A couple of weeks back we drove up to Drumheller to meet up with some friends and check out the museum. We drove up on Saturday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and then headed straight to Drumheller’s downtown.
This is a town that knows why it’s on the map, and has full civic buy-in to stay there. Dinosaurs. Being in the heart of Alberta’s dinosaur country, Drumheller has dinosaurs everywhere. Street names and statues throughout the downtown are all dinosaur themed. The statues are repainted on a regular basis, and have looked a little different every time I’ve visited. That and they have a giant Tyrannosaur at the visitor center that you can climb up! It provides a great view over the valley, and is really just a lot of fun! The kids and myself loved checking out the dinosaurs, and taking pictures with/climbing on them. This town is a great place to create some fun family memories!
After a fun afternoon on the town we returned to our hotel and met up with our friends. The kids were buzzing with excitement, and we soon got to the business taking advantage of the hotel pool and getting everyone fed.
The next day we were off to the museum. Located about six kilometers outside of town, the museum is located in Midlands Provincial Park, in the heart of the Alberta Badlands. A short drive and we arrived. The kids were all bursting with excitement, and couldn’t wait to get in. As you walk up to the front doors from the parking lot, some dinosaur statues line the sidewalk, prepping you for what’s within.
Once inside there is an entry hall with some more dinosaur statues, made up to feel like you are walking in the time of the dinosaurs. The statues freaked the kids out a bit at first, but they eventually warmed up to them, a bit.
After that we get into a more educational focused section of the museum, focusing on what the area looked like through history, how the dinosaurs evolved, how they went extinct, and how their bones were fossilized. There is an area you can look into a section of the lab(we were there on a Sunday, so it was empty), and interpretive staff wandering around waiting for the opportunity to get visitors up close with fossils and provide some amazing educational opportunities.
We then start to get into the actual galleries, going from pre to post dinosaur eras. Each era is marked by a ‘gate’ of sorts indicating which era you are leaving and which you are entering. We pretended we were actually travelling through time as we passed through them. The kids of course, loved this.
Next came the actual skeleton galleries. From the Precambrian to the Cenozoic. This is where the kids began to be truly amazed. Myself as well. There are certain skeletons I could stare at for hours, such as Dimetrodon, or the Camarasaurus they have in the gallery(it is posed so it was literally staring me in the eye).
The main hall is literally the prime attraction in the museum. They have dinosaurs of almost every type assembled and posed, including a special room specifically for marine reptiles, which has a bit of an underwater vibe to it.
The tour finishes with Pre-historic mammals, the centerpiece being a large mammoth skeleton. It’s a great finish for the gallery. The exit of course, is through the gift shop, and the kids each took some time to find something to spend their allowance on. We then bundled up into the car and headed home, full of new memories and ready for a follow-up trip in another year or two!
If you’re going to go, make sure you check out the website and plan accordingly. It can be really difficult to get a hotel room or campsite in the busy season, but if you go during the winter, you shouldn’t have any trouble with accommodations. Book ahead and get ready to have some fun!