Getting Interactive with #UltimateDinos

Dino love. My younger kids have it bad. They are fascinated by the thought of these larger than life creatures once roaming the earth. They love how these prehistoric creatures could come in all different sizes and that they had once roamed the earth. I jumped at the invitation to visit the Canadian Museum of Nature to take in their newest exhibit Ultimate Dinosaurs. I could not wait to see their faces when they came face to face with their skeletons and fossils and were able to interact this exhibit!


Reese Speaks Dino Door 2 Photo


Ultimate Dinosaurs showcases dinosaurs from the ancient southern hemisphere supercontinent of Gondwana (a huge land mass that existed about 180 million years ago which incorporated what is now known as South America, Africa, India, Antarctica, Australia, New Guinea and the Arabian Peninsula).  16 fully-articulated skeletons are on display, including a 12-metre-long Giganotosaurus, one of the largest carnivores that ever lived. What is so exciting about this exhibit is that it displays types of dinosaurs are not found in North America. This exhibit was created by the Royal Ontario Museum and is presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota.


Reese Speaks Majungasaurus Photo

Reese Speaks Big Dino Collage 1 Photo

As we exited the elevator for our visit to this exhibit, we were welcomed and guided by a set of dino footprints to the exhibit.

Reese Speaks Dino Foot Print Collage Photo

Our first steps into the exhibit introduced us with a trio of dinosaurs my kids spent a good 10 minutes visiting with. They especially liked the Eoraptor because it was so small and cute. I loved how I was able to learn about these dinos from the podium in front of the display as well as the video background.


Reese Speaks Dino Video Display Photo


If there is one word I would use to describe Ultimate Dinosaurs, it would be interactive. There are so many areas and ways for visitors to learn hands-on about the dinos of Gondwana. My son got to learn about different types of fossils by actually getting to touch them! He was able to hold and touch ceratopsian horns, and his favourite, dino poop fossils!


Reese Speaks Dino Fossil Hold Collage Photo


Throughout the exhibit, there are stations visitors can learn about the different dinosaurs on display. Once each station has been completed, you can stamp an impression of the dino featured onto a card. My daughter had fun learning about each of these dinosaurs and then collecting all of the stamps. She was so proud when she had all of the impressions and was telling me about the activities she enjoyed most.


Reese Speaks Dino Station Collage Photo


I really liked how there play areas set up around the exhibit for visitors to be able to get away from the screens for a moment to just let loose and play. My kids spent a good amount of time at all of these stations, playing with some of the dinosaurs featured in this exhibit. They loved being able to touch, role play and eventually leave the dinos of Gondwana so they can nap while we looked through the rest of the exhibit. This is just a snippet of the fun they had.


Reese Speaks Dino Play Collage Photo


Another fabulous feature of Ultimate Dinosaurs is how augmented reality technology is used to wow and educate visitors. With our naked eyes, we were able to see the skeletons of dinosaurs. Looking through and manoeuvring the screen allowed us to see the skeleton come to life with flesh and skin covering the skeleton before us. We were even able to learn more about this animal when pressing the buttons on the screen. I thought this was amazing!


Reese Speaks Augmented Reality Screen 3 Photo

Reese Speaks Augmented Reality Screen Collage Photo

I thought the interactive tablets set into displays around Ultimate Dinosaurs was a brilliant idea! Visitors are able to learn how to pronounce names of some of the dinos in the exhibit, as well as the meaning of their names, their relative size, and other fun tidbits about these awesome creatures. Take a look at my daughter’s favourite dino!



It was hard to want to call it a day at Ultimate Dinosaurs! They loved seeing the skeletons and fossils of dinosaurs that they have not seen before, learning is accomplished in so many different formats, and it is such a fun exhibit to visit! We really did not want to leave. We can’t wait to bring my other half to see it. He would have as much fun visiting this exhibit as we did.

Reese Speaks Big Dino Collage 2 Photo

Ultimate Dinosaurs runs from June 11 – September 5, 2016.

Want more dino fun? Visitors are also able to do the follow activities while on a visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature:

  • Make replicas of a fossil tooth or claw in the Fossil Lab;
  • Take a breather in the Dino Zone;
  • Find out about 450-million-year-old local fossils in the Nature Live gallery;
  • Fossil excavation; and
  • Take in the 3D film Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet (a separate fee applies for this feature).

