Every year, I wait with anticipation to hear what’s the summer exhibit at The Durham Museum. Without fail, they’ve opened a fun temporary exhibit that my kids (and I) enjoy. This year, the summer exhibit is called “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family.” The exhibit runs through Sept. 1, 2019.
Disclosure: I have a partnership with The Durham Museum. I was not paid to write this post, but I do receive a complimentary membership in order to visit and write about the exhibits. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
About the Durham Museum summer exhibit
As the name implies, “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is about the Tyrannosaurs and the various prehistoric creatures that are classified under that name. It’s not just T.rex, it turns out.
The most fun my whole family had at the exhibit was learning about the family tree by playing the interactive game table. After about three or four rounds, we declared ourselves experts of in the entire Tyrannosaur family tree.
I can see us returning a few times this summer so my kids can try to beat their previous top time on the game.
The exhibit uses both technology and dinosaur specimens. My kids were drawn more to the tech than the casts and models of dinosaurs.
One of the more amusing pieces in the exhibit was the interactive augmented reality screen. We watched as life-sized dinosaurs roamed nearby.
My kids may or may not have tried to kick the dinosaurs. Sorry about that!
Other multimedia experiences and touch screen interactive were interspersed by exhibit pieces, and their were large-scale projections at the exhibit entrance. The projections feature Omaha streetscapes and dinosaurs roaming them.
My son was particularly interested in the interactive piece comparing his strength to that of a T.rex.
The life-sized dinosaur specimens included five complete tyrannosaurs cast skeletons.
The ‘Big’ draw of the exhibit
“Scotty,” the largest and oldest T.rex ever discovered, is a part of this exhibit. Well, the exhibit doesn’t have THE “Scotty.” One of only four casts of the T.rex skeleton is included in this exhibit.
It’s an impressive sight, putting the scale of what T.rex was like millions of years ago into perspective.
Another interesting thing to check out in the exhibit is the feathery Guanlong wucaii. This newly-discovered dinosaur is a relative of the T.rex.
It’s easy to walk right past the bird-like dinosaur, though. There’s a big screen nearby that will easily distract you and the kids.
Things to know about visiting the Durham in the summer
The Durham Museum experiences an uptick in visitors in the summer, but you don’t have to be too strategic about when to visit. Why? It’s a huge museum. You won’t feel the crowd.
You may feel the crowd, however, in the special exhibit space. Consider going first thing in the morning or at the last hour or two of the day.
We visited about an hour after the museum opened on a Saturday and didn’t have to jockey for position at any interactive exhibit piece. However, once a tour group walked into the exhibit, it did start to feel a little more packed.
If you want more tips for visiting The Durham Museum, especially if you’re bringing children with you, visit this guide to exploring the museum with kids!
Summer exhibit special events
The good thing to know about summers at the museum is that there are usually extra events planned in coordination with the summer exhibit. “Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family” has a few great ones including some for kids and adults.
For kids: Storytime with Scotty is held every Wednesday through July 31 at 10:30 a.m. Each week features a different dinosaur-themed book and craft led by one of the museum’s engaging education facilitators. Registration is not required and regular museum admission applies. All ages are welcome.
For adults: Dinos and Daiquiris is June 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. Search for hidden “fossils” around the museum to win a prize, and sip on a daiquiri, enjoy the cash bar or visit the Soda Fountain for some snacks and sweet treats. Tickets are $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers, and with the ticket you get admission to the museum after hours and one drink ticket.
For everyone: There are daily tours at 2 p.m. until the close of the exhibit. Each day of the week will have a different topic, complete with trivia and prizes.
Fossil Fridays include crafts, games, guided tours, giveaways from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 9. The crafts and giveaways are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and there’s a dino-themed game at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Back-to-School Bash is Aug. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be a dino movie on the big screen, a bounce house, and kids can get their faces painted like a dinosaur. There will also be a food truck. This event is included with museum admission and free for members, but reservations are required.
If you go
The Durham Museum
Where: 801 S. 10th St., Omaha
When: Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (during the summer, the museum is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Closed major holidays.
Cost: Adults, $11; Seniors (62+), $8; Children (ages 3 – 12), $7; children 2 years and under, FREE; Members, FREE.
A note on memberships: If you’re going to visit the Durham Museum more than once a year, it pays to get a family membership. It’s $60 for 12 months, and includes admission to the special events like the Great Halloween Haunt and all the Christmas festivities. It also gets you discounts to the gift shop, soda fountain and summer camps.