Natural History Museum :: Dinosaur Hall

I’m a firm believer in getting annual passes and memberships. The powers that be have made sure that this is an affordable option, not an absurd one. So if you go to the parks and museums about 3 times, it almost always pays for itself.

My son J is a budding paleontologist, scientist, animal rescuer, and as of today, a “shark manner saver manner” (one who saves people from shark attacks). Having a summer of free days and nothing to do, we went to the Natural History Museum to see their regular exhibits. This is when we got some insight as to the not-yet-opened Dinosaur Hall. The day before was a staff preview and the buzz was running rampant and the energy was high and positive. Any staff you approached couldn’t wait to talk to you about what they saw. We had purchased a membership when we went for the visit ($80 for a family of 4*, how can you go wrong??) – and members got to participate in a week of previews before the Dinosaur Hall was open to the public. Definitely check out the other perks of membership, I strongly suggest the investment.

We returned a week later for the preview and I was absolutely gobsmacked from the very get-go. I grew up going to the American Natural History Museum in NYC for every field trip, visit to the city, et cetera. It was going to be hard to impress me. I was more than impressed. Among many amazing features, a fossil of a pregnant marine mammal! Yes, pregnant! Another goosebump moment was seeing the picture of 100 years ago in a museum exhibit, showing how they thought a Tyrannosaurus Rex held himself – straight upright and tail dragging. You look beyond that picture to see what we now believe they stood – more horizontal with a tail that never touched the ground. The idea that these discoveries are ever evolving was a huge message in the exhibit.

We loved it, LOVED it, and have gone back almost every week since. And if you are wondering, I have carried on the torch of the staff and haven’t stopped talking about the experience to anyone who is (or isn’t) willing to listen.

* Single Parent Note: In memberships such as these, where it's for a family of 4 but you are only a family of 3, you can list another person as your fourth. The idea is that they live with you or are another caregiver. My mom is the lucky 4th for the Natural History Museum and the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.


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