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Worth a Trip: American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery at COSI

If your kid likes dinosaurs (and what kid doesn’t?), then you have to head to Columbus, OH. The American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery at COSI just opened in November, and it’s definitely worth a trip!

This exhibit awes right from the start; walk into the exhibition space and your kids will come face-to-face with a full-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex. It’s huge, and makes for a seriously awesome first impression.

While the T. rex sets the bar high for the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, the rest of the exhibit is just as amazing and exciting. Highlights include a 6-foot-long mechanical T. rex model that walks in place; an 8-foot tall Titanosaur femur (which is even more impressive when compared with a pint-sized kid); a huge, three-horned Triceratops cast; and (for you Jurassic Park fans), a 100-year-old piece of fossilized amber preserving an ancient feather.

As you walk through the exhibit, you’ll travel through history, exploring the different eras in which dinosaurs roamed the earth. The massive asteroid which contributed to the dinosaurs’ extinction gets a hall all its own; and afterwards, the feathered descendants of the dinosaurs — and today’s birds — get their moment in the spotlight. I found this part of the exhibit most fascinating!

Along the way, there are lots of interactive stations with touch screens, fossils for kids to touch, and COSI dinosaur experts ready to answer questions. Kids certainly adhere to the whole “learn to do by doing” philosophy, and the Dinosaur Gallery allows plenty of chances for interaction.

Truly, this exhibit is perfect for kids; fossils and replicas are all safely housed behind glass or gates, and I felt very comfortable letting my three (ages 6, 5 and 3) explore. Hearing their exclamations of excitement over what they were seeing made our 90-minute trip well-worth it.

Happily, the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery is a permanent fixture at COSI, and you’ll definitely want to visit again and again. As winter sets in (and winter break approaches!), make a plan to go back in time and visit the dinosaurs at this Columbus gem.

The American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery is included with COSI admission and is open during COSI hours. For more information on admission and hours, visit COSI’s website.

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