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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 (http://nature.ca/en/plan-your-visit/what-see-do/our-exhibitions/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.