Academy of Natural Sciences is offering a tasty way to explore sustainability

Academy of Natural Sciences
Mike Servedio/ANS

There’s a unique, delicious—and sustainable—way to enjoy a meal at the Academy of Natural Sciences this week. Along with their exclusive caterer, 12th Street Catering, locals can head to the venue on June 27 to indulge in ‘Dining for a Greener Future: A Night in the Rainforest.’

The event will offer a reception-style, rainforest-themed dinner and drinks with fresh, sustainable, and tasty fare prepared by 12th Street Chef Adam DeLosso, but there’s a lot more that goes into this event than just the meal.

Dining for a Greener Future also gives guests the chance to explore the Academy’s latest special exhibit, ‘Under the Canopy: Animals of the Rainforest.’ In your tropical or safari gear (dressing up is encouraged), visitors will be up close and personal with live animals like a boa constrictor or sloth, and also hear from different scientists and botany managers on the intricacies of rainforest ecosystems, specifically relating to the venue’s collection.

Academy of Natural Sciences
Maple the sloth inside of her enclosure in the special exhibit
Under the Canopy: Animals of the Rainforest at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
Ramon Torres/ANS

“The Dining for a Greener Future series is back by popular demand to offer a ‘Night in the Rainforest’ with 12th Street Catering,” said Kimberly Reynolds, Chief Advancement Officer, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in a statement.

“Our guests will experience science come to life while enjoying an eco-friendly dinner inspired by the majestic flora, bountiful trees and many creatures found in the natural world of the rainforest. This dinner is a chance for guests to showcase their best tropical attire and learn how small actions and choices can make a big difference to safeguard this precious environment.”

‘Under the Canopy’ was created by Little Ray’s Exhibitions and will be on site at the Academy through Sept. 2. As the release notes, the immersive animal habitat is filled with displays of live animals, including a two-toed sloth along with life-size, climbable animal sculptures and other interactive and dynamic components to inspire visitors of all ages. Presented in both English and Spanish, ‘Under the Canopy’ is meant to transport visitors to the most diverse ecosystem on the planet to learn about biodiversity, as well as the vital function of rainforests as Earth’s lungs.

Philadelphians who attend ‘Dining for a Greener Future’ will be able to peruse through the exhibits while also indulging in the rainforest-themed fare, tickets run for $105 per guest (alcohol included.)

At more than 200 years old, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America’s oldest natural history museum.J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

But if you can’t make it to the dinner, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is spending the 2024 sunny season with a series of both fun and educational activities getting you up close and personal to dinosaurs, insects and everything in between.

In July and August, Philadelphians can also head to the Academy for its Dino-Mite summer, which features 30 species in its Dinosaur Hall, plus ways to dig for fossils in “The Big Dig.” The activation will also feature animals of the rainforest and ways to learn about the environment they call home, a deep dive into the beetles of the world, a summer turtle tour and much more.

Academy of Natural Sciences
Bug Fest in 2022Academy of Natural Sciences

Later in the season (Aug. 10-11), Philadelphians can return to the cultural institution for another big event—Bug Fest. The occasion is a fan favorite for the Academy and boasts scientist-guided Bug Walks on the Parkway, “Roach Races”, ways to explore specimens from the Academy’s world-class Entomology Collection, scientist meet and greets, a marketplace with local artists and other unique events.

The venue is also offering a few Summer Camp options this summer, more information and dates can be found online. For a full list of events and offerings at the Academy of Natural Sciences (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway), visit