Monday, March 8, 2010

We found a dinosaur museum!

One of my favorite things to do when visiting another town is to find little out-of-the-way places to check out.

Oh, sure, I like to see the main attractions, too, but there’s something so neat about exploring to find special little things that only the locals know about.
Oftentimes, when on vacation with Hubby and the boys, we just like to walk around and see what we can find, whether it’s a little local bar or a hidden park where we can have a picnic and let the kids play, a private beach where we can play in the sand and swim without being disturbed, or a little spot on a river where we can wet our fishing lines.

Over the weekend, my friend and I took the kids to Ann Arbor to visit the Hands-On Museum again. While we were sitting in the lunch room eating the food we had brought along, I spotted a stack of brochures that had a picture of a dinosaur on the front. It said “Dinosaurs… and so much more! Exhibit Museum of Natural History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.”

It also said “FREE Admission.”

“Hey, check this out,” I said, shoving one at my friend. Within moments we had decided to go there.
We checked at the front desk of the Hands-On Museum and they gave us a map and showed us where it was. It was about a half hour walk, someone said.
Hmmm… Could the kids make it?

I bet if we sweetened the deal with ice cream they could!

So, we set off across town to see the “dinosaur museum.”

On the way, we saw a man who was homeless, intoxicated or both lying on the sidewalk. Logan asked in a very loud four-year-old voice if the man was dead.

Then we saw a man playing a saxophone in a graffiti-covered alley. On the way back through, there were three musicians playing. I snuck a photo as we walked past.

We spotted a sign for buy-one-get-one-free ice cream cones, and went inside the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get some.

Superman ice cream smiles!

We smelled delicious hot dog smells coming from a small red place called “Le Dog.”
We are SO going back there sometime!

We saw a man riding a unicycle, and not just for fun. This dude was actually on his way somewhere. On a unicycle. How cool!

Then we arrived at U of M, and found the museum. It was housed in this neat old building with a rotunda lobby. We quickly found the prehistory floor and it was amazing!
There were two mastodon skeletons, an allosaurus, a deinonychus and lots more. I honestly thought we would have had to go to New York City or someplace like that to show the kids dinosaur bones, and all along they had been hiding out right there in Ann Arbor. At a FREE museum! (Donations are suggested, by the way.)
It was really, really neat.

Here are the mastodons

This is an allosaurus

Logan and Lili checking out the deinonychus

The museum actually has four floors, including not only the prehistoric displays but also a floor dedicated to Michigan flora and fauna and a floor with geology, archaeology, anthropology and a planetarium.
We will definitely be going back there.

So, our trip to Ann Arbor ended with a nice walk on a sunny day, exploring a town we didn’t know much about and enjoying lots of local flavor.

If you want to find out more about this museum, go to the museum's website.


Anonymous said...

That is awesome!!! I know how much Logan loves dinosaurs so that is perfect to go to.

Shanilie said...

That looks like so much fun! We also love touring the sites and visiting museums. Jacob would LOVE this one, don't think he has ever been to a dinosaur museum.

Anonymous said...