After Easter, there are just a couple Saturdays that Lucas has free before we enter the wedding season. And, normally, wedding season isn't that bad, but this year the denomination seems to have scheduled meetings on every free Saturday he would have had. This Saturday was one of the free ones, and I wanted to make the most of it. Plus, we were still in a celebrating mood from the night before.
We tossed around a couple of ideas. The zoo (maybe call up the Indy cousins and see if they were free for a really impromptu zoo trip)? Too cold. An aquarium? None close. A Children's Museum? Really expensive. I was thinking about fun adventures when I was a kid, and I thought about Morrill Hall. Suddenly, it struck me that most state schools probably have something similar, so I googled it and discovered that I was correct - there were options at both U of M and MI State. But University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History has the largest dinosaur exhibit in Michigan, so it was instantly obvious where we were going.
The twins were so excited. They got even more excited when they discovered that the Museum was surrounded by "Go Big Blue."
(Note: Due to the ever changing lighting and the fast movements of my children, it was almost impossible to get a picture where they weren't blurry...)
In front of the Mastodons.
Ryan dressed for the occasion - dinosaur shirt and shoes (sadly the dinosaur socks and underwear were in the dirty laundry). The only thing he was hoping to see was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. One of the first things we saw was this T Rex head. He kept saying, "I knew it! I knew they would have my favorite dinosaur!"
He was so happy. Even happier when I showed him the picture later and he noticed that it looks like the dinosaur is going to eat him!
Allie's favorite dinosaur is a Triceratops. Sadly, no Triceratops. But they did have an Anchiceratops, which is pretty close. Basically the same to me. To Allie it was completely different, and not worth her time. But they did have many Pteranodons and related items - which made her really happy.
Checking out a mini-Pteranodon model.
In awe of the Pteranodon flying overhead.
Many of the exhibits featured dinosaurs we have seen on Dinosaur Train (I was so thankful because that show is the only reason I could pronounce any of the names!). The kids really enjoyed making the connections.
An image of a Pteranodon above the hip bone of a Sauropod.
Looking at various Sauropod bones and models.
We were looking at another exhibit when I glanced over and saw this:
Ryan checking out what mommy's home looked like many, many years ago.
They do have a giant collection, and we spent a lot of time wandering around - even considering how quickly the twins darted from exhibit to exhibit. Before we left the dinosaurs, the kids wanted another picture in front of the T Rex head.
Showing me their best T Rex faces.
The best, least blurry picture of the bunch...and Allie is making this face...
There were 2 other exhibits: Michigan life (animals and plants), and geology and space. We enjoyed all of them, although we made our way back to the dinosaurs twice.
Allie's favorite - the owls. She loves owls...
We ended our time in the Planetarium. I love planetariums. When I was in elementary school, they would bring in a traveling planetarium for a week. It was my favorite week. It was this giant, inflatable dome, and I thought it was so magical. I was hoping the kids would enjoy their first visit to the planetarium as much as I always did. I wasn't sure at first (Allie could NOT sit still), but, when we got home, they got all of their dinosaurs together and put on a planetarium show for them using all of the knowledge they had just gained. It was so cute!
We let the kids take some money from their banks to buy something at the gift store.
Ryan picked a stuffed T Rex that he has been "waiting his whole life" to have.
Allie picked a tub of dino bath toys - she loves to play with bath toys in and out of the tub.
We had such a fun adventure, and enjoyed discovering a new adventure destination - especially for dinosaur adventures!
A parting shot of the U of M Museum of Natural History before we left.