With the18 days of triple digit temperatures we have been experiencing in the DFW area the past few weeks, it can be a little difficult to inspire the family to get outdoors. Fortunately, the Heard Museum has several opportunities for family recreation that can be enjoyed indoors and out.
Go back in time to the Ice Age at The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney. The Heard Museum is hosting a collection of ten life size robotic Ice Age mammals. The Ice Age Mammal exhibit features a hippopotamus–like Baluchitherium, a wooly mammoth, a saber-toothed cat family, a giant sloth and many other Ice Age mammals that are brought to life with robotic movement and animal sounds.
Be warned that young children age 5 and under may be scared of the robotic animals due to their life like movements, size and the animal roaring sounds that accompany the exhibit. Young paleontologists will be inspired by ongoing educational prehistoric displays and activities offered at the museum.
While at the Heard Museum don’t forget to check out another very unique dinosaur exhibit, “Smackdown at Dana Quarry.” The Smackdown exhibit is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see two well-preserved species, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus together in a rare display on loan from Heritage Auction Galleries.
The Stegosaurus and the Allosaurus were discovered in Dana Quarry in the Morrison Formation of Wyoming in a very unique situation. A team from Dinousauria International, LLC first discovered a well preserved femur of the gigantic Allosaurus, then the team found the rest of the dinosaur’s skeleton nearly 99% complete. The discovery of the Allasuarus femur led to the discovery of another leg bone that belonged to a fellow Jurassic dinosaur, the Stegosaurus. The discovery of these two Jurassic dinosaurs led to the ultimate find – Both the Allosaurus and the Stegosaurus were in engaged in a battle that led to the Allosaurus’ death. The skeletons of these two iconic dinosaurs tell the tale of their combat across the savannahs of Upper Jurassic North America. The Stegosaurus is named, “Fantasia” after the Disney film and the Allosaurus is named “Dracula” after its mouthful of teeth. This is a must see for anyone who enjoys dinosaurs.
If you are interested in venturing outdoors at the Heard Museum, stop by the Native Texas butterfly exhibit on display in their Butterfly House and the new Butterfly Garden. Kids can get up close and personal with monarchs, Julia Longwings and more. Please remember to bring water, a hat and wear sunscreen if you plan on being outdoors, especially for the little ones. The best time to go the butterfly house is between 9 am and 12 pm.
For more information, please visit http://www.heardmuseum.org.
Where: The Heard Natural Science Museum and Nature Sanctuary
1 Nature Place, McKinney 972-562-5566
When: 9am-5pm Mon.-Sat; 1-5 Sun. Ice Mammals through October 10.
Smackdown at Dana Quarry now through October 1.
Native Texas Butterfly House and Butterfly Garden June 5 through October 10.
Cost: $9 adults; $6 kids ages 3-12; kids 2 and under free
Best times to visit: 9 am – 12pm to avoid the peak summer temps.