Monday, January 28, 2013

Natural History Museum with the family

As mentioned earlier this year, I had a chance to go to the Utah Museum of Natural History. It was awesome, and I vowed to take Bub and the boys. Luckily, I got a bunch of coupons for $5 off of the admission fee, so we took advantage of it!

Nana and Bill went with us. Unfortunately, Bill got bored really early. I think that Nana would have liked to stay all day, but it’s hard for a museum to hold a candle to the last movie in the Twilight saga in a 12-year old's brain. Me? I would pick the museum 1000 times over before I even bothered to watch even a commercial-ridden, edited, version of that movie. (I can’t stand the actors – horrible “talent” if you ask me.) So, Nana and Bill headed off to the theaters while the rest of us had ourselves a great time.

I really like the interactive parts of the museum. Fun for little boys – and grownups, too! Here are the boys trying to fit the pieces of some “pottery” together, much like an anthropologist might. The forms are magnets, and the pieces easily stick where ever you think that they should go.

The cue cards in front of the boys accompany sounds on a computer. When the docent plays a sound, you try to identify which card matches it. It was very informative. I asked the docent to specifically play the sound of a rattlesnake so that they boys could hear it. I’ve tried to make that noise, but even though I’m a mean bitch, I’m no rattlesnake. Besides, there is nothing like the real thing.

These red/blue gel squares were quite interesting. They are atop a floor map of the Great Salt Lake, and they show the effects of the causeway built many years ago. Once, the whole lake had basically the same levels of salinity throughout. Now, the levels are dramatically different on each side of the causeway – so high on the north side that even the brine shrimp cannot grow.

Check out these dinosaur bones! Love it!

This was fun. There are a couple of places in the building where the floor is thick glass and artifacts are literally displayed beneath your feet. Super cool if you’re a curious kid. Not so cool if you’re a grownup with some phobias. Bub really didn’t want to walk across it. Once she did, we had a little breather while she allowed her heart rate to return to normal and the boys played in a sand box digging up skeletons of their own.

Another super cool section was the area dedicated to the backyard. There was a little stream where you could net some plastic fish, some burrows where you could crawl through to see garden snakes and some bugs. There were costumes (here a butterfly and a fly, but also a skunk and bear), binoculars, safari hats and vests, and an area for stories. Honestly, I think that the boys enjoyed this section the most!

In all, it was a lot of fun. I think that the boys are going to love it as they get older. (Plus, they have a program where you can sleep overnight in the museum in the room with all of the skeletons. Groovy, right?)

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