Sunday, April 10, 2016

(Not) Dozing with the Dinos

My son, Alex, has always enjoyed museums. The Field Museum is one of his favorites, so we go there every few months (we're members, which helps). The Field Museum has a special kids overnight program called Dozing with the Dinos. When I checked the schedule last July, I noticed they had a Saturday date in April, so I bought tickets right away. After months of waiting, we finally got to attend this event this weekend.

We ate an early dinner and arrived at the Field Museum shortly before six. The majority of attendees were groups such as Boy/Girl Scouts and church groups. After checking in, we staked out a spot in the Hall of Dinosaurs, close to this sauropod bone. We paid extra to sleep in the Evolving Planet exhibit and go on a behind-the-scenes tour.

After orientation, we went on our tour with Dr. Crystal Maier (I hope I remembered the name correctly). She's the curator of the insect collection at the Field Museum and an expert on a small beetle that lives in clear water. She showed us several types of beetles and butterflies, including this case of morpho butterflies below.

 Following the tour, there was some time left to attend a few workshops. Alex got to dissect an owl pellet, see dinosaur bones, and handle some live insects. Then we got a snack, which was big enough to qualify as a bag lunch. The snack included a half sandwich (two types to choose from), an apple, a cookie, and a juice box. After snack, we had time to roam the museum on our own. Alex enjoyed going through the exhibits with a flashlight. We also bought some souvenirs and watched staff prepare a (fake) Egyptian mummy. By that point, it was getting late, so we decided to call it a night.

 We all brought inflatable air mattresses with us, but unfortunately Alex's had a leak. We also discovered that our location was next to a well-light hall. As Eugene put it, we had the brightest nightlight in the museum. I think I managed to get some sleep, but I was out of bed before the official wake-up time. We packed everything up before heading downstairs for breakfast: muffins, bagels, cereal, juice, and milk. Although we were entitled to free admission once the museum officially opened, we had other things to do. So we left and arrived home by 9:30, at which point I promptly went to bed for an hour. Eugene took a nap later as well.

Alex has already asked if we can go again next year, so I'll get tickets as soon as they're available. And next year, we'll all have better air mattresses and pick a quieter, darker location to sleep.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I bet Alex will remember that for a long time. An official Night at the Museum experience. At least you know you won't need to bring extra food. Sounds like they fed you good.

Sandra Almazan said...

Alex, we were advised to have dinner beforehand and not to bring food into the museum. At least the fossils didn't come alive overnight.

Maria Zannini said...

Live and learn, but at least now you know the ropes.

You're a cool mom! Alex will be telling these stories to his kids one day. :)

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks, Maria!

Pat Dilloway said...

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle! I'm not sure I want to know what an "owl pellet" is.

Sandra Almazan said...

I'm going to tell you anyway, Pat. It's a ball of fur and bones that the owl can't digest. Alex found a lot of bones in his.

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