The touring exhibit “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” is in Omaha for a few months, and I was invited to tour it recently. I brought my 8-year-old so I could get his thoughts on the exhibit and gauge how other kids might react to it.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by “OUR BODY: The Universe Within.” All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
You can see “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” in The Capitol District through Aug. 26, 2018 (with the possibility of extension). Keep reading to find out how you can win tickets!
What in the exhibit ‘OUR BODY’
The exhibit “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” exposes the inner workings of human anatomy by presenting actual human specimens, anatomical displays, reproductions of historic anatomical artwork and much more. It’s considered appropriate for all ages.
Basically, this “BODY” exhibit is literally an inside look at the body using real human bodies. The exhibit includes approximately 15 whole body specimens and 49 display cases containing more than 110 organs and specimens.
Everything in the “OUR BODY” exhibit has been preserved through a process called polymer impregnation or “plastination” – a process that replaces the body’s water and fat with reactive plastics. If you want to learn more about how they create the exhibit “OUR BODY,” read this.
The exhibit includes the opportunity to touch a real liver, brain, kidney and/or heart. When we were there, we touched a diseased lung, a heart and half a brain. Due to the “plastination” process used to preserve them, they felt unreal and not all that squishy.
What to expect at ‘OUR BODY’
The exhibit is divided into different sections exploring the six primary systems of the human body: Musculoskeletal system, head and nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary and reproductive system, and the cardiovascular system.
I like that visitors are eased into the experience, starting first with something familiar to me, skeletal displays.
You can probably expect some giggling if you’re bringing children. Most of the bodies in the exhibit are male, and, so, you’re going to see everything male, if you know what I mean: The male body playing basketball and the male body sitting down to a chess game, for example.
I’ve been to a different touring “BODY” exhibit, and like that one, “OUT BODY” has a section with fetuses. It is separated from other areas and there are signs stating that some people may find it disturbing. There are preserved fetuses at different months of growth as well as a full-term baby. It is easy to bypass, if it makes you uncomfortable.
Prepping kids to go to a “BODY” exhibit
“OUR BODY: The Universe Within,” as mentioned earlier, is appropriate for all ages, but you should be the judge on whether your child is ready for it or not. It’s wonderful for children curious about science. It can also be unsettling, though, for a child who realizes that every body on display was once a living person.
When I asked my son how the exhibit effected him, he was reluctant to say. (It’s like prying teeth getting him to expand upon ideas, so this isn’t surprising) Eventually, he told me he thought it was amazing. However, I’ll add that more than once while we were there, he loudly exclaimed somethings were gross. So, that’s an 8-year-old in a nutshell.
There are helpful guides available to prep your child before you go and to unpack what you saw following a visit. The guides for older children are for class visits, but parents may find them helpful, especially the section with terms. Here are the guides:
For families – This has fun facts and a very basic explanations for each area in the exhibit.
Is it “gross”?
I’ve been asked by friends and on social media if the exhibit is “gross.” To answer that, I guess it depends on what grosses you out. To me, it was more like a textbook brought to life. So, it was fascinating.
What I found most fascinating was seeing arteries and veins of different organs. But, teeth and fingernails? Those to me are “gross” to me.
As far as comfort level, I can see how this exhibit could make some people squeamish. There are some dissections that, to me, were both fascinating to examine and a little unsettling. The continuous horizontal dissection of a male body is one such dissection.
If you go
“OUR BODY: The Universe Within”
Where: The Capitol District, 225 N. 12th Street
When: May 5 to Aug. 26, 2018
Cost: Adult tickets start at $15; seniors (65+), military & family, students $12; children ages 5 to 14, $10; and Children age 4 and younger, FREE. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 12.
One reader is going to win FOUR passes to see “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” while it’s here in Omaha. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. Must be 18 or older to enter. Passes have no cash value. Giveaway ends May 20 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Winner will be contacted via email.
There are THREE more ways to win!
1. Be sure you follow Oh My! Omaha on Facebook. I’ll have a giveaway for four passes on May 20.
2. Follow Fun Things To Do In Omaha & Beyond. There’s a flash giveaway for four passes on May 7. Winner will be drawn on May 8.
3. Subscribe to Oh My! Omaha. One random subscriber will be drawn on May 20 to receive four passes. It’s FREE to subscribe, and e-newsletters are sent out twice monthly sharing things to do in Omaha, travel inspiration, and details on giveaways like this.