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Puppets of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace will greet families at the museum’s Family Fun Day celebration.

The McClung Museum will host Darwin Day, a community and family fun day celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 10.

Darwin Day is one of the longest-running annual celebrations of Charles Darwin’s scientific advances. Massimo Pigliucci, former assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, founded Darwin Day at UT in 1997.

Today, the festivities include lectures and teachers’ workshops organized by graduate and undergraduate students from various departments across campus. The goal is to combat misunderstandings of scientific principles, particularly in the field of evolutionary biology.

While Darwin’s birthday celebration has been hosted by the McClung since 2015, it has now expanded to include families from the community in addition to UT students.

“We want to create opportunities for children and their families to explore complex scientific concepts through fun and engaging activities,” said Callie Bennett, assistant educator and family programs coordinator at the museum.

Developed in close collaboration with graduate students from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS), the family day at the museum will offer tours of the Human Origins Gallery, guided craft activities, cake and punch, scavenger hunts, and conversations with Darwin (an oversized puppet head). UT students, faculty, and staff are especially encouraged to join community members for the fun-filled day.

Visitors joining the activities will be eligible for the raffle of two special prizes.

“I am really excited to be a co-coordinator this year and see what new directions we can take our Darwin Day celebration,” said Maggie Limbeck, graduate student liaison at EPS.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line. See the museum’s website for more information about family programming, parking, and collections and exhibits.


Callie Bennett (865-974-6750,

Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,