Summer is time for the family road trip! Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story ¦
Confession: I love a good taxidermed animal.
This will not win me popularity points with my readers outside Texas (or even some very close friends within its borders), yet I find such statuary nearly essential to our understanding of evolution. Without these creatures reconstructed in museums, how could most of us get a really close look at Earth’s biodiversity? Without it, would we feel compelled to understand, value and protect our wild animals?
You can go to the zoo, sure. You can even fly in a Skyfari above zoo enclosures to watch an ostrich tend her eggs. (See my previous post in Omaha.)
But at Chicago’s Field Museum, you can actually touch an ostrich egg and compare it to the size of your hand. Then, you can measure your height against the very bird standing four inches from you while learning about its history and purpose.
All thanks to high-quality taxidermy.
So get over your squeamish self and haul the brood over to the museum, which houses more than 20 million (!!) artifacts outlining the history of Earth, its creatures and peoples.
Today, the museum’s glorious reach included a depiction of a village in Dakar, Senegal, during a Muslim holiday, 3-D movies on mummies, the Ice Age and chipmunks as well as an extensive exhibit on soil called “Underground Adventure.” The later encouraged participants to “shrink” themselves then travel into the planet’s crust to view the inner workings of dirt–roots, bugs and all.
Charlotte furthermore loved the PlayLab which offered a pueblo where she “harvested” corn. (Nevermind that we had been to the real thing only weeks prior in New Mexico. This was a much bigger hit.)
Elizabeth and William enjoyed an exhibit on the mechanics of the body’s movement–both human and animal. A heat-seeking sensor showed each kid’s warmest regions–predictably Elizabeth’s head as it’s cloaked under five pounds of wavy, blonde hair. The coldest part of her body? Her hands.
Despite recharging with gourmet meals at the very hip museum cafÃ©, we felt we had barely cracked the place after six full hours.
We missed the mummies, the gems and–sigh!–the Ancient Americas.
But at least I got in a good amount of taxidermy.