Audubon Society, Smokey Bear to appear at Fla. Museum’s Discovery Room

July 21st, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover common birds of Florida and celebrate Smokey Bear’s 65th birthday at two upcoming Discovery Room events at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Adam Kent, board member of the Alachua Audubon Society, serves as a guest “Dr. Discovery” Wednesday and Smokey the Bear will host a party in his honor Aug. 12. Both programs begin at 3 p.m.

Kent’s presentation is a fun way for children to familiarize themselves with common Florida birds. Participants may play detective as they read facts about birds and match the correct species. They also will have the opportunity to create their own bird.

Smokey Bear will join the Florida Museum on Aug. 12 for his 65th birthday celebration. The Florida Division of Forestry presentation on fire safety includes information for children and parents about wildfire prevention and outdoor burning guidelines. (more…)

Fla. Museum brings the birthday party to you!

June 16th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This summer, the Florida Museum of Natural History is taking its popular birthday parties on the road. On Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 22, museum staff will offer natural history-themed parties at the home or venue of the birthday child’s choice.

“Travel-sized” parties feature a 45-minute natural history presentation for up to 15 kids including the birthday child. Party guests will discover fun facts about fossils, Florida animals and butterflies, and enjoy exciting games. Each child will make a nature-themed craft to take home.

“Travel-sized parties are a great option for anyone wanting to enjoy the museum’s exhibits and collections from the comfort of their home or other preferred location,” said Tiffany Ireland, Florida Museum education assistant. “Our staff has been working hard to create a celebration that incorporates the parts of our museum kids love best.” (more…)

Spend the night at the Fla. Museum this September

June 16th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When night descends on the Florida Museum of Natural History, where does Megalodon hunt? What makes a glyptodont sleepy? And what happens when museum visitors stay after hours?

Find out what lurks in the cave and what goes on in the Calusa hut when the lights go down at “Overnight at the Museum,” a Florida Museum sleepover on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The museum’s permanent exhibits will be open for exploration. Crafts and other activities, including a flashlight mystery hunt, are planned to spark the imaginations of museum explorers young and old.

“Overnight at the Museum is going to be an adventure-filled party that will let participants experience the Florida Museum in an extraordinary way,” said education assistant Tiffany Ireland. “While we’re not anticipating any epic battles and angry Huns, as Ben Stiller encounters in ‘Night at the Museum,’ we still have plenty of thrills planned.” (more…)

Harn Museum, Florida Museum host annual Earth Day celebration April 18

April 7th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Harn Museum of Art and Florida Museum of Natural History are joining together once again to celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18. The free event features crafts, painting demonstrations, live music, a dance performance, educational presentations and organic food.

The Harn Museum of Art is offering a number of programming opportunities, including an informative lecture at 11:30 a.m. about how to make your household energy efficient.

At 12:30 p.m., Tom Southall, curator of photography, will give a gallery talk about “Landscape Perspectives: Highlights from the Photography Collection,” discussing the beauty of the natural world and aspects of human interactions with the land.

Both museums are offering art opportunities for visitors. At the Florida Museum, visitors can create CD clocks and fashion recycled accessories such as newspaper hats and paper tube bracelets. Guest artist Peter Carolin will be plein air painting outside the Harn Museum of Art as part of the museum’s Family Day. Visitors can paint with him, make jewelry with recycled-paper beads or create nature rubbings. (more…)

‘Can You Dig It?’ returns to the Florida Museum

March 11th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History from 5-9 p.m. March 19 for “Can You Dig It?,” an interactive evening of fun activities for the whole family.

The University of Florida geology department and Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society will join the Florida Museum to present volcanic eruptions, “Oreo plate tectonics” and other hands-on activities, presentations and demonstrations exploring the ground beneath your feet. Demonstrations include gem cutting and a mineral show. Guests will be given a card and may earn a prize by visiting 10 stations during the event. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts Wigglers and Walkers series March 18, April 15

March 9th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Crack into spring with the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Wigglers and Walkers” program at 3:30 p.m. March 18 and April 15. “It’s Eggs-cellent” will be a fun-filled, educational afternoon for children ages 2-5.

This season, students will learn about different types of eggs and the animals who lay them. Through arts, crafts and other activities, youngsters will discover reptile/amphibian and birds eggs while exploring the museum. Activities include egg painting, make-your-own turtle and other take-home projects.

The cost per class for each adult and child pair is $4 for Florida Museum members and $5 for non-members. Each additional child is $1. Pre-registration is not required, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should arrive early to park their strollers and meet new friends. (more…)

Fla. Museum to celebrate Darwin’s 200th birthday with events Thursday, Saturday

February 10th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Come celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, of one of science’s most influential figures, at the Florida Museum of Natural History Thursday and Saturday.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 12, join Betty Smocovitis of the University of Florida’s zoology and history departments for “Singing His Praises: Darwin and His Theory in Song and Musical Production.”

This lecture will examine the issues and controversies of Darwin’s theory of evolution through song while studying the link between modern science and pop culture. To sweeten the event, a birthday cake featuring Darwin will be served.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14, those curious to learn more about evolution and want to see evidence of the process can take part in “Darwin Day” with Florida Museum collections staff. (more…)

Florida Museum to host 30th annual Collectors Day Jan. 24

January 8th, 2009

Photos available

A list of participating collectors willing to speak with members of the media is available by request.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host its 30th annual Collectors Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 24. The event is free and open to the public.

“Collectors Day provides the public with an opportunity to become more than an observer at the museum while focusing on an important component of natural history museums and science, collecting,” said Florida Museum education assistant Tiffany Ireland. “Like scientists, the participants in the event all collect as a way of exploring the diversity and history of their area of interest. This event provides them with the rare opportunity to share that knowledge and passion with others.”

Visitors will encounter a wide variety of personal collections at this family-oriented event, ranging from corkscrews and antique cars to sports and war memorabilia. Local collectors will be available to share their passion for their collections. (more…)

Rare fossil butterflies to be displayed during Fla. Museum ButterflyFest this weekend

October 15th, 2008

Editors note: A full schedule of events follows this release.

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History ButterflyFest visitors will have the opportunity this weekend to see four rare butterfly fossils not normally on public display.

The fossil butterfly exhibit is one of the many activities and workshops taking place during the museum’s annual butterfly festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Housed in the Florida Museum’s invertebrate paleontology collections, the specimens are four of about 50 known fossil butterflies in the world.

“Butterfly fossils are rare because they have extremely delicate exoskeletons,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Invertebrate Paleontologist Roger Portell. “Insect fossils are preserved under unique conditions.” (more…)

Fla. Museum to host third annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19 at UF Cultural Plaza

June 3rd, 2008

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host the third annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19 at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza.

The free event features gardening and photography workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, butterfly and garden gifts, children’s activities and more.

“ButterflyFest is an engaging opportunity for people throughout North Central Florida to acquire the skills and tools needed to create a habitat in their own backyard for these marvelous insects,” said Doug Noble, Florida Museum head of exhibits and public programs. “Our native pollinators are essential to our survival and this festival is a fun way to learn and apply good gardening practices to attract wildlife in your own neighborhood.” (more…)

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