Program Series

Night at the Museum

Our most popular kiddo program is back with all new dates this Fall! Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for an evening of pizza and STEM fun. Each month we'll explore a different area of science, technology, and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on learning. Your child will receive an official MNH Miner Helmet with a head lamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. This is a drop off program, long enough for parents to have dinner or even go see a movie! Spots fill up fast, so sign up today!

For students in grades 1-5; $30 per student per program.

Use the links below to register:

*Each program is offered twice monthly to accommodate all registrants. Clicking your preferred date will take you to the appropriate registration form:

  • ASTRONOMY: Friday, September 6th and 13th
  • CHEMISTRY: Friday, October 4th and 11th
  • ROBOTICS: Friday, November 1st and 8th
  • ENGINEERING: Friday, December 6th and 13th

 

Night At The Museum

Read on the Rug

Bring your toddler to enjoy a story and related activities at the Museum of Natural History! 30 minutes of guided learning (story, poems/songs, craft) that leads to free exploration of the museum is the perfect way to start your Friday with your littles. And all before naptime! Read on the Rug is recommended for ages 2-4 along with their parent or guardian.

Cost is free, space is limited to ten and advance signup is required so we have space and materials for everyone.  Please sign up using the registration links:

See you there!

ROR

Sketch Nite

Experienced, aspiring, and amateur artists alike: this fall, make our museums your muse.

Join us in one of our magical gallery spaces after-hours with other artists in your community. Our collections make excellent subjects for sketching because they're always perfectly still! 

This program is designed for adult participants but everyone is welcome!  Admission is free. Advanced registration not required.

New program dates for Fall 2019 are here!

  • Thursday, September 5 5-6:30pm in Bird Hall at the Museum of Natural History

  • Thursday, November 7 5-6:30pm in Mammal Hall at the Museum of Natural History

  • Thursday, December 5 5-6:30pm in Old Capitol

UIMNH Sketch Nite

UIMNH Escape Room

A mystery is afoot at the UI Museum of Natural History. UI Professor William Reiner donated his collection to the UI but his letter he sent to the UI has gone missing. This letter contains important documentation and museum staff have tried in vain to track it down, but haven’t had luck.  Without this documentation, the futures of the exhibits are uncertain.  You & your team of 5 will have 60 minutes to crack codes, solve clues, & solve puzzles throughout the gallery and find the lost letter. Are you up to the challenge?

  • Build your team, choose a date, choose a time on the hour, and register today!  Team fees are $35 (UI student teams are $15)
  • At this time we cannot take walk-ins. All reservations must be made online in advance.  Bookings for a given day close at midnight the night before.
  • The UI MNH Escape Room is designed for those 12 and over. A supervising adult must accompany players under 16 years of age.
  • Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your start time. Gallery doors cannot be reopened once the game begins.
  • Bring your best wits & detective skills because cell phone use is not permitted in the Escape Room!

We are hosting 6 Escape Rooms over 3 different dates, with 2 time options on each date. Register for your preferred date and time by using the links below:

Thursday, September 26 
6pm OR 7pm

Friday, September 27
6pm OR 7pm

Thursday, October 24
6pm OR 7pm

Escape Room

Walking Tours

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History presents: Walking Tours! Get in those steps and take in the sights with this brand new program designed to give special insight into some treasured history of our campus and community. There's no place like Iowa City in the Fall. Let's take a stroll.

All ages. All tours start at 5:30pm on the steps of Old Capitol. Free registration when you follow the date links below.

  • Historical Literary Walking Tour of Iowa City
    • Sunday, September 22
    • Lead by Director of Operations for the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Rachael Carlson
    • Join us for this special, curated downtown tour of important sites where famous authors once worked, lived, and garnered inspiration in Iowa City. One of only two UNESCO Cities of Literature in the United States and home to the first creative writing graduate program in the country, Iowa City's literary history does not disappoint. Visit the 11th Annual Iowa City Book Festival just one week later, having sparked your literary fire on this tour.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Collections Tour at the Museum of Natural History
    • Monday, October 3 
    • Lead by Cindy Opitz: Director of Research Collections for the UI Pentacrest Museums
    • Embark on an expedition through natural history collections with the experts. Did you know that most museums only have ~10% of their collections on display in public galleries? The rest is in safe keeping in storage spaces awaiting future research, exhibits and displays. UIMNH is no different. You've seen all we have in Iowa, Bird and Mammal Halls, but what lies behind our closed doors? Find out on this very special, behind-the-scenes tour of collections at MNH.
  • Historic Brewery Walking Tour of Iowa City
    • Thursday, October 10
    • Lead by 3rd generation owner of John's Grocery Doug Alberhasky
    • Doug gives the saucy details on the Historic Northside Brewing District on this fascinating tour. Learn the history of the 3 major production breweries, the tumultuous history of prohibition in Iowa City and the beer riots in 1887, and their impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Historic Brewery Walking Tour of Iowa City
    • Thursday, October 17
    • Lead by Doug Alberhasky of John's Grocery
    • Doug gives the saucy details on the Historic Northside Brewing District on this fascinating tour. Learn the history of the 3 major production breweries, the tumultuous history of prohibition in Iowa City and the beer riots in 1887, and their impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Hidden Spaces Tour at the Museum of Natural History
    • Sunday, October 27  
    • Lead by Cindy Opitz: Director of Research Collections for the UI Pentacrest Museums
    • It's our Behind-the-Scenes Collections tour...but with a spooky twist! Our Collections team will be wearing their Halloween costumes and highlighting some spooky spaces and collections items. We invite you to wear your costume as well and see us in a new light...a darker light that is. Bwahahahaha!
Museum of Natural History Walking Tours

Write Nite

Experienced, aspiring, and amateur writers alike: this fall, make our museums your muse.

Join us in one of our magical gallery spaces after-hours with other writers in your community. We think our museum is one of the best places to write in town; evoking curiosity and wonder while remaining quiet and of course, climate-controlled. Work on a project you've been needing a reason to revisit or begin something totally new. All genres, all subjects–we got you.

Our space is yours for the evening:

  • Monday, September 9 5-6:30pm in Mammal Hall
  • Thursday, October 3 5-6:30pm in Bird Hall

This program is designed for adult participants but everyone is welcome!  Admission is free. Advanced registration not required.

Write Nite