Driving Among the Dinosaurs
Road trips are one of my favorite things so every spring I look forward to traveling around our province as the weather gets warmer and we take a bit of a break from book work.
This year was a bit of a challenge. Easter Sunday arrived and we were still under weather warnings for snowfall and frigid temperatures. Some parts of the province, including one we planned to visit, saw record cold temperatures for Saturday of Easter weekend! And there was no end in sight.
Not to be thwarted by Mother Nature, we decided to stick a little closer to home and hope the weather would improve enough for us to expand our drives later in the week. We were especially hoping to get to Banff in the Rocky Mountains for our first Beaver Tail and ice cream of the year but it didn’t look likely.
So we loaded up the car with blankets and snacks and headed east to the land of the dinosaur; the Alberta Badlands.
Our desired destination? The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. We are fortunate to live only about an hour away from this world-class museum that is dedicated exclusively to the science of paleontology. People from all around the world come to visit the Tyrrell Museum every year and we can just jump in our car and go there for an afternoon. Very fortunate when you have a grandson who is crazy about dinosaurs.
The Town of Drumheller has totally embraced its persona as a dinosaur town with creatures to be found on every corner.
Tourism has become a huge part of their income since they no longer mine for coal in the area. There are still remnants of the industry to be seen in the area including the Atlas Coal Mine (you can take tours) and the Star Mine Suspension Bridge (you can walk over it if you’re brave enough.) Here kids can learn how tough it was for workers to make a living in the mines and what kind of lives they lived (no 200 square foot four bedroom homes for them no matter how many children they had.)
So back to our intended destination, Tyrell Museum. We love visiting this place because there is always so much to see and do, especially on special weekends when they have different presentations.
Otherwise, there are always the dinosaur fossils to see.
Presentations to listen to (they do a great job explaining the history of dinosaurs to the kids.)
You can watch paleontologists work in the restoration room.
And have the opportunity to make your own fossil casting.
It’s a great way to bring the entire area of paleontology and even some geology to life for the kids. We have been studying about this in our science curriculum this year and it was a lot more fun to do some things hands-on than simply out of the textbook.
After spending a good part of our day at the museum we decided to stop for something to eat before we drove back home. As luck would have it, there is a little diner, Bernie and the Boys, in Drumheller that was featured on the TV show, You Gotta Eat Here, so we thought we would give it a try.
I have to say Bernie serves a pretty good clubhouse sandwich and his shakes are terrific. Lots of flavors to choose from. EJ got a grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate shake and said it was awesome. Refreshed and ready to hit the road we had just one more stop – a visit to the infamous 86-foot tall T-Rex who resides outside the town’s visitors center. On a good day you can climb up inside of him for a great view of the Badlands. Today was not a good day though. He didn’t seem happy to see us! (Truth be told he was closed due to snow and ice but EJ thought this made a better ending to our post.)
We love to travel, even if only a short drive from home, to enrich our studies and see some of the things we read about in our textbooks up close and personal. It really makes things (like T-Rexs and young boys’ imaginations come alive!)
Please visit the links below for more Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop Posts and be sure to stop back here each day for more adventures.