ITHACA, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The Museum of the Earth is celebrating 20 years of exploration with an interactive community event.

Since opening in September 2003, the Musuem of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution has brought over 4 billion years’ worth of stories about life on Earth to Ithaca. As a way to thank the community for their continued support, the museum will be offering free admission on September 30. Those in attendance will be transported back in time as they enjoy an array of natural treasures, engage in hands-on interactive activity tables, and examine fossils. Guests can also collect special stickers, access special membership offers, participate in a raffle, and join museum staff for cupcakes. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with activities happening all day.

Hailed as “pound-for-pound the best natural history museum in America,” the Museum of the Earth has become a leading destination for natural history education and Earth exploration. Through its diverse exhibits and resources, the museum has worked to foster a greater appreciation for the planet and its vast history amongst members of the community.

“The Museum of the Earth offers a glimpse into one of the nation’s largest fossil collections,” says Warren Allmon, Director of the Paleontological Research Institution, which is the Museum’s parent organization. “The PRI collection dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century and the founding of Cornell University, and the Museum allows residents and visitors in the Finger Lakes to experience a big-city museum in the middle of one of the most geologically spectacular regions of the country. PRI is proud to have built and operated this museum for the past 20 years, and we are so excited to celebrate this anniversary with our community.”

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The Museum of the Earth is located at 1259 Trumansburg Road.