T.rex Encounter

Yesterday we journeyed to our version of the Big City for a field trip at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (formerly the Natural History Museum but people are too illiterate to realize that Natural History isn't the same thing as their history class in high school so they changed the name. But I'm not bitter.) Our field trip was to see the T. rex Encounter and then DinoMAX.

T. rex Encounter was fabulous! All the special exhibits have been great - Genghis Khan, Body Worlds, Pirates - we've loved them all. T. rex involved animitronic dinos - a small raptor, triceratops and, of course, T. rex. They had screens above the animals showing exactly what they were seeing, which was really cool. There was a play presentation where the kids got to figure out which bones belonged to which dinosaurs and learn some stuff along the way. Sue was there, of course, in all her glory. Her head was at the beginning, the full skeleton at the end and lots of interactive displays in between.

Before exiting, you could get your picture taken with an artistic rendition of her (see previous post.) The kids didn't want to the "mom hiding behind us" or the "mom throwing us to the dino and running" picture. So we ended up with Sandis clinging to me, me crouching and screaming and Stella appearing to be staring Sue down. Oh well, it still looks pretty fun. Much better than the traditional school groups where the kids all lined up smiling. For this situation, that is just weird!

After the Encounter, we had lunch and headed to DinoMAX, the 3D IMAX show double feature of Dinosaurs Alive! and Waking the T. Rex: The Story of SUE. Totally awesome! Lots of dinos tramping around plus archeologists digging. Plenty of info and special effects.

Last, but not list, we met up with my friend, Aaron Spriggs and got a behind the scenes tour of the zoology department. He showed us the dermestitorium where dermestid beetles clean bones for them. If you are squeamish, don't think about that too hard. Then we saw the entomology, arachnology and mammology collection areas along with information about what they do there at the museum. It was very informative and it was great to see Aaron again after all these years.

We left the house at 9am (and didn't make it to the museum until 10:20, grrrr!) and arrived home at 5:15pm. I left again at 5:30pm to teach OWL, getting home again around 8:45pm. It was a FULL day but well worth it :)


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