Cook's Natural Science Museum
Back to Alabama
How to get there: Cook's Museum is located at 412 13th Street (just off 6th Ave/hwy 31) SE, Decatur, AL 35601 They are open 9-5 Monday-Saturday, closed 1-2 for lunch and open 2-5 on Sunday. Admission is free.
What to expect:
Walk in the front door and before you is 'The Counter o' Wonder'. Ahhh. Trinkets, masks, books, goodies, rocks, jewelry, toys and those cool pencils with a mini rock collection in the end. I used to LOVE this place when I was a kid-now my kids beg to go for a visit! The prices are excellent and no taxes! This is a perfect place to stock up on science-related toys for gifts. If you can make it past the front counter, take your pick between the left or the right side to explore the museum loop.
I would describe the collection as 'eclectic'. Insects and spiders, wild animals, rocks, sea shells, fossils, bones, interactive stations, live snakes and more! The entire museum is the size of a house and will take about 30-45 minutes to go through if you stop and look at everything.
An excellent companion visit for Cook's is the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.
Cook's is known for their huge bug collection.
They also have a selection of mounted 'local' animals, loads of birds and some endangered species.
You can stick your head in it's mouth...
Along with various animals, they have a good collection of sea shells, rocks, gems, minerals and even a meteorite you can try to pick up!
Hippo skull-one of many bones on display.
Some of the butterflies and moths on display: