Daily Public Programs

During your visit at the museum, we encourage you to hop into one of our exciting public programs! These programs invite visitors to learn about a variety of topics around the museum, and they are not only educational, but fun and engaging! Whether you like chemistry, astronomy, biology, or just want to be surprised, we have something for all ages!

Below is an overview of certain public programs we offer throughout the year. Check our Daily Calendar for time and location of each program during your visit or speak with our Guests Services team when you check in.

Collections Encounter

This is a great opportunity for guests to see an item from the Dayton Society of Natural History’s 1.8 million object collection.  Guests will meet a member from the Collections Department and learn about an amazing artifact, specimen or object they have brought out from the vault.

Discovery Table

Visitors can join in on a hands-on activity, a challenge, or a watch an awesome demonstration featuring a variety of science topics.  Set up like a science fair table, visitors are encouraged to stop by and discover something new about science!

Do Lab

Want to do some hands on science activities and simple experiments?  The Do Lab is open on the weekends and will feature an experiment, science activity, or engineering challenge for visitors.  You can find the Do Lab on the 1st floor in Science Central. Space is limited and it is recommended for participants ages 5 and up.

Keeper Talk

Meet an amazing animal from the Discovery Zoo! One of our zoo keepers will bring out an animal in this fun meet and greet program.  What animal will you meet and learn about during your visit? This program is located on the 2nd floor in the Vet Hospital.

Planetarium Shows

Located in the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater on the 1st floor, visitors are presented with a variety of shows and movies in our very own planetarium! Enjoy a full dome experience with movies and visual all around you as you learn about astronomy. Visit our planetarium page to learn about our current shows.

Science on a Sphere

Enjoy an interactive and live show in this exhibit space as you learn about planet Earth, the Moon, weather, and more! All with the help of a giant 55 lbs. carbon fiber sphere. This program is located on the 2nd floor in the Tait Auditorium.  

Science Theater

Located in on the 1st floor in Science Central, visitors will take their seats and experience several science demonstrations.  This shows allows visitors of all ages to experience cool & crazy chemical reactions, fun physics, fiery explosions, exciting electricity and more!

Toddler Exploration

Located on the 1st floor in the Boonshoft Kids' park, visitors can check out age-appropriate activity baskets they can do with their 0-3 year olds. 


Q: Where can I find a schedule of upcoming shows?

A: Program schedules are posted at the front desk and around the museum. The schedule is also posted on our website.

Q: Do you all do the same programs all the time?

A: Public programs are scheduled on a month to month basis and depend on the school season, holidays, and more.  We try to vary each month a bit so everyone can have a good experience and see different shows.

Q:  Is there a max capacity for some shows?

A:  It depends on the show.  Floor programs, like the Discovery Table, are open for all visitors to walk up and visit.  Do Lab, Science Theater, and the planetarium have capacity limits that we must abide by for everyone’s safety.   

Q: Can I reserve a spot for public program?

A:  All of our shows are held on a first-come first-served basis.  Feel free to get to a program location early to make sure you get a spot.

Q: Can we leave a show if we change our mind?

A:  Yes! However, please be aware that programs in the Science Theater or the planetarium have a no re-entry policy once the program has started.

Q:  How do I know if a program is age appropriate for my child, family, or students?

A:  Most of our shows are presented in such a way for all visitors to enjoy regardless of age. Some things to keep in mind: the planetarium gets very dark, the Science Theater may feature chemicals, loud noises or fire, and the Do Lab is recommended for ages 5 and up because of the activities it may feature. The best option is to ask a staff member for more information during your visit.

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