We spent better part of today at the Tyrell Museum in Drumheller - the dinosaur/fossil museum that I'd heard great things about. So, ok, how do I say this without sounding ungrateful or critical or something? Hmm. Well, factually, let me say this first. We spent about three and a half hours inside the museum, approximately one hour of which was spent in the gift shop, looking at all of the neat dinosaur-related stuff (though it doesn't hold a candle to the unbelieveable gift shop Geoff and I - ok I - spent a couple of hours in last fall in New York City when we visited the Museum of Natural History) and another half hour of which was spent in the cafeteria eating lunch. For the approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hours that we spent in the museum proper, it was me prolonging the event by corralling Matthew long enough to point out details and read descriptions. Matthew would have dashed through it in about five or ten minutes, stopping briefly to admire this T-Rex or that one with a resounding "hmmmph" before dashing around the corner to the next exhibit. One of the few things to slow him down was the short video that he watched about a scientist explaining various theories around why dinosaurs went extinct; what Matthew really loved (in fact, he watched the video twice to catch the effect) was the volcano eruption theory - when the video showed a series of exploding volcanoes with the resulting lava cascading down the sides of the mountain, Matthew was all over making explosion sounds and acting out a 'death by lava' scene. The second time he accompanied the video with his antics, he did it as a show for another (tolerant) family, hoping to clarify for them the extreme nature of what had happened to the dinosaurs.
Anyway, we got the glow-in-the-dark dinosaur t-shirt and a $1.99 glow-in-the-dark plastic, mini T-Rex, and Matthew was thrilled with his trip to the dinosaur museum. Otherwise, I'd have to say that although the museum was great and utterly spectacular for viewing many dinosaur skeletons and other things, I think it was just a bit over Matthew's head (mine, too, for that matter - I still don't understand what the Cretaceous or post-Cretceous periods are - some teacher I am!). I was glad that we paid low-season admission prices and hope that, someday, when he's a bit older, it will have more of an overall impact. As it was, playing for almost three hours on the outstanding play structure beside the museum was the hit of the day.