a 17,000 square foot building on 80 acres with 320 acres of town and conservation owned land abutting it.

The museum building has two floors of exhibit space all relating to Cape Cod. There is also a museum shop and library to take home or research some of the Cape Cod history. Visitors are encouraged to take the three nature trails to look at the woodland, salt marsh, and shore of Cape Cod Bay. In the summer lectures and workshops are offered to help teach children and adults about the natural environment. Wednesday Walks are offered to the locals for different trails around the Cape. The dates and locations will vary to help visitors and locals explore the Cape.

Hours of operation will vary depending on the time of year. In January, the museum is only open for special programs. From February to March 31st the museum is open Thursday through Sunday 11am to 3pm. April to May 31st the hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11am to 3pm. June till September has the museum open every day from 9:30am to 4pm. From October to December the hours revert to the spring times. The Museum is not open for major holidays like Memorial Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $3.50 for children 3 to 12.

There are five ongoing exhibits at the Cape Cod Museum. The first exhibit is the Cape Takes Shape. This display shows the coastal erosion of recent years and the past. It actually looks at 10,000 years of change and projections of the next 8,000 years.

The Honey Bee Observation Hive depicts honey bees in their hive so that one can view the worker bees and the queen. The queen is known by her appearance and the fact that she has a white dot on her back. Honey combs are placed in the exhibit to keep the bees alive and working.

The preserved birds and nests are specimens that have been collected over the years and put on display. The display offers every bird that is found on Cape Cod. Children are able to hear the sounds each bird makes by hitting a button at the display. Owls and beach birds are part of the exhibit.

A fourth exhibit is the aquarium. In this section visitors are given a look at American eels, bullfrogs, turtles, terrapin, garter snakes, spider crabs, toadfish, and moon jellies among other sea creatures. Each animal on display can be found in the Cape Cod area.

Lastly is the Marsh View Room. This room depicts what can be found in the salt marshes on Cape Cod. From the beach to the marshes one can learn what is found in the sand, plants, and even the birds that frequent the marsh ecosystem.

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