UM Museum of Natural History Closure Plans

Yesterday afternoon the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History announced their plans for closing in the Ruthven building and re-opening in the Biological Sciences Building. We love visiting the museum. We will definitely miss it while it is closed during the transition.

UM Natural History Museum - Ruthven Building & Beginning of Construction

UM Museum of Natural History Closing Events

The UM Museum of Natural History will officially close in the Ruthven building on December 31, 2017 with two New Years Eve Celebrations.

“Noon Years Eve” is a family-friendly event. It will include hands-on science activities and a midnight like countdown at noon. As the event draws closer, I will be sure to add it to our events calendar with full details

That evening, the museum will officially close with an adults-only Last Night at the Museum including a midnight farewell toast.

Operational Changes in 2017

The museum will continue to operate throughout 2017. However, there will be a few changes in preparation for the move.

The biggest change will be the removal of the Edmontosaurus exhibit. The exhibit will be walled off in April. The bones will be removed from their plaster display to be mounted vertically in the new building. This is one of my favorite parts of the museum. I love that they’ve left the original 1950s mural in place with signs showing how the mural would be drawn today. It really shows how our understanding of dinosaurs has changed in the last 60 years.

UM Museum of Natural History - Edmontosaurus Mural

Later this spring, native plants in the Butterfly and Pollinator Garden will be relocated to storage beds. They will eventually be replanted near the new buildings.

I am hoping to visit one more time before they close the Edmontosaurus exhibit. 

UM Museum of Natural History Reopening

The UM Museum of Natural History will be closed throughout 2018. When the new Biological Sciences Building opens in fall 2018, the mastodons will be at the entrance. Above the atrium will also be two prehistoric whales.

The museum will be reopening in stages in 2019. The bulk of the museum will open in spring 2019. My daughter is very excited for the new Digital Dome Theater, an expansion of a traditional planetarium. The Visible Paleontology Lab will allow museum visitors to see UM scientists at work. Additional research stations throughout the museum will allow glimpses into current UM research.

The final museum exhibits are scheduled to open in fall 2019. Included in the final phase are two Investigate Labs allowing for hands-on activities.  A grand opening event will be scheduled for Fall 2019 when the museum is fully open.

New Exhibits

The Dinosaur Gallery will include a few new items. There will be a new cast skeleton of Majungasaurus and a new touchable skull of T.rex.

A new Michigan Gallery will explore Michigan – from prehistoric times through its current eco-systems.

The Museum will pay tribute to it’s new neighbor, the department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. A cell will be magnified 100,000x so that it can be walked through. This walkthrough cell allows guests to see the inner workings of a cell.

More Information

More information on the closures and plans for the new museum can be found in the Museum’s press release.



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