An upcoming long weekend, with a forecast of rain, is not a wonderful mix. To break the oncoming dread of being cooped up in the house with 3 kids, I scrambled to find any activity which would take us out of the house, yet keep us out of the rain.
Drumheller, is a town approx. 2 hours of lazy driving, in the east of Calgary. A friends suggestion led to a quick google search showing that a prized visiting place is the Royal Tyrrel Museum in the area. The place is uniquely the only dedicated museum to science of paleontology, or in simper words for my kiddies, dinosaurs and fossils.
We travelled to the Museum on a Saturday, and left at noon for our prized destination. Upon reaching Drumheller, we caved to our hunger pangs and dropped into Boston Pizza for a quick bite. Surprisingly, there were other options of McDonald’s and D&W burger also available in the small town. Considering that a sated child is more interested in museums than a hungry one, we decided to eat before going the museum. FYI, there is a basic cafeteria inside the museum as well.
I appreciated that since the museum is funded by the Government of Alberta, the tickets are quite economical, especially for a family of 5. The younger ones were free, while for us three (2 Adults and 1 Youth), we paid only 38$. The details of ticketing pricing are given on their website also.
The museum itself was well made, and had several displays of both land and marine dinosaurs. The displays ranged from fully excavated displays of T-rex and many others, as well as, complete cut out rocks which had dinosaur prints and fossils preserved in it. A new idea that I appreciated was, the layout and display designing. The people who had worked in setting the mood, and using shadows, colors and themes, to recreate the scenes, are superb. For us, both kids and parents, were equally impressed and engrossed in the displays.
Our family enjoyed the tour through the various tools, and read the displayed information to connect the dots, and to become part of the Tyrrell Museum story. The separate displays recreating marine life of that time, were also interestingly entertaining, with lights and sounds added for more fun. We didn’t get the recorded tour devices, which surely make the visit more educational. Getting them would be great if your child is 7 years plus.
Ending the tour with a stop at the Gift shop, allowed me purchase the traditional Fridge magnet for our home.
We did not get the chance to climb the hills, and to see the actual excavations taking place, nor did we stay in the play area outside for picnic. However, we can always return for a full day activity. I also saw other activities in town, which would serve well for a full day outing with the family. A visit to the official website of Drumheller city gives lots of ideas. I have heard also of the 1st of July parade and fireworks. If we go, I can add another posting on it.
All in all, a fun and educational outing for the whole family, which offers a road trip through the farmlands, and ends in a walk in the past.