This post is courtesy of our contributor Krista…My husband and I were recently invited on a trip to Pittsburgh to check out all of the family fun attractions the city has to offer. One of our stops was the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It is considered one of the top history museums in the USA and we agree! Upon entering the gorgeous building, guests are greeted by the museums first exhibit, a magnificent bright room filled with stunning accurate ancient ruins from around the world. Having never seen ancient ruins firsthand, this exhibit was definitely the next best thing. I was overwhelmed with the architectural marvels and sheer craftsmanship. It was so refreshing to see schoolchildren seated on the floor while sketching learning history.
My two boys are addicted to dinosaurs! Dinosaur books, movies, dressing up like the mighty T-Rex…really anything to do with dinosaurs. The Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit is impressive! So much work has gone into creating this exhibit that is both fun and educational.
The nineteen fully articulated dinosaurs are displayed in realistic environments and look ready to pounce at any second! The exhibit also includes twenty interactive touch screens keeping everyone engaged.
The Palolab is an active research laboratory that allows guests a behind-the-scenes look at paleontologists working on fossils for future exhibits and displaying some current projects. The Bonehunters Quarry is a must for all dinosaur enthusiasts! This hands-on exhibit allows children to act like a paleontologist, chiseling away at buried bones using all the tools of the trade. Additionally, The Quarry has great books on dinosaurs for children to read as well as local specimens for the little ones to discover.
At the end of the dinosaur exhibit, children are encouraged to play and discover with a variety of different activities (giving us parents a break). Our favorite was recreating dinosaur scenes using dinosaur figurines complete with backdrops.
Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems is a striking display of over 500 minerals and gems specimens from around the world. I felt like I was James Bond trying navigate my way through seemly endless mirrors and showcases of breathtaking highly pigmented contrasting minerals. The exhibit includes simple daily minerals such as salt to one of a kind jewelry pieces covered in diamonds. The interactive phosphorescence room was exciting; trying to guess what mineral part would glow when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
The hall of African and North American Wildlife was extraordinary! The realistic exhibits had me leaning closer to get a better look and the detailing of the animals and the surrounding recreated environments were flawless! Children of all ages will love this area; it’s a perfect time to play a game of I Spy.
Being so close to the animals gives a greater appreciation to their size and beauty. Throughout this section there are multiple rest areas where guests are encouraged to sit, relax and re-charge. It’s all very family-friendly.
The North American area has a hands-on wall with different animal pelts providing an excellent educational opportunity for youngsters to feel the fur, guess the animal and the size of the creature.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a must-see when In Pittsburgh! The museum offers a variety of tours that are complimentary with admission as well ongoing special events. Check with the museum beforehand for schedules if your family would like to participate. Prepare to spend the whole day at the museum as there is so much to see and do. The museum has many family-friendly dining options including Fossil Fuel eatery, Carnegie Café and the Sculpture Courtyard where guests can bring their lunches and eat outside. This is great for families with food allergies or special needs. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of four Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh – be sure to check out the rest!
Want to know more about Pittsburgh? Check out the rest of my Pittsburgh trip here!
*Disclosure: This post & press trip was compensated by VisitPittsburgh.com. All opinions expressed here are my own.