Burpee Museum of Natural History

Burpee Museum of Natural History 737 N. Main St. Rockford, IL
Phone: (815) 965-3433

Burpee Museum of Natural History first opened its doors in 1942, in the Barnes Mansion adjacent to Riverfront Museum Park.

Today, the museum’s administrative offices occupy the Barnes Mansion, and the public portion of the Burpee Museum is now in the Solem Wing, which opened in 1998.

The museum hit the national spotlight in 2001, when a Burpee-led expedition in Montana unearthed “Jane,” the most complete and well-preserved juvenile T-rex in the world. In 2005, another Burpee expedition to the same area yielded “Homer,” a “teenaged” Triceratops. Both are on display at the museum, along with exhibits that chronicle the archeological digs. Each March, Burpee hosts its annual PaleoFest.

In 2010, Burpee and the Discovery Center Museum completed a $10 million expansion that joined the two facilities and created a Smithsonian-approved exhibit hall. The exhibit hall attracts environmentally sensitive traveling exhibits that the museums couldn’t host previously.

Families can also experience four floors of engaging exhibits, including Windows to Wilderness, the Green Roof (Burpee’s rooftop garden), a Native American exhibit with full-sized dwellings, and a viewing lab to see Burpee staff working on dinosaur specimens.

Burpee Museum is open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for children. Additional fees apply for some special exhibits and activities.