Natural history, science, and nature are for everyone. We’re working hard to break down barriers to accessibility and provide an inclusive experience for all our guests. Our team is constantly working to make improvements and find new ways to improve the experience of our guests, build a stronger sense of community, and increase awareness of the resources we have available. For questions, concerns, or suggestions about accessibility at either the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery or SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, please email us.
Contact our Education Team for more information on our Guest Experience and Accessibility.
- Parking: We have a limited number of accessible parking spots in the upper drop-off lane, and several more in the lower main parking lot, with an accessible pathway leading to the front entrance. Accessible parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Wheelchair Rental: We have a limited number of wheelchairs available for guests to borrow at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. All you need is a photo ID. Visit our friendly Guest Services staff in the lobby to exchange your ID for a set of wheels.
- Exhibitions: Our building is fully accessible, but parts of some exhibitions may require full leg range of motion to experience. Our climbing tower is accessible on both the first and second floors.
- Caryl D. Philips Space Theater: We have several wheelchair-accessible seating spaces available in our planetarium. Please alert a staff member when entering for a show if you would like access to these spaces.
The Dayton Society of Natural History is a proud member of the All-Access Inclusion Network (AAIN). The AAIN is led by TRIAD – the Autism Institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and is a collaborative effort to create opportunities to increase access and inclusion of neurodivergent individuals across the lifespan. For more information about the All-Access Inclusion Network, please visit their website.
- Supports: DSNH staff are currently working with AAIN to develop several supports for families to utilize ahead of, during, and after a visit to either the Boonshoft Museum or Discovery or SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park. These will include a modified map of the museum, social narratives, and a visual schedule to support visit planning.
- Sensory Bags: DSNH staff are also working with AAIN to provide sensory bags for guests of Boonshoft Museum of Discovery to borrow at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. Included in each kit will be items to fidget, sunglasses, stress balls, and noise-minimizing headphones. All you will need is a photo ID. When they are ready, visit our friendly Guest Services staff in the lobby to exchange your ID for a bag.
- Quieter Times and Spaces: At Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Monday mornings are often less busy, and Sundays are typically the slower day on the weekends. We cannot guarantee any one day will be slower than another will, as crowds vary depending on holidays, school vacations, weather, and several other factors. School field trips pick up from mid-March through the end of May each year. If you are in need of a quiet room, there is one located on the first floor, near the entrance to the Bieser Room of Wonders. If that space is taken, please visit our Guest Services desk in the lobby to see if we have a private classroom available for you to use.
- Caryl D. Philips Space Theater: Inside the planetarium can be dark, the volume can be loud and the visuals can include a lot of motion. We have noise-minimizing headphones you can request to borrow at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis from the planetarium operator.
- Sensory Sundays: The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery’s Sensory Sunday program offers extended hours for local families who might benefit from visiting the museum during a less stimulating time. During these special hours, the Museum will adjust lighting and sound, have trained volunteers and additional staff available. You can find more information about upcoming dates and times here.
- Sensory Sundays Membership: Low-cost memberships are available at both the individual and family levels solely for participation in our monthly Sensory Sundays program at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. They do not cover admission to the museum for hours outside of the Sensory Sundays events, and do not include admission to SunWatch.
- Museums for All: We’re proud to participate in the Museums for All program to make it affordable for all families to experience natural history, science, and nature. The program supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits by offering a minimal admission fee of $2 per person (for up to four people) with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
- Super Science Saturdays: The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is committed to providing the greater Dayton community with science-focused programming and fun for the entire family. Each year, the Museum will host four dates that will offer FREE admission from 10:00am – 4:00pm. These special learning days include access to any special exhibitions, planetarium shows (limited seating available), and public programming. You can find more information about upcoming dates here.
- Personal Care Assistants: We’re proud to offer free admission to paid Personal Care Assistants (PCA) accompanying a visitor who needs the PCA’s assistance due to a disability covered under the ADA. PCA’s will be required to show their ID at the Admissions desk.
- Service Animals: Qualified service dogs, as defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA, are welcome to visit. Emotional support animals are not allowed in the building. We ask that you please leave your pets at home.
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's Sensory Sunday program offers extended hours for local families who might benefit from visiting the museum during a less stimulating time. During these special hours, the Museum will adjust lighting and sound, have trained volunteers and additional staff available.