The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is located near Old Town and right across the street from their children’s science center. If you have elementary aged kids you could easily spend the day there. Not having a child yet I spent my time at the natural history and science museum and was glad that I did. Since Albuquerque is not the biggest city that I have ever been to I was not expecting a whole lot from this museum. Boy…was I in for a shock. The level of exhibits and the amount that they have there was shocking. Overall, it is a wonderful little museum that had something for everyone.
The museum is designed to take its visitors on a journey from the Big Bang to present day. The first part of the voyage discusses the assembling of the planets in our solar system to the rise of life on Earth. The second part of the exhibit delves into the Triassic period where dinosaurs adapted into the colossal creatures that they became in the next part of the journey looks at the Jurassic period. In this area of the museum they have several large dinosaur skeletons. The visitor next moves into the decline of the dinosaurs and a volcanic period where there is a walkthrough volcano complete with glowing panels on the floor to show the process of an eruption. The expedition ends by looking at the rise of mammals to the end of the last Ice Age. This area of the museum was extremely well done and very informative.
Besides their nicely done Timetrack exhibit the museum also has a few other permanent exhibits including an interactive computer that looks at Earth’s elements. There is also an area called Naturalist Center with a touch tank and other aquarium tanks and an area where children can learn more about science. A paleontology area where you can see volunteers prepare fossils for display in the museum. There was also an impressive interactive exhibit about the rise of the computer age. This area explains the process how the computer went from being a code-breaker during World War II to become a part of daily life in the 90s. Their last major exhibit is a space area next to the planetarium that has a model of the Mars Rover and other astronomy exhibits.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has a five story screen in their DynaTheater. There is also a planetarium. They feature a variety of shows at the planetarium and their DynaTheater that change throughout the year so check their website to see what is being played before you go.
I would plan to spend at least an hour and half at this museum or more if you plan on catching one of the shows at the planetarium or their theater. I especially liked like their dinosaur exhibits and the variety of dinosaur species that they have. I did not personally see any of their shows so I cannot tell you if they are worth the extra price or not. Overall, for the low admission price I would definitely say that it was worth what they are charging. I have been to other museums that charge more and do not have half of what they have here.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Located at 1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque
Hours of Operation- Open 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
Cost as of this posting- Tickets to the museum exhibits are- Adults 13-59 $7.00 Seniors 60 and over $6.00 Children 3 to 12 $4.00- Other parts of the museum like the planetarium cost extra
For more information visit their website at http://nmnaturalhistory.org/
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