Manitoba Museum is the place to be this summer for dinosaurs, dioramas, and so much more!
A giant sloth, a bison hunt diorama that is so riveting you’d swear you hear the thundering of hooves, a life-sized replica 17th century ship you can board, and dinosaurs so real that they tower over you (and even fart!) are just a few things that your family will love this summer at the Manitoba Museum.
Plus, there is plenty for adults too!
Let’s start with those creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, shall we? The main exhibit, which you can find in the Museum’s newly expanded and improved Alloway Hall, is called the “World’s Giant Dinosaurs,” and my friends this one you have to see to believe.
In it, you can walk amongst the largest creatures that ever roamed the globe, many of which are animatronic full-sized versions. There are towering Mamenchisaurus (which you can see the scale of in our tourism video below) – including the very replica used in Jurassic Park, a T-Rex that will make your hairs stand on end, along with turkey-sized raptors (aka the correct size) that are appropriately feathered (something the Jurassic Park team really missed).
These animatronic dinos roar and perform a host of movements – meaning your kids will be mesmerized, while there other fun bits too – like getting a photo of your child beside the world’s largest-ever vertebrae and a dig pit so your kids can learn about what it is like to be an archeologist.
It all wraps up on September 4th, so now is the time to see this spectacular exhibit.
And the dinosaurs don’t stop there! Inside the Earth History Gallery, you will found a full skeletal reconstruction of a pliosaur (which, apologies, is technically a marine reptile), that could be found swimming and eating almost everything in sight in the ancient Western Interior Seaway that once covered portions of Manitoba. In fact, just below this plisosaur recreation you will find an 80-million-year-old pliosaur fossilized skull (and other fossilized parts) that were found in the province by Wayne Buckley in 2002, which he donated to the Museum in 2014. (PSA: if you want to win at Instagram with your daughter, take her pic beside the impressive pliosaur skull and caption the photo, “the real Mother of Dragons.”)
The Earth History Gallery also brings visitors back to even more prehistoric aquatic periods as the palaeontology department (science alliteration for the win!) has some staggeringly old fossils that date all the way back to the Ordovician and Silurian periods – some 450 million years ago! Included in this is a nifty diorama and a panel of screens that depicts what life was like for the trilobites and crustaceans that inhabited the shallow seas that once covered this land.
The Nonsuch in its port at the Manitoba Museum (Manitoba Museum)
Another really cool exhibit for this summer – which can be found in the Science Gallery – is the Canada C3 Museum Hub, which will stir your inner Steve Zissou. As part of #Canada150 this vessel (the Canada C3) will spend 150 days at sea traversing our three massive coasts. At the Manitoba Museum, you can follow the journey through live streaming videos, an interactive touch-screen display featuring a real-time map, along with a Giant Floor Map where you can witness some of the science being conducted on the vessel.
For more sea faring vessels, a must for all families is hopping aboard the Nonsuch. This replica of the circa 1650 ketch that sailed into Hudson Bay in 1668 actually made its way across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1970s before being put on permanent display in the Museum. It’s considered to be one of the finest replicas in the world, and your kids won’t be able to contain their excitement when they hop on board under its towering mast, all while admiring the replica English port that houses the ship.
Of course, this is all merely skimming the surface of this wondrous place that houses over 2.6 million artifacts and specimens.
The Manitoba Museum is also home to the one of the world’s most-advanced projection systems, which is used to create shows in its Planetarium that are truly out of this world. Planetarium shows run daily on the hour, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
And adults, I did not forget about one particular Museum event that is just for you.
To celebrate the current marquee exhibit in Alloway Hall, the Museum is hosting a cocktail party in a Cretaceous setting called Dinos After Dusk. On Thursday, August 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. the World’s Giant Dinosaurs exhibit will play host to an event where you can dance to live DJs (under black lights no less), eat pizza, enjoy a cash bar and take guided tours that will illuminate what life was like in this very setting back when dinosaurs roamed what is now The Peg. (Note: their main club of choice back then was called The World Famous Palaeozoic Club).
As you can see this Sauropod, which you can find at the Museum, loved that last joke (Tyler Walsh)