Nebraska Natural History Museum
As part of our plan to do “something” each weekend, be it big or small, this weekend we went to the Nebraska Natural history Museum in Lincoln. I’d been there years and years and years ago – my parents took me once or twice and we also went on a school field trip. We’d actually planned to do the Kansas City Zoo, but with temperatures forecast at 97+, an indoor activity seemed better, especially given everyone’s individual health issues and such.
Anyway, it’s a LOT different than it used to be. Or at least than I remember. Oddly, the main things that stick out in my mind were the dinosaur bones (which, though they still have, they seem to be really downplaying now) and the dioramas in the basement. The dioramas stuck with me because of the level of detail in them. I remember one that had coyotes in it with a gravel road and a crushed beer can…that diorama is gone, and the coyote now wanders in a barren rocky landscape. That’s not to say the dioramas aren’t still good because they are, I was just a little disappointed not to see the one I so fondly remembered from the early 80s. (I said it had been a long time since I’d been there).
All the updates to the museum also left us with a problem. We only planned four and a half hours (including the half hour planetarium show) to tour the place. In the 80s that was plenty of time. Now…not so much. We spent two hours on the main floor alone, so in the end I skipped the evolution , and the Darwin display, did not have time to watch the movie in the Native American culture area, and didn’t get to see the African art. I had to do a run through of the other art gallery, didn’t get to read any of the stuff on meteors, and totally missed the discovery activity room (yes, hubby and I enjoy the kiddie learning things), not to mention I barely got to look at the rocks and minerals collection. Boo. Hiss. Boo. But I did get to see the fossils, the Weapons Through Time (got some nice ideas for future vampire battles), and the dioramas I mentioned earlier, so I was happy with that. We also learned about Ashfall State Park, which has a huge excavation going on that we need to go see in person some time (one of our weekend trips maybe?) and the Hyde Observatory, a free observatory, open Saturday nights, in Lincoln where you can go look through their telescopes (which sounds friggin’ awesome) and it’s free, if I didn’t mention that already. (I like free)
Here’s where I have to tell you that the following photos are going to be as boring as usual, and – though we took the good camera – no one charged the Nikon batteries (whoops), so they’re also crummy cellphone pictures. Sadly, if you read this blog at all, you’re used to it.
Anyway, there is a lot of really awesome hands-on things there now – lots of stuff to touch, and interact with, drawers to open, fur to pet, several activity centers – the plesiosaur was really cool because his head/neck, and then several fossilized fish and other sea things are in the floor covered with thick plexiglass so you walk over them – the pics of that didn’t turn out well. Everyone was very nice, except for one employee at the end who got mad because we had ten minutes to closing and were picking through rocks in the gift shop (again, we had ten minutes until closing, but apparently she wanted to close early), the entrance fee is reasonable, and the displays are really well done (except I do wish the dinos had a bit higher billing, they are kind of crammed in a small room upstairs, off to one side, between the rocks and the evolution display – heck, their room is SMALLER than the evolution display, and being a kid from the 80s I feel they should have at least as much central billing as the elephants do – who have a very large and very cool gallery on the main floor) so I recommend it. Just be sure to allow more time than we did.
And now I have to get to work. WWE Battleground is on in a couple of hours and I need to get this cover done first.
Have a good one!