If you are anything like me, you have a dinosaur lover in your family. A little boy whose eyes light up when he gets to talk about dinosaurs and what they probably ate, how they behaved, and how to pronounce those huge but very cool names. I’ve got a couple dino enthusiasts in my family, so when we found out about the traveling Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit, we decided to visit.
I was in Fort Smith recovering after my surgery, and the exhibit seemed like a great chance to get out of the house for the first time in a week. It was also nice to treat the whole family to something fun since they had been so good while I was recuperating. And Adam’s birthday provided the final excuse to head out for some dino fun!
There were a lot of dinosaur replicas in the exhibit. The kids loved being able to walk right up to them, touch them, and measure themselves against the dinosaurs to get a feel for the true size.
Almost all the exhibits and displays had signs that identified the dinosaurs and gave some tidbits of information. From a Christian perspective, the millions and millions of years were something to contend with but easily left out of the conversation with the littles.
The moving displays were a huge hit! Especially since many of them had buttons that the kids could push to activate the movement.
Those displays were roped off and couldn’t be touched, but being able to make the dinosaur move? Hello!
I liked this table with the different dinosaur heads. It created an interesting conversation about the types of mouths that animals have, and what each one is uniquely suited for.
With the regular admission pass was access to the Dino Dig, which was a huge hit. Sandboxes with “dinosaur fossils” buried in the sand allowed the kids the brush away the sand and uncover the fossils. Evan says he thinks that would be a cool job.
Also part of the admission ticket is the scavenger hunt card which the kids could turn in for a little prize at the end of the tour through. The Dino Den was a little run and play area for the kids, similar to a mall playland, but with dinosaurs to climb on instead. And the kids liked the coloring area where they each got to color a dinosaur coloring sheet of their choice.
The other attractions, like riding the dinosaur, or mining for gemstones, were extra. And wisely enough, we had to walk through the gift store and past all the paid stuff to get to the Dino Dig area. Smart, smart exhibit people.
I wish the music and ambient dinosaur noises had been just a little bit quieter in the exhibit areas. It was a little hard at times to have a conversation with the kids or talk to them about what we were seeing once they began to spread out and explore. But all in all the kids had a great time, and enjoyed the chance to see some dinosaurs that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
My kids were already in Fort Smith visiting Grammy and Papa’s house while I was recovering from surgery, and the timing was perfect for us. Living in a rural area means we love to take advantage of opportunities like this when they come by so our kids can enjoy exploring science in a hands-on way.
Discover the Dinosaurs travels across the United States and has more than 2 dozen stops planned for 2012 alone. I love that you don’t necessarily have to live near a museum to enjoy these replicas. Check out the list of their upcoming stops and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more information.
Do your kids love dinosaurs as much as mine do?
Note: I was given tickets for my family to explore Discover the Dinosaurs, but we paid for my siblings and parents to get in. No monetary compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.