Part of the Mythic Creatures exhibition.

The Field Museum, Chicago

Chicago's Field Museum is one of the world's great museums of science, environment, and culture, a focus of public learning and scholarly research. It is a treasury of more than 20 million objects from ancient mummies to endangered plants and animals to Sue, the biggest and most complete T. rex ever found. Above all, The Field Museum is an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Named for its founding donor, department-store magnate Marshall Field, the Museum first opened its doors in 1894. Today it presides proudly over Chicago's lakefront Museum Campus, its majestic halls and acres of exhibitions welcoming visitors from around the world.

Throughout the museum, scores of exhibitions engage visitors in the excitement and adventure of learning. You can explore an Egyptian tomb; watch real fossils being uncovered by skilled preparators; shrink to the size of a bug and discover the world beneath your feet; immerse yourself in the cultures and environments of Africa, China, the Americas; and much more.

Canadian Museum of Civilization

The Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) is Canada's national museum of human history and the most-visited museum in the country. The CMC is also recognized internationally as a center of excellence for research and curatorial science. The Museum's primary purpose is to collect, study, preserve, and present material objects that illuminate the human history of Canada and the cultural diversity of its people. The Museum currently houses close to 4 million artifacts, including some of the country's most important historical treasures. Its professional staff includes leading experts in archaeology, ethnology, and folk culture. They conduct original research throughout Canada-from urban neighborhoods to remote archaeological sites. For the public, the CMC is most renowned for its permanent galleries, devoted to the history and culture of Canada's Aboriginal peoples and for its Canada Hall, which surveys Canada's development since European contact. With international collaborators, the CMC also presents temporary exhibitions that explore other cultures and civilizations past and present. Recent examples include major exhibitions on the period of the Dead Sea Scrolls, on historic Chinese cultures, and on Pompeii. The CMC is also home to the enormously popular Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum, and an IMAX Dome theatre. Its Web Site,, provides access to a wealth of authoritative information. With roots stretching back to 1856, the CMC is one of North America's venerable cultural institutions and the recipient of numerous awards. Today, it occupies some of the most striking museum buildings in the world, memorable for extraordinary architecture and a riverside setting in the heart of Canada's capital.

Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, with entertaining exhibitions in its galleries and a fleet of historic vessels at its wharves, is one of Australia's liveliest cultural attractions. It takes a broad view of maritime history, showing visitors that Australians have always been closely linked to the sea. Its mainstay exhibitions look at Aboriginal culture, European exploration, successive waves of immigration, maritime commerce, defense by sea and aquatic adventure, sport, and play. The USA Gallery, the American government's bicentennial gift to Australia, explores the sea links forged over 200 years between these two nations. The museum's treasures include artifacts from the Dutch East India flagship Batavia, which was wrecked off the Western Australia coast in 1628; the world's fastest boat, Spirit of Australia, Ken Warby's hydroplane in which he set the present world water speed record of 511 kilometers per hour in 1978; and collections of beachwear and lifesaving gear that show the evolution of Australia's beach culture. A star attraction is the magnificent Australian-built replica of Captain Cook's 18th-century ship of discovery, Endeavour, itself a floating museum presented as if captain and crew had just walked ashore. The museum's historical fleet, one of the largest in the world, also includes former Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire, the submarine HMAS Onslow, the Australian Commando boat Krait, a pearling lugger from Broome, Western Australia, two historic yachts, a tug boat, a lightship, and a Vietnamese refugee boat. The museum also presents an ever-changing program of engaging temporary exhibitions, some produced by the museum and some imported from institutions across Australia and other parts of the world.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

As one of the South's preeminent museums, Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a gateway for discovery and exploration, unfolding stories of the earth's history, the physical universe, human culture and the environment through permanent and traveling exhibitions, dynamic programs and films in the IMAX® Theatre.

Fernbank Museum is the only major natural history museum to emerge out of an old-growth forest, which at 65 acres, remains the largest urban Piedmont forest of its kind in the U.S. Conceived through the vision of conservation-minded environmentalists to preserve this incredible forest as a "school in the woods," Fernbank has long been guided by the philosophy that it shares responsibility for protecting Atlanta's precious natural resources.

The Museum's Center for Environmental Science is endowed with experts in the fields of biology, ecology and education who develop engaging classes, public programs and other educational offerings that instill a sense of wonder in visitors for the natural world and reinforce the importance of conservation. One of Fernbank's newest environmental initiatives is Urban Watch Atlanta, a volunteer-based program that provides an opportunity to learn more about urban ecology and enables residents to influence wildlife habitats while also helping scientists gather data on urban wildlife statewide. The development of theUrbanWatch program was initiated by the Field Museum in Chicago. Now through a partnership between the Field Museum and Fernbank Museum of Natural History,UrbanWatch has been modified to support education and conservation efforts in Atlanta.

Urban Watch Atlanta is just one of the many programs offered by Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which also include Fernbank Forest family walks, the Regions of Georgia travel program, Reptile Day and more. As a further reinforcement of the environmental component of Fernbank's mission, Lizards and Snakes: Alive! is a spectacular opportunity to showcase the natural history of reptiles and the top-notch programming and instruction offered by Fernbank's staff.

Opened in 1992, Fernbank is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is "Atlanta's Home to Dinosaurs," a reputation highlighted by Giants of the Mesozoic, a unique permanent exhibition featuring the world's largest dinosaurs and other prehistoric fossils in an immersive display.