There it was… right before me… the skeletal cast of a full Apatosaurus (from the Brontosaurus family) peering down at me. I stood, quiet…in a mix of awe, thankfulness and, well…you know that sort of feeling when one of your bucket list items is fulfilled? Yes….THAT feeling.
That encounter was in March 2012 in the great south entrance hall of the American Natural History Museum in New York where I transited en-route after a conference trip. Finally, at age 41, I came ‘face to face’ with a dinosaur. I marvelled at its sheer majesty. My boyish imagination ran wild, trying to visualize a world when thousands of these creatures roamed the earth freely. I spent an entire afternoon mulling around the huge museum, totally awestruck by exhibits after exhibits…like a kid in a candy store. My only wish was that my wife and daughter were there with me to take in that moment of awesomeness…
You see, as a young boy, I’ve poured through books on dinosaurs, seen illustrations and when I grew older, I got even more intrigued reading about their existence and eventual extinction. All these made me more intrigued with the natural world around me, including the many histories and mysteries of life…but all that could satiate my desires were books and magazines, nothing more…
As technologies advance at the speed of lightning, so have the opportunities available to our children grown exponentially. That includes the chance to be able to ‘face off’ with 3D dinosaurs and ogle at prehistoric fossils millions of years old, in a museum right where you live.
‘Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction‘, currently showcasing at ArtScience Museum, Singapore till July 27, 2014 is a awe-inspiring, not-to-be-missed exhibition that combines 4 major eras of a dinosaur’s evolution into one exhibit. Step through the prehistoric era of the Precambrian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and relive earth as it was during those times when these giant reptiles ruled. You will not only get to marvel at the actual size of these dinosaurs but also gawk at selected million-year-old fossils all exquisitely presented with educational facts for kids.
As with other exhibits at Art Science Museum, there is a strong element of engagement of young minds. In ‘Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction‘, there are plenty of fun stations providing stimuli to pique the children’s imagination in these prehistoric creatures. From listening to a Dino’s roar, touching a Dino’s teeth to touching a Dino’s skin, children will definitely be captivated by this sensorial, interactive experience. Furthermore, there is ‘A Day in the Life of A Paleontologist’ workshop to extend the children’s’ learning at the exhibit.
The wife’s personal favorite part of the exhibition was the breathtaking diorama.
As parents, we are constantly on the look out for meaningful ways to bond and create memories with our children. What better ways than to bring them to see these prehistoric giants come to life. Perhaps when the day comes for them to bring their own kids to a dinosaur exhibition, they will recall with much fondness that the first time they saw it was with their parents, at ArtScience Museum no less…that in itself is a wonderful legacy that you’ll leave behind from generation to generation.
Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction
Venue: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands
Date: 25 January to 27 July 2014
Time: 10am – 7pm daily
Standard Ticket Prices for Dinosaurs:
Adult – $24
Senior – $21
Child – $14
Ticket Prices for Singapore residents:
Adult – $20
Senior – $18
Child – $13
Visitors can enjoy $2 off for every ticket if they purchase in advance online at: http://www.sistic.com/events/asm2011
FREE GUIDED TOUR FOR ADULTS
ENGLISH Saturdays and Sundays | 11.30am & 5pm
MANDARIN Saturdays & Sundays | 2pm & 4pm
COMPLIMENTARY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Shadow Puppets Alive!
Daily, 10am to 6.30pm
A Day in the Life of a Paleontologist
This fascinating, hands-on demonstration reveals how paleontologists collect, record and identify fossils. There will be plenty of opportunities for audience participation, including handling tools and specimens, washing off the clay of collected fossils, identifying the bones, and making a plaster cast from a dinosaur’s footprint.
Stop Motion Dinosaur Wipe-out
Saturdays | 12.30pm-1.45pm
Choose your favourite extinction theory and create your own stop motion animation showing the end of the world for the dinosaurs. For children aged 6 and over.
Sundays, 16 Feb, 2,16 & 30 Mar | 2.30pm, 3pm & 3.30pm (15 mins performances)
Let magical puppetry and storytelling take you on a whirlwind journey of how animal life adapted over 600 million years, from sightless sea creatures and fearsome dinosaurs to humans today.
Sundays, 2, 9 & 23 Feb, 9 & 23 Mar | 12.30pm & 1.15pm (45 mins workshops)
Bring fossils to life by drawing them in detail, with artist Isabelle Desjeux. Then make your piece stand out by placing it in a pre-historic landscape, in an optional collage activity. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult.
Sundays, 2, 9 & 23 Feb, 9 & 23 Mar | 2.30pm & 3.15pm (45 mins workshops)
What better way to understand a fossil than to feel it in 3D? Carve your own sculpted shell or bone out of soap to take home. Children under the age of 8 require adult supervision.