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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Day at the Museum

Having a few days off from work, before I return on July 5th,  I had been looking forward to taking my family into New York City to visit The American Museum of Natural History.  I received passes for me and my family from my local library which offers them in advance.  I had booked the passes about six weeks ago and it was a great deal for the five of us.  The only drawback to the passes was the lack of entry to the Rose Center for Earth and Space.  That was okay because we saw so much through the rest of the museum. 

The expressions on the faces of my children when they viewed the large displays of dinosaur fossils was my highlight of the day.  They marvelled at the sheer size of these colassal creatures.   We walked through one exhibit called: The World's Largest Dinosaurs which featured Sauropod dinosaurs.  These dinosaurs were huge.  They had some bones on display, one leg bone was easily over 10 feet tall.  The entire display was really cool.  My children also had a chance to become paleontologists by using a chisel and brush to dig for dinosaur bones.  The World's Largest Dinosaurs

After walking through this exhibit and surveying several other sections of the Museum, we decided to have some lunch at the Museum's cafeteria.  There we discovered that our passes included a discount at the cafeteria.  Following our lunch, we walked through another special exhibit called Frogs: A Chorus of Colors.  This exhibit was facinating as it conatined many varieties of frogs.  These frogs were not only green but yellow, red and blue.  Many of these colorful frogs were posionous and their bright colors serve as a warning to other predators, hey don't mess with me.  One cool part of this exhibit was a virtual frog dissection.  Using a touch screen, I dissected a frog the same way I did it in school many years ago except that it was a much cleaner process this time.  Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

After the frog exhibit, we walked around some more at the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.  The dioramas there depict many assorted forms of marine life and ecosystems.  The polar bears were nice to look at as were the walruses.  Joseph quickly noticed that one walrus had a tusk that was much shorter than another walrus.  The tiger shark looked menacing to me.  The hall was nicely laid out and suspended above the hall was a blue whale which covered most of the ceiling.  The blue whale can grow as long as three school buses and this one here looked as though it was the size of a football field.  The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

It was here at the Milstein Hall when my children, Samantha in particular, began to get really cranky.  She and her sister, Caroline, are only three and they did do a lot of walking at the museum.  At the museum, they looked to me and my wife to carry them whenever we could.  Unfortunatey, we did not pack a stroller, which probably would have helped us.  We then decided that we would leave the Museum and head home before NYC rush hour would begin. 

We picked the car up at the garage near the Museum and I drove down Riverside Drive and then the West Side Highway.  We passed Ground Zero and saw the construction progress of the Freedom Tower (I can't believe its almost 10 years since that terrible day).  We made our way up the FDR drive and finally to the RFK Bridge and then home to Long Island with two sleeping girls in the back and one inquisitive amateur paleontologist asking question after question about dinosaurs. 

We had a nice day and we look forward to returning to the city for other adventures with the kids in the future.  I highly recommend the American Museum of Natural History for families to include as a place to visit while visiting New York City.   

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