Where Is the World’s Best Dinosaur Museum?
Travelling with children who dig dinosaurs? We're on a quest to find the best place to see them. Here are some notable suggestions. Suggest your favourite, too.
Make no bones about it: Dinosaurs are cool—at least as they exist for us today, as children’s toys, in books and motion pictures, on T-shirts and perhaps best of all, in museums.
As travel plans with the kids take shape this season, we thought it would be fun to explore a few destinations that keep even the youngest palaeontologists engaged, interested and entertained while their parents are equally fascinated, stimulated and intrigued. Here are some notable suggestions.
Chicago: The Field Museum
Maybe your toddler struggles to say Tyrannosaurus rex, but “T. rex” rolls off the tongue like applesauce. So visit Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex in the world on permanent exhibition at The Field Museum. Sue, named after the palaeontologist who discovered her, stands 13 feet high at the hips and is 40.5 feet long. You can also catch a showing of Waking the T. Rex 3D: The Story of Sue at the museum’s 3-D theatre. Before you go, follow Sue on Twitter @SUEtheTrex.
Dinosaurs come alive at London’s Natural History Museum with “Age of the Dinosaur,” which runs through September 2011 and features among its collection of animatronic dinosaurs a boisterous Camarasaurus, a toothy Tarbosaurus and a wide-eyed Gallimimus bullatus. The museum’s permanent dinosaur gallery will be closed in June and July for refurbishment.
The American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition, “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs” runs through January 2, 2012, and features a 60-foot-long, 11-foot-tall model of the Mamenchisaurus, perhaps best known for its extremely long neck (the model’s is 30 feet, although the life-size creature’s neck may have stretched as long as 150 feet). The museum also has a world-class collection of dinosaur fossils in its permanent collection, including the first Velociraptor skull ever discovered, a Stegosaurus (any relationship to the author remains unknown) and an Apatosaurus (although you may recognise it as the Brontosaurus it was once called).
The world’s first permanent exhibit of dinosaur skeletons and recreations at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History fully re-opened to the public in 2008 after being closed for refurbishment for a few years. Today, Dinosaurs in Their Time features 19 fully articulated skeletons in recreated environments and emphasises the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods from which each of the dinosaurs lived.
Zigong, China: Zigong Dinosaur Museum
Covering more than 66,000 square metres (or more than 710,000 square feet) it’s certainly one of world’s biggest dinosaur museums. But it also rests amid a key region for dinosaur fossils in China. There are more than 40 locations within the city itself where dinosaur fossils have been discovered. The museum features preserved, fossil-rich dig sites as well as dinosaur reconstructions from the authentic fossils found there.
You Tell Us
What about your experiences? With hundreds of museums around the world to see dinosaurs, where on Earth would you say is the world’s best? Share your thoughts in the comments that follow.