Halifax Museum of Natural History
Disclosure: I received a NS Museum Pass so that I could visit these museums to tell you all about them.
We kick-started March Break with a visit to one of our favourite places – the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.
The museum is a great place to visit with kids as they have a great permanent collection, as well as a wide array of revolving exhibits. Exhibits are always interactive, hands-on for kids, which makes it a great place to visit.
When we were kids, we always called the museum “the place with the frog on the building.” Well, that frog is no longer on the outside of the building, but he can be found inside, now!
The Museum of Natural History is located at 1747 Summer Street in Halifax, near the Commons. There is a (paid) parking lot adjacent to the building, making it easy to visit.
Hours and Admission
Open 9-5 from Tuesday to Sunday
Family (with 2 Adults and Children) $25
Family (with 1 Adult and Children) $18
Child (5 and Under) Free
Annual passes are available, and of course, with the NS Museum pass, entry is free!
When you buy your ticket, be sure to ask for a scavenger hunt for the kids.
There is a scavenger hunt for the current dinosaur exhibit, and there is also one for the general museum. My kids always love filling these out and it gives them a focus for our visit.
However, I find that you have to remember to ask for them, as I don’t think I’ve ever been offered one. The onus is on you to remember to ask!
The current exhibit is Dinosaurs Unearthed and runs until May 24, 2015
Here’s the description from the website:
The discovery of one fossilized bone can be the start of an amazing story about a particular creature from long ago. This experience presents a number of fossils and animatronic dinosaurs to highlight how discoveries and meticulous research continue to enlighten us about prehistoric species. Showcasing a range of dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, this 2,000 sq ft exhibition delivers a larger-than-life, memorable and interactive guest experience.
Since the 1990s, scientists have learned more about the dinosaurs than anything up until this point in time. It is amazing what technology can do!
In this exhibit you will see moving dinosaurs created based on this new research. The depictions of these dinosaurs will challenge your pre-conceived notions! Dinosaurs with feathers and coloured skin! You have to see it!
The dinosaurs all come to life as you go through the exhibit. This by far was Thomas’ favourite part of the museum visit.
I was worried that some small children might find this scary, but when we were there, there were lots of toddlers and preschoolers who were not bothered at all!
There are a lot of interactive components in the exhibit from digging for fossils
to colouring your own dinosaur.
The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History has launched a new permanent exhibit, Sable Island: Over the Dunes, Beyond Wild Horses.
This is located in the marine room (a showcase of many of Nova Scotia’s native marine animals. Here, visitors get to experience a life-sized replica of a Sei Whale and several species of sharks. This permanent gallery also features a complete skeleton of a pilot whale, the rib of a blue whale and the jaw of a great white shark.)
The best part of the Sable Island exhibit is the sand table. Thomas and I played here for about half an hour!
This is a regular sandbox with a data projector above it. As you reshape the sand, the image projected shows the topography of your creation. Higher piles of sand become orange-green showing the height, while the lowest level of sand is the blue water. You can constantly reshape the land – thus showing how wind and waves are constantly changing Sable Island!
It’s incredible and a lot of fun to play with it!
Other permanent exhibits include archeology, geology, Natives, and any child’s favourite – the taxidermy section of native Nova Scotia animals!
At the main entrance there is also a woodland of animals to explore – some real and some not.
Lots of buttons to press. Don’t forget the bee display where you can see bees building a hive – as there a tube connected to outside where the bees come and go at will.
Gus the tortoise is a highlight in the museum. He lives at the front entrance and is 92 years old! While we were there, we experienced a first – the curator took Gus out of his enclosure to feed him, and let him go for a walk through the museum – with the kids close at his heels.
The kids were able to ask all sorts of questions and learn so much more! This was another trip highlight!
When we visit the Museum of Natural History we usually budget for about 1.5 hours. The kids always learn something new each time – especially if we remember to pick up a scavenger hunt.
Regardless of the revolving exhibit, this museum is always a great place to visit with your family! We love visiting in every season – seeing the bees in different states of activity, and often in the summer they host the butterfly pavilion. Keep checking their website for updates.
If you are in the city, they are constantly hosting interesting events for kids and families, so be sure to check it out!