The Museum of Science & History in Memphis: The Complete Guide

The Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

TripSavvy / Ivey Redding

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Memphis Museum of Science & History

Address
3050 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38111, USA
Phone +1 901-636-2362

The Museum of Science & History, or MoSH, is one of the largest museums of its kind in the southeastern United States. Its large collection of permanent exhibits offers visitors the chance to explore Memphis' natural and cultural history. The museum boasts a planetarium, a giant screen theater, and an amazing nature center set on over 65 acres of land. It's an inviting experience for people of all ages and interests.

History

Before it was the Museum of Science & History, this family-friendly institution was named the Pink Palace Museum. Built of pink Georgian marble, it was designed in the early 1920s to be the home of Clarence Saunders, a prominent Memphian and founder of Piggly Wiggly stores. Before the mansion's construction was complete, Saunders was forced to file for bankruptcy. In the late 1920s, the home was given to the city of Memphis to be used as a museum. In 1930, it officially opened as the Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts. The public, however, kept calling it the pink palace museum and in 1967 the name was officially changed.

Over the years the museum has expanded. Adjacent to the Mansion Museum is the new the Museum of Science & History building. This building houses many of the museum's permanent exhibits including the amazing Clyde Parke Circus, which is a mechanical one-inch to one-foot scale model circus, Native American pottery, fossils, and rocks and minerals. This building hosts ever-changing traveling exhibits, as well.

The museum underwent the process of rebranding during the beginning of the pandemic and has finally settled in its new name and look.

Man and children observing artifacts in the Cossitt Room

Courtesy of Memphis Museum of Science and History

What to See

The museum has three permanent exhibits. One is on the cultural history of the Mid-South and tells the story of cotton, slavery, and the Civil War. Another is on the natural history of the Mid-South where you can learn about the Mississippi River and the animals that have called the region home. The third exhibit gives a lesson on the historic Pink Palace.

The Museum of Science & History has a Giant Screen Theater, which uses RealD 3D digital technology and a state-of-the-art sound system. The Giant Theater seats 240 people and shows a variety of educational 3D films, such as the films Extreme Weather, National Parks, and Walking With Dinosaurs. In addition, they occasionally screen classic family films in 2D—everything from The Muppet Movie to Harry Potter to animated Disney classics. 

The AutoZone Dome in the Sharpe Planetarium, also located inside the museum, has a variety of shows about stargazing, astronomy, outer space, and more. Check the website for all show times.

Visiting the Museum

The Museum of Science & History is located at 3050 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38111. The best way to get to the museum is to drive (parking is free) or to take an Uber.

To see the most updated and current museum hours, check the MoSH Memphis website.

Tickets to enter the museum start at $18 for adults (only $17 for seniors), $13 for children 3 to 12, and all children under 2 can enter for free. You can enjoy the planetarium or theater shows for an additional cost.

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What To Know About The The Museum of Science & History in Memphis