Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS

LeFleur's Bluff State Park is home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. The address is 2148 Riverside Drive Jackson, Mississippi. The museum focuses on protecting and promoting the habitat of Mississippi. There is a seventy three thousand square foot building on the grounds of the State Park that houses exhibits as well an aquarium. Visitors to the museum can also traverse the two and half miles of trails or see a presentation in the open air amphitheater. There is also a greenhouse that is named "The Swamp''. The museum houses permanent exhibits, traveling exhibits, a gift shop, library and auditorium.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. They are closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Admission to the museum is five dollars for adults, three dollars for children 3 - 18, four dollars for senior citizens 60 and over and children under three are free. Visitors can become members of the museum and they will be allowed in the museum for free. School groups can get information on pricing from the museum.

Some of the exhibits that have been sponsored at the museum include Monsters of the Deep. This exhibit takes visitors to an underwater world where giant fish and other aquatic life inhabit the water. They also have brought in prehistoric creatures that will amaze guests with their incredible size. There will be skeletons as well as models that look real. Some of the ancient sea creatures feature long snake like necks, huge teeth and large gaping jaws.

There is a twenty one foot Zygorhiza whale that is part of this exhibit. Many of the prehistoric sea creatures were the size of cars or larger. Some of these reptiles from this time period were carnivores as well as being exceptionally large.

The museum holds workshops for teachers throughout the summer. Some of the recent workshops have included reptiles, aquatic WILD and flying WILD. The museum also sponsors a back to school night for teachers that allow them to collect resource material for the upcoming school year. There are lectures on management of endangered species, freshwater alligator gar research and Monsters of the Deep from the Gulf of Mexico.

Because the Mississippi is on the Gulf of Mexico the museum presents talks on the sharks that inhabit the water. They give information on the many species of sharks in the Gulf as well as how to avoid a shark attack and speak about the endangered species of sharks in the area.

Families can enjoy several areas in the museum. They have creature features and an opportunity to feed the fish. The Kids Club provides activity sheets, workbooks, puzzles and other related items. The Dragonfly Shoppe has t-shirts, books, toys and artwork to take home. Members receive newsletters and special invitations to events at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

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