In the News: Number One Ranking for the Cook Museum of Natural Science

Number One Ranking for the Cook Museum of Natural Science

If you live in Decatur, you probably know just how cool the Cook Museum is. Well, now it has a little national recognition! After a panel decided the best new museums in the country, readers and USA Today announced a number one ranking for the Cook Museum of Natural Science. Congrats!

How the Cook Museum earned its award

USA Today gave out the number one ranking for the Cook Museum of Science with some help from its readers. First, USA Today’s panel searched new museums across the country. After that, they put together a list of the 20 best nominees, with their window beginning in 2019. Then, they let their readers decide the among the top options. The rest of the story, you know: The Cook Museum won!

About the winners

In May, USA Today came out with its results for the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best New Museum. The Cook Museum claimed the number one slot. Here are the other nine museums on the list:

  1. U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado;
  2. Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;
  3. Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana;
  4. Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, New Jersey;
  5. American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in New York City, New York;
  6. National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia;
  7. Poster House in New York City, New York;
  8. National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee; and
  9. Planet Word in Washington, D.C.

What to do at the Cook Museum

With all the exciting exhibits the Cook Museum has to offer, we can see why they earned the number one spot. Next time you go, look for exhibits on subjects like:

  • Caves;
  • Rivers and streams;
  • The Discover Gallery, complete with live animals;
  • Oceans;
  • Geographic foundations;
  • Forests;
  • Insects;
  • And more.

Visiting the Cook Museum

It won a buzzy national ranking! If you haven’t visited the Cook Museum—or haven’t gone in a while—you have the perfect reason to check it out. Located at 133 Fourth Ave. NE, it’s just 12 minutes away from Summer Key.

The Museum is open every day, excluding most major holidays. You can visit Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.

Admission is free for children aged 2 and younger. Tickets cost $15 for kids aged 3 to 14, $17 for seniors and military members, and $20 for those aged 15 and older. Groups may benefit from reduced rates. Buy your tickets online here!


Did we say it? Congratulations! We’re happy to hear about the well-earned number one ranking for the Cook Museum of Natural Science. Considering all the incredible exhibits and events it has to offer, though, we’re not surprised one bit!

After a fun day trip, where will you unpack your gift shop souvenirs? (Don’t lie—we all buy them!) If you need a little extra space, check out Summer Key here. Finally, stay up-to-date on local news and spotlights when you read our blog.