#46: Visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We were in Arizona anyway, we couldn’t not visit this place.

They have a great collection of dinosaurs here. Just when you think you’ve seen them all, you walk into the next room and boom – there’s a robot T-Rex roaring at you. We were actually chased from room to room by a giant school group. We kept dodging into the room they had just left, so we wouldn’t be in the way annoyed too much. There was a courtyard exhibit on Arizona’s four C’s: Climate, Copper, Citrus, and Cattle. (From our Phoenix experience, we thought they should instead be Cactus, Construction, Cars, and Chain restaurants.) They also have gold-panning, with tiny, real gold nuggets in the sand. And a pit where junior paleontologists can practice unearthing ancient monster skeletons.

There’s a room full of old gadgets, each with a multiple-choice questionnaire to see if you can figure out what it is. The kids were kind of baffled by what a phone booth was for. We also got to practice building and designing like ancient North- and South-Americans. And we puzzled together the skeleton and skin of a swimming dinosaur. This kept all four of us busy for an entire half hour.

This was a great stop for our family. We literally spent all day here. It felt a bit like the Tardis; the building doesn’t look all that big, but it keeps going and going, and before you know it it’s almost dinnertime.

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