University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History

University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History is officially in its new home & OPEN! We have been dying to see it! We finally did! Check it….

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This prehistoric power couple features two unusually complete mastodon skeletons — a male and a female, both discovered and excavated with help from U-M scientists, within a few hours’ drive from Ann Arbor!

Only place in the world where you can see a male and female mastodon skeleton side-by-side

 

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What’s more, the On the Trail of Mastodons exhibit is the only place in the world where you can see a male and female mastodon skeleton side-by-side and see a mastodon skeleton paired with a mastodon trackway. These footprints were cast from a trail left by a mastodon near Saline, Michigan. This is the only mastodon trackway ever found!

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What’s more, you can step into a cast of a separate mastodon footprint and touch a cast-replica of an eight-foot mastodon tusk. You can also learn how U-M paleontologist Daniel Fisher and his team use tusks to learn how these amazing creatures lived and what factors may have led to their extinction.

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How cool is this? You can not only get a glimpse into the awesome process of preparing fossils but you can actually interact with the professionally-trained preparators in the lab.

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Evolution, Life Through Time was a bit out there….but, you need to visit &judge for yourself!

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At 25 feet long with a 35-foot wingspan, the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi rivals a small airplane in size and is one of the largest winged animals to ever have lived.

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Reconstructed from fossil bones discovered in Texas, the life-sized model demonstrates what it would have been like seeing these enormous flying reptiles swoop and dive overheard. Step onto the bridge over the West Atrium for a closer look directly into its eye…if you’re feeling brave!

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Planetarium & Dome Theater….we learned about the night sky! Tickets are $8 available in the Museum Store.

And there’s Food!….just through the doors to the left

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And shopping!!

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University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Address: Biological Sciences Building, 1105 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1085

Phone: 734-764-0478

Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/ummnh

Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday 9AM-5PM

Admission: Free (suggestion donation of $6)

Parking: Good luck, lol! Just kidding…there is a parking garage on Forest Ave. Cost us $6

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University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History

Huge shout out and thank you to everyone who provided suggestions and recommendations on where to go on the kiddos day off. We placed them all in a hat and pulled one, (drum roll, please)….University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History!!

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We hit the road at 10am and by 10:20am someone already had to pee, lol! So we stopped at McDonald’s in Dundee where in addition to emptying bladders the kiddos also burned off some energy. Their play area is awesome! And the only one I know of that accommodates 12 year olds. There was a brief moment when I considered just making the trip to McDonalds their big surprise, lol!

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We arrived on the University of Michigan’s Campus around noon and proceeded to circle around the campus for 40 minutes thanks to Siri’s ingenious directions….”I can’t drive through construction, detours, or a closed road!!!” In all my frustration I let the “S” word slip, I called Siri stupid! (We don’t use that word in our house). And was quickly reprimanded by the backseat, lol! I finally decided our best bet to getting to the Museum was on foot so we parked in a garage, grabbed our winter coats, and set off on foot. I let the kiddos read the maps and navigate us, taking special note of landmarks we passed so they would remember their way back to the car…they learned an awesome life skill thanks to Siri’s fail. And they had a blast walking on campus with all the students.

As we entered The Museum of Natural History I was blown away by the architecture. The museum is housed in the Ruthven Museums Building and it’s over 90-year-old. It was precisely what I envisioned a Mammoth exhibit to be housed in, which was why I was disappointed to read that The Museum will close on December 30, 2017, and will re-open next door in the Biological Science Building, it’s a climate controlled facility. So if you want to see the Museum in its current location you better move fast!

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We learned SO much during our visit! We learned about archeology, the first humans, dinosaurs, mastodons (the only mastodon couple on display in the world) etc. but the kiddo’s favorite exhibit was the mammoth remains found near Chelsea, Michigan, last fall.

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And of course we had to hit up the gift shop, lol! The children save up their money for special occasions like this….I came across these and had to share.

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University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Address: 1109 Geddes Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: (734) 764-0478

Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/ummnh/visiting.html

Museum Hours: Monday – Saturday 9–5 Sunday 12–5

Admission: Free (suggestion donation of $6)

Parking: Good luck, lol! Just kidding…you can park in the back of the building where it says loading dock area & run into the gift shop to get a tag to place in your vehicle. Or park in one of the parking garages, it only cost us $4 to park for the afternoon.

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After walking all over the university and the museum the kiddos were parched. So we stopped into Michigan Creamery.

 

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Michigan Creamery

Address: 302 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 662-1700

Website: https://michigancreamery.com/ 

 We had such a lovely day!