Continuing with the children’s fascination with all things dinosaur, we headed to the University of Manchester Museum yesterday.
The museum really is great and we have been there a couple of times in the past with the, most notably for the fabulous Magic Carpet sessions – I really recommend these if you’re local to Manchester.
We headed there for just after 10am and parked on the aquatics centre carpark – I think it was £4.10 for up to four hours so not bad really given the location. It was also only a short walk across the University campus and Oxford Road which given me current large state was good!
There is a bit of work going on at the museum at the moment but nothing that’s obtrusive to a visit – we spotted a dinosaur straight away near the reception desk and went to get a map. We decided to head to see Stan the T-Rex first of all. I was mindful that there was likely to be school parties in (there were at least three) and wanted to allow the children plenty of time to explore the dinosaurs without getting caught up and lost in between 30 or so older children.
At the start of the fossils gallery is the Rocks & Minerals gallery, complete with a suspended planetary system. Mr D was quick to point out Earth and tell me that that’s our planet – a legacy from our space work last year. We then went into the Fossils gallery where you are immediately greeted by Stan and some other giant dinosaurs. including a Plesiosaur. The children had great fun looking at the dinosaur and I think it’s really difficult for them to comprehend just how enormous they were – even just touching the T-Rex tooth shows how big they must have been.
We talked about the different things we could see and I tried to explain fossils to Mr D, who had asked me about this at some stage last week. He was able to tell my mum (who had come with us) all about his favourite dinosaur, triceratops, and how it has three horns and that he is a herbivore who eats grass. I never fail to be amazed at just how much information he retains and is able to tell me and others.
After a good look around the Fossils gallery we headed back across to the Nature Discovery gallery which the children enjoyed and then into the Natures Library gallery which has a phenomenal number of items on display. The children again enjoyed looking at the different animals as well as telling me the ones that they knew.
After a stroll around a couple of other galleries and a look at the climate change exhibition we headed for a bite to eat. We got a coffee from the (reasonably priced) on site cafe and then had our picnic in the seated area of the museum.
We then popped into the gift shop to get the children a small item each. The museum is free entry so I do like to either make a small donation or to get the children an item from the shop. The each chose a pencil, a sand filled T-Rex and a rubber dinosaur each. All of which have been carried around the house with them last night and today.
There is a lot to see at the museum, and given the children’s ages we barely scratched the surface yesterday – a lot of it is beyond them at the moment but it will be a resource we will return to time and time again I am sure.