Family fun: Naturalis

26 October 2015

Dear friend,

We have been talking about visiting Naturalis for ages and finally got around to it during the half term holiday. Hubby took a day off and we had 2 free museum tickets from the post code lottery to use so what better way to spend a day? The natural history collection at Naturalis is the 5th largest in the world with over 37 million objects and it is right on our doorstep, in Leiden. 

The boys were excited to see Freek from the Dutch TV program; Freek's wild world but I was totally amazed at the sight that met us at the entrance. Nature's theatre: An exhibit of just about every species of animal and insect you can think of. It was totally amazing. The big lad and I spent ages finding the names of different animals and their countries of origin from the large catalogues of information displayed.

Next we headed down to where it all began the Primeval parade and took a look at the truly fantastic display of dinosaurs, prehistoric animals and their fossils. It fascinates me that these things are millions of years old, how privileged we are to be able to see them up close. But I don't think the boys really understand that yet.

The longest skeleton was that of the Camarasaurus, at 18 metres the head looks over the second floor. It was excavated in America and brought to Naturalis in 1996, where it was put together. The boys looked tiny next to it.
I was really impressed with how interested the boys were. The little man loved the information points and my big lad let me wax lyrical about fossils and how they were formed.

The Earth gallery has a huge rotating globe in the middle put together from satellite images. It is the very realistic and also the largest of it's kind in the world.

The Super senses  exhibition was the most fun. Here the boys were able to investigate how animals rely on their senses and how they are far more developed than our own. We got to smell, hear, taste, see and touch lots of cool things. The boys especially liked making monkey noises.

We loved the Dodo skeletons, what a rare find! My favourite exhibit was Triceratops live part of the Research in Progress exhibition, palaeontologists are currently at work in America recovering 3 possibly 4 Triceratops (1 young) that were found during the recovery of a T-Rex. The T-Rex is due to be displayed in 2016 but you can currently see part of a Triceratops skull. The Giant Japanese crab was also a sight to behold and the little man liked scaring mum with the bird eating spider and posing with the flying squirrel (or squirrel from Mario as he liked to call it).

What an amazing day and great value too at 9 euro per child (adults 12 euro). I would highly recommend it and we will definitely be making a return visit to see the new dinosaurs exhibition. 
Our Family fun, museum visit was a huge success! 
Don't you just love making memories with your kids?

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