In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Cook Museum expansion to open in Decatur this summer


Whenever we have family or friends coming for a visit we all have those places we plan to take them that are unique to our area and are guaranteed to entertain our guests.  The Rocket Center comes first to mind, or Ivy Green in Tuscumbia.  Maybe a trip up to Chattanooga to see the Tennessee Aquarium.  I’ve always felt the Historic Huntsville Depot was a hidden gem in the Valley.

This summer we will have another attraction that will no doubt be placed near the top of that list.

         In downtown Decatur, the finishing touches are being made to the new
Cook Museum of Natural Science.

A 62,000 square foot museum that will house over 80 different species of live animals.  There will be a 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and 11 interactive exhibit galleries that will allow us to explore deserts, forests, the Arctic/Desert, rivers, and more. The latest technology is being used to captivate you as you learn about birds, insects, minerals, coral, and the solar system.  Walk through an immersive cave, let the little ones burn energy in the kid’s play area, visit the gift shop, and enjoy a meal at the restaurant.


See information about each exhibit here.

The grand opening of The Cook Museum of Natural Science is scheduled for Friday, June 7th

          The inspiration for this museum dates back 50 years.  John Cook, Sr. had a professional insect collection that was primarily used to train employees of Cook’s Pest Control.  In 1968, John Cook, Sr. made his collection available for viewing by the general public.  As time passed, the collection added other items from nature like mounted animals along with rocks and minerals.  In 1980, a 5,000 square foot building was constructed to house the first Cook’s Natural Science Museum.  In the 35 years it was open 750,000 visitors came through the doors.  It is estimated that over 200,000 people will visit the new Cook’s Museum of Natural Science in its first year alone.

          Make plans now to visit what will quickly become one of the most popular attractions in the Tennessee Valley.

Ticket pricing and package information will be available in March.

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