When I was about five years old, my parents took me to a traveling robotic dinosaur exhibit at a local museum. I could hardly wait, but when I finally came face-to-face with the roaring beasts, I was terrified. I loved dinosaurs, but the gnashing teeth and waving horns were just too much for me; I found refuge around a corner to watch them in safety.
The staff at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis recognizes that as much as children love them, dinosaurs can also be very scary. Not every child will feel comfortable coming face-to-face with a Tyrannosaurus as they exit the dark tunnel leading into their dinosaur exhibit, the Dinosphere, and so they have a little cave where more timid visitors can hang back and play with soft dinosaur eggs.
Those ready to brave the carefully reproduced prehistoric forest will find a museum that not only displays some of the most dynamic dinosaur mounts yet exhibited, but encourages hands-on learning. Children are invited to consider whether Gorgosaurus killed a Maiasaura or was a scavenger, get their hands dirty in a simulated fossil dig, and interact with professional fossil preparators. It sounds like a young dino-phile’s dream, and I wish I was young again to have an excuse to learn and play in such an innovative exhibit!