Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Museum Memberships for the Family

A lot of people look forward to shopping for Holiday gifts, but to tell the truth, you can only buy so many ties, hats, and gloves before you experience gift burn out. This year’s suggestion is for the perfect Holiday gift that the whole family can enjoy. Every major city has museums, and I recently took the grandkids, and great grandkids to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Why buy a membership to a museum as a holiday gift? Put on your safari hat and follow me.

The Dioramas

I not only worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for many years before retiring, but all my grandchildren volunteered there as soon as they were thirteen. Philadelphia is a city of museums, and the knowledge they offer makes visiting a museum a worthwhile cost.

Covid-19 has played havoc with our lives, and the same goes with museums. They depend on visitors to help fund future exhibits and scholastic teaching tools. The Academy is on the Parkway which includes many other museums such as the Franklin Institute of Science, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art…just to name a few…so for a Thanksgiving treat, I decided to take the family to the Academy. My great grandsons are two years of age and six months old, but I knew that the six-month-old would enjoy the dioramas as much as the two-year-old.

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 and is the oldest natural science institution in the Western Hemisphere. The three favorite parts of the Academy that visitors get to experience are Dinosaur Hall, Changing Exhibits, and the Dioramas. The Dioramas offers a window into the wilderness and nature. It is a means for museum visitors to learn about distant places and exotic wildlife. Our two-year-old was immediately mesmerized by the dioramas. What was more surprising was how the six-month-old reacted to the sights and sounds of the diorama. The dioramas fill all three floors of the museum.

The Changing Exhibit Hall featured an exhibit on the Permian Monsters (Animals that existed before the dinosaurs), while Dinosaur Hall focused on the different types of dinosaurs and Mesozoic creatures.  

We ended our visit with a trip to Outside-In on the third floor, where children are encouraged to do their own investigations into the natural world. There was plenty to do to keep a very active toddler and his grownups very busy.


If you live near to Philadelphia, buying a membership to the Academy of Natural Sciences allows you to visit as often as you want, as well as having access to special events and activities. Buying a membership also benefits the ongoing research and conservation studies done at the Academy.

If you don’t live close to Philadelphia, check out the museums in your area, then buy a membership to your favourite museum. I can definitely vouch for the enjoyment this membership will bring to you and your family members. I can’t wait to bring my family back to the Academy. I know that little JJ and Landon will become regular visitors of the museum.

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