The Cook Museum of Natural Science is located at 133 4th Avenue NE in Decatur. The 62,000 square feet facility (with an additional 10,000 square foot annex) is a start-of-the-art natural science museum that provides a hands-on, immersive experience where people of all ages can explore, interact with, and learn about nature.
- 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium
- Immersive cave experience
- Forests exhibit with a tree you can climb up through the inside of and a rope bridge you can cross to a squirrel's nest high up in a tree
- Hands-on interactive activities including a kinetic sand table, a digital seashell generator, and a meteorite from the outer space you can hold
- Around 60,000 live Italian Honey Bees, around 250 fresh & saltwater fish, 19 live reptiles & amphibians, hundreds of live insects and more!
Adult (Age 15+) - $20
Child (Age 3 to 14) - $15
Infant (2 and under) - FREE
Senior (Age 65+) - $17
Military (with military ID) - $17
Groups (15 or more) - $17 for Adult, $13 for children
Membership options are available
Grand Opening Hours:
Friday, June 7th - 11am until 8pm
Saturday, June 8th - 9am until 8pm
Sunday, June 9th - 11am until 6pm
Normal Hours (Starting June 10th)
Monday: 9am - 6pm
Tuesday: 9am - 6pm
Wednesday: 9am - 6pm
Thursday: 9am - 6pm
Friday: 9am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 8pm
Sunday: 12pm - 6pm
The Cook Museum's roots can be traced back to 1968 when John Cook Sr. opened his professional insect collection to the public by appointment, which at the time had been used primarily for employee training at Cook's Pest Control. It later grew to include a wide array of mounted wildlife, touring malls throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.
In 1980, additional rocks, minerals, fossils, coral, sea shells, mounted wildlife, and federally protected migratory birds were acquired, and a 5,000 square foot building was constructed. At that time, what became known as Cook's Natural Science Museum came into existence, and it welcomed more than 750,000 visitors from its opening in 1980 until its closing in 2016. Plans for the new Cook Museum began in 2012 and construction began on the new building in 2015. All-in-all, the Cook Museum of Natural Science's grand opening in June 2019 marks the culmination of an approximately 50 year vision in the making.