For more information about Ultimate Dinosaurs (, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of Nature on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages!

Disclaimer: I was invited to visit this exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Bug Out at Bugs: Outside the Box at the Canadian Museum of Nature! #BigBugs

The Canadian Museum of Nature is crawling with excitement as it presents its newest traveling exhibit, Bugs: Outside the Box, produced by Outhouse Exhibition Services. This exhibit will be on view from October 23, 2015 until March 27, 2016.

Bugs: Outside the Box allows for visitors to get up close to the insect world. Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti created sixteen larger than life models of exotic insects that welcome visitors as they enter the exhibit. To add to these fabulous works of art, the Canadian Museum of Nature has also included its live insects, scientific specimens, vivid videos and even some bugs for visitors can taste!


The world of entomology is opened up to visitors as they are able to learn more about exotic and local insects; view fantastic images of beetles from the Museum’s collection; look at numerous pinned insects; watch a “bug parade” video projection; experience certain aspects of bug life in the play area of the gallery; and even purchase edible bugs at the gallery!

My friend, Kamerine from The Life of K,  invited me to this event (thanks so much!). I brought the VP of Cuddles along with me to view this exhibit as he is just learning to appreciate the world around him, and he digs bugs! When we entered the gallery, he was a bit taken aback by the sheer size of Lorenzo Possenti’s creations. Many of these sculptures are bigger than him, and they towered over him on their displays. After a while, he became fascinated with them. He especially loved the butterflies and beetles that were on display. Since I am a huge fan of dragonflies, I was drawn to this sculpture. There were also pieces of some of these sculptures that we were able to touch so we could get a feel for what they might feel like. Possenti did an excellent job of creating these larger than life beings.


One of the entomologists form the Canadian Museum of Nature was on hand to show visitors what a beetle looks like on the inside. She was so amazing with my little guy. She showed him the beetle’s inner workings, and he was able to assist her in putting it back together. This was really great for him to experience, as he would never get to see this with a real beetle unless he becomes an entomologist himself.


The video projections around this exhibit were amazing! My son loved going up to each of them and gaze at them as they showed different aspects of bug life. His favourite was the Cricket that greets you at the second half of this exhibit. It stares at you and extends its wings. You could hear the sound of its wings as it starts to unfurl them. It was an awesome sight to see.


The terraria on display were fascinating to view. We were able to see insects such as giant stick insects, jungle nymphs, monarch butterflies, and my son’s favourite, the Hercules beetles.


Some of the entomologists were on hand to all us to see some of these beautiful creatures outside of their enclosures. They lovingly handled them so we could see them away from their habitats that they painstakingly put together to be as authentic as possible. Though we were not allowed to touch these insects, it was fun to see them interacting with the entomologists and to be able to be so close to them.


Both of us were entertained in the play area of the gallery. We put our jumping skills to the test as we tried to jump as far as a grasshopper. I was amazed to see just how far a grasshopper could in comparison to a human. I tipped my hat to these creatures.


We also had a ball pretending to move around “dung” like a dung beetle. My son realized pretty quickly how hard it would be for us to do this all day, but had fun moving the comfy balls around this area.


This exhibit was a big hit for both of us! We loved seeing the sculptures alongside their regular-sized counterparts. We also enjoyed viewing all of the specimens, both live and collected, on display. Sometimes, I forget just how vast the insect world is, and this exhibit brought this fact back to me.


Visitors can also view the other related programming near the Museum’s Animalium gallery on the 4th floor. Visitors can become a bug scientist and can learn how to pin insects, and try their hand at drawing them as well. The Museum’s popular Nature Nocturne party on Friday October 30, 2015 will also have the theme Giant bug invasion in honour of this exhibit’s opening. For this weekend, children are invited to turn themselves into their favourite buggy character and join in on the fun of a flower-finding adventure in their Bird Gallery for the “pollinator challenge.”

This exhibition is supported by Orkin Canada. A surcharge of $4 (in addition to regular admission to the museum) applies for the special Bugs: Outside the Box exhibition.

For more details about the Canadian Museum of Nature, or Bugs: Outside the Box, you can visit their website. You can also connect with the Canadian Museum of Nature on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to Bugs: Outside the Box in order to write this review. The views I have shared with you are my own.