The Heard Natural Science Museum
For the sixth year in a row, The Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney is offering a fun experience for families called Dinosaurs Live! This one of a kind exhibit runs through January 29.
The Heard Natural Science Museum, or The Heard, has been open since 1967 and has touted itself as a place where people of all ages can come and learn about the natural history of Texas. The outdoor sanctuary features over 6.5 miles of natural unpaved trails where one can see a variety of wildlife native to Texas. The butterfly garden and native plant exhibits run year-round.
In the fall, The Heard is taken over by dinosaurs. Starting October 1st, the museum will house a collection of nine animatronic dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dilophosaurus, Crylophosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Massospondylus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosausus, Elephrasaurus, and Suchomimus. While that may be quite a mouthful, these dinosaurs are no doubt recognizable to any school-age child. The mere sight of these creatures will leave both children and parents in awe. The T-Rex is over 45 feet tall. It towers over the museum and, just like in its own time, is definitely the king of this exhibit.
This large-as-real-life exhibit is outdoors along one of The Heard’s nine walking trails. It is accessible for all pedestrians and is wheel chair and jogging stroller friendly.
In addition to the outdoor attractions the museum has several hands-on activities. In keeping with the museum’s motto “Bringing nature and people together,” The Heard’s indoor dinosaur exhibit allows young visitors the chance to learn about these prehistoric creatures up close and personal. The activities educate visitors on the dinosaurs’ diet, habitat, behaviors, and how scientists continue to learn more about the creatures every day through research and archeological studies.
The Heard also shares the ancient discoveries made right here in Texas. Many dinosaur fossils have been found in Texas – in fact, the lone star state is rather famous for these discoveries. Students from the University of Texas and even local elementary students have found remarkable collections of dinosaur bones all over the state. The Heard’s exhibit has a wealth of information to share with residents about these important findings.
The life-size dinosaurs roar with ferocity and move like they supposedly moved during their existence on earth. There are also photo-op dinosaurs on the trails that children can interact with and climb on for even more hands-on accessibility.
Dinosaurs Live! at The Heard Natural Science Museum runs through January 29.
Lauren Actkinson-Carlton is a writer living with her husband and toddler in Little Elm, TX. Her creative writing and daily thoughts can be found at laurenacarlton.com. She is also on Twitter: @laurenacarlton.