I spend a fair amount of time bragging about what a fantastic gem we have here in Omaha, The Durham Museum. Eleanor and I have enjoyed this place for many years now - from our very first visit to see Sue the T. rex in 2013 when she was a month old...
...to our most recent visit together this past Wednesday for story time, to my own visit tonight with friends for a 21+ night, this museum truly is a treasure. Not only does the museum bring in absolutely stunning traveling exhibits, the programming to go along with said exhibits are so much fun. To go along with Scotty, the museum is offering tons of great camps, weekly story times and craft/activities, trivia and prizes, guided exhibit tours, crafts, giveaways, raffles, and dino-themed games. They've really gone all out for this one and I love it!
I mentioned previously that Eleanor was able to attend a dinosaur-themed summer camp a couple weeks ago, and the camp ended with a presentation by a paleontologist, Dr Lindsay Zanno, who spoke to the kids about her work in the field, what paleontologists do, the tools they need, and so much more. Eleanor enjoyed this, as did I. She asked lots of questions, and I feel like I can only keep her at bay so much longer before I finally cave in and let her watch Jurassic Park. We've even found books at the library specifically for kids about how to be a paleontologist and I love her curious little mind.
In addition to Dr Zanno presenting to the campers, she also presented two other lectures the next day, one geared more towards an all-ages audience...
...and then one more for adults that detailed Dr Zanno's find of a T. rex smaller than any of us might have ever imagined, aptly named Moros intrepidus - harbinger of doom. A kiddo in the audience asked why she chose that name and Dr Zanno said she thought it was fitting because this smaller tyrannosaur was the precursor to the large and ferocious beasts we think of today when we hear 'T. rex'.
Eleanor attended both with me and a couple of our friends, and it was really interesting to hear about so many different aspects of Dr Zanno's work. I was also impressed with the fact that despite seeing her speak three times, there was little overlap in material. I loved the field work photos especially, and even though being a paleontologist was a dream I had when I was younger, I know spending days out in the grueling temperatures would probably make my head explode now.
Aside from interesting lectures, this evening The Durham hosted a 21+ event called Dinos and Daiquiris, and it was a blast! My friends and I debated for quite a long time about what to wear. Previously the museum had hosted an event called Flappers and Fizz, and we all dressed in clothing from the 20s, that was a no-brainer. This one was more difficult though, because we were not sure if we should dress up as in, be classy. OR, dress up as in, be paleontologists. We settled on the latter and despite being among the very few attendees who dressed the part, we had so much fun on the dino scavenger hunt, drinking delicious daiquiris (I learned how to spell daiquiri solely because of this event, no joke), and even making little dino bath bombs.
But, let's face it, the real thrill of the evening - if you are a parent anyway - is wandering around the exhibit WITH NO CHILDREN.
We got to take time to read the displays!
We got to wander leisurely!
We got to take silly pictures!
Okay...so Eleanor and I do that last one, too. But you get the idea. I feel like I am just using the same words over and over, but it was such fun and we eagerly await the next 21+ event that the museum hosts. This place is unlike any other, and I can not recommend it enough.
Time and again I am really proud to live somewhere that values community places like museums and libraries. These spaces are the keys to both our past and our future and we must ensure that future generations understand this.