The Cook Museum of Natural Science is a state-of-the-art natural science museum in downtown Decatur, AL. It provides a hands-on, immersive experience where kids can explore, interact with, and learn about nature. You'll leave the Cook Museum feeling fulfilled by the memories made and amazed by the things you saw and learned.

What’s Inside

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Live Animals

We have a large variety of live animals including many different species of saltwater fish, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, live coral, moon jellyfish, and numerous species of freshwater turtles and fish. Our terrariums house eastern hellbenders, an eastern indigo snake, alligators, and more, and our Wonderful World of Insects exhibit is home to various kinds of terrestrial and aquatic insects.


We have a number of interesting and educational exhibits that are sure to delight your senses and give you a closer look at some of the amazing creatures and environments in nature. Many of our exhibits include interactive activities, such as a meteorite from outer space, digital seashell generator, kinetic sand table, and a tree with a rope bridge to climb.


Our three classrooms are Maker Space, Adventure Lab, and Salamander Room, and they are reserved for unique museum programs, field trips, and parties. Engage learners of all ages in an interactive and compelling way, and make your next field trip or group trip memorable, educational, and fun.

Event Venue

Whether it’s an intimate seated dinner surrounded by coral and sea creatures or an elegant corporate event in our state-of-the-art Monarch Hall, we offer spaces to fit every event.

Museum Store

You’ve made marvelous memories at the museum. Now, take home a reminder of the fun, intriguing, amazing things you saw and did! Proceeds from your purchase at the Museum Store will support our exhibits and educational efforts. Members receive a 10% discount on all purchases from the store.

Nature's Table

Nature’s Table serves up fresh, tasty food for dine in, carry-out, and catering. Located inside of the Cook Museum, Nature’s Table is open to the general public without an admission ticket. Enjoy healthy wraps, sandwiches, salads, protein bowls, smoothies, coffee, and more, all made to order with the freshest ingredients. From a quick bite on-the-go to box lunches for groups, Nature’s Table will definitely hit the spot!


Kate Newville-Sinkel

This museum is a hidden DIAMOND in Northern Alabama. I am amazed at the quality of their exhibits (I personally find that their cave system exhibit, while smaller, is better than Mammoth Cave’s exhibit) and the cleanliness of the entire museum. I can’t believe I’ve been living 5 minutes away and had no idea how great this is. Everyone was absolutely amazingly nice and hospitable and makes me want to come back!

Kate Newville-Sinkel

Justen Alexander

Love this place! The workers are extremely knowledgeable, and the activities are amazing! I really loved the microscope wands. The insect exhibit was my favorite! My 6 year old had so much fun.

Justen Alexander

Darren Fuemmeler

I didn’t expect to find a science museum of this quality in Alabama, let alone Decatur, but there it is. The tour path and exhibits are well designed and laid out. In every room, there are displays for all ages. In the hours that I spent there, I didn’t see a bored kid or adult. That’s impressive. And when you get hungry, there’s a great cafe on site. It’s worth eating at even if you don’t go to the museum.

Darren Fuemmeler