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Cranbrook Institute of Science

Cranbrook Institute of Science

39221 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303

  • NEIGHBORHOOD: Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Royal Oak

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Cranbrook Institute of Science

Whatever your interest or need, Cranbrook Institute of Science has something for you. The Institute offers rentals and party packages including fun, hands-on science experiments, a trip through the stars in the planetarium and an up-close look at some eager-to-please bats in The Bat Zone.

For corporations and others interested in a one-of-a-kind conference facility, the Institute features a state-of-the-art planetarium and other amenities perfect for business functions and meetings.

Community centers, schools, clubs and seniors groups interested in finding out more about astronomy, physics, chemistry and other sciences can contact the Institute for expert speakers — perfect for an enlightening, engaging afternoon of learning. Or bring your group to Cranbrook for a field trip and take advantage of all the museum has to offer.

From museum rentals and field trips to speakers and traveling exhibits, Cranbrook Institute of Science can fill all your science needs.

More than 200,000 visitors flock to Cranbrook Institute of Science each year, making it one of the region’s best known museum of natural history.

Founded in 1904 by Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth, Cranbrook is an internationally renowned center for art, education and science located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Cranbrook Institute of Science is an integral part of that community, having served area schoolchildren and families since its creation in 1930.

Institute of Science Timeline

1904: Cranbrook founders George and Ellen Scripps Booth purchase 140 acres of farm and dairy land north of Birmingham, Michigan.

1922: Brookside School for children opens and includes nature walks of Cranbrook in its curriculum.

1926: Mr. & Mrs. Booth impulsively purchase 277 minerals in Denver while on a trip.

1927: Cranbrook School for boys opens. The Booths establish the Cranbrook Foundation to support their dreams for Cranbrook. A 6-inch equatorial refractor telescope is purchased for installation at Cranbrook School.

1929: First natural history displays set up at the Museum Building (now known as the Academy of Art’s Administration Building).

1930: The telescope is moved permanently to the observatory in the new Institute of Science building on Sunset Hill.

1932: Cranbrook Foundation votes to establish Institute as separate legal entity.

1936: First Institute building exhibits.

1938: Dedication of Eliel Saarinen-designed Institute building.

1945: May 20, highest one-day attendance, 3,476; two-thirds of which was attendance at the Oakland Co. War Show held at the Cranbrook Pavilion (now known as St. Dunstan’s Playhouse).

1945: Dr. Margaret Mead, world-famous anthropologist, gives lecture on The Witch Theme in Balinese Life.

1950: Famous M.I.T. professor and inventor of high-speed photography, Dr. Harold E. Edgerton, gives lecture

1954: Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, lectures at the Institute.

1955: Cranbrook’s Planetarium opens.

1968: Nature Center opens.

1973: The annual Maple Syrup Festival begins.

1974: Members’ field expedition to the Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza.

1977: Dr. Mary D. Leakey, world-renowned anthropologist, lectures at Cranbrook.

1980: Model Stegosaurus installed in front of the Institute to commemorate 50th anniversary of museum.

1981: Noted ornithologist and author Roger Tory Peterson lectures at Institute.

1983: 58th Cranbrook Institute of Science publication printed.

1987: Summer visitors flock to see Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs!, a temporary exhibition of life-like prehistoric creatures.

1999: New Institute addition opens with all new exhibitions.

2006: Construction finishes on new West Entrance and parking structure.


Cranbrook Institute of Science is a natural history and science museum that fosters in its audiences a passion for understanding the world around them and a lifelong love of learning. Through its broadly based educational programs, its permanent and changing exhibits and its collections and research, the Institute develops a scientifically literate public able to cope with today’s knowledge-based society. Moreover, Cranbrook Institute of Science generates the enthusiasm for learning about the natural world that will produce the scientists of tomorrow.

Web Address:

Address: 39221 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303