New Pterosaur Exhibit at the Natural History Museum

Digital visualization of flying dinosaurs

Like most kids, my children have interests that pass. I thought dinosaurs and woolly mammoths would pass. I nurtured the interest like any good parent and expected the next year to bring a new love. And it did. We have added many new loves to our list, but one thing that has not passed is dinosaurs. In fact, it has grown into a love of paleontology and archaeology. A fascination that stays with us in a way that we are often pinched with the bug to find new ways to feed our fossil fire. Where can we dig? What can we watch? What’s in that rock?

This year we purchased an annual pass to the Natural History Museum, which also includes admission to the Tar Pits and the Page Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum. We were planning a trip anyway to explore, and we wanted to see the Mummies exhibit before it left so it made sense to just purchase the annual pass knowing we would get several uses out of it.

We’ve wondered what might take the place of the mummies that occupied the space downstairs near the cafe, and we were excited to learn of the Pterosaur exhibit. We were surprised through, that the exhibit is near the main member entrance and the space downstairs is still behind covered windows.

We entered the new exhibit on a member-only preview day so the crowds were limited once inside. It was sort of magical for us because we have such a polished appreciation for the age of dinosaurs and other creatures from long ago. We walked into rooms filled with fossils, and replicas, and informative plaques, and short films, and life-sized models of the Pterosaurs that once took to our skies. Some hover overhead, similar in size to the school bus in the parking lot. Some were smaller than your cat.

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There are interactive screens, like a video game, where you can dive for fish or hunt for bugs. My son loved that part. My daughter liked using the joystick to learn how the Pterosaurs used their wings to harness the wind during flight. I liked the room near the end with the Pterosaur replica soaring over the water. Such a beautiful display.

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I expected to pass through quickly, as my kids often do, jumping from one display to the next. But this one lasted. They took their time. They explored. They watched. They enjoyed. This one is definitely not to be missed.

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International Museum Day

international museum day

May 18th is International Museum Day. This day is organised to draw attention to the importance of museums. Informative and educational exhibits displayed in countless ways expose us to art, music, and lifestyles of cultures here and around the world, from the past to the present and beyond. There are museums everywhere, including historic places, art centers, and more. We are currently taking classes at an art center and have enjoyed browsing the exhibits. A few weeks ago they had a lot of sculpture and art created by children from our community. Last week the exhibit changed and as we browsed we noticed a lot of art showing our community from the past, and several landscapes from the beaches and open space preserves nearby.

My first grader had the opportunity to join his den on an overnight sleepover at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. What an amazing opportunity. While they were attending the sleepover they were free to explore the museum as they wished and most of the time, they had entire halls to themselves, free to explore the animals from our past and present, to touch and read through exhibits without distraction.

Being close to LA county, we have a ton of options for museums. On my list for this summer – The Getty, The Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

What are your favorite local museums?

 

International Museum Day Information

http://icom.museum/events/international-museum-day/

http://network.icom.museum/international-museum-day

 

Museum Activities for Kids

http://www.si.edu/kids

http://www.getty.edu/education/kids_families/

http://www.minimonetsandmommies.com/2015/04/famous-artist-collage-activity-for-kids.html

http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/education/classroom-activities

 

Questions for Conversation

What is your favorite museum?

Why do you think museums are important?

What different types of jobs do people do at museums?

What are three things you can see in a museum?