Thursday, August 18, 2011

Frogs and dinosaurs and hominids, oh my!

I don't know about you, but I have fond memories of class trips as a kid—to museums, parks, zoos and once, The Metropolitan Opera in New York. Turns out that field trips are a bit of an endangered species these days; they seem to be on the decline, possibly due to economic reasons.

The Kleenex peeps have a campaign to save the field trip, and through The Motherhood invited a bunch of moms and kids to the American Museum of Natural History last week for a sponsored trip. I took Sabrina; Max was in school and besides, I wanted to have a day with her. The morning of, she wailed because she'd be missing camp, but perked up considerably when I mentioned there would be lunch. Kids.

I had to literally drag her out of there, she had such an amazing time. I did, too.

The museum has an awesome Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibit through January 8, 2012. I had no idea the little buggers could be so fascinating, but they were. There were 200-plus of them hanging out in recreated natural habitats.

This guy looked like he had something to ask. Perhaps, "Hey! Where's the nearest bar and do they perhaps serve fly-tinis?"

If you're going to eat frogs legs, you'd better not go for these guys as they could be your last meal ever. Yep, the most poisonous creature on the planet isn't a snake or spider—it's a frog. Even touching a dart frog can do you harm. No worries, they're in Central and South America, not your backyard.

Is it just me or does this frog look like Yoda?

Next up, we hit The World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibit, open through January 2. Here's where you can get the scoop on how a super-sized group of dinosaurs lived—the long-necked and long-tailed sauropods, which ranged from 15 to 150 feet long. Average weight: 12 tons.

Here's one, which I believe is called the mother-in-law-eat-o-sauraus.

Sabrina liked this video game, where you got to feed a dinosaur.

This is a typical day's meal for a dinosaur—all salad, all the time. And no dressing.

At the end of the exhibit there was this cool sand pit where kids got to excavate fossils. Jimmy Hoffa was not found.

Afterward, we wandered around the museum for hours. There are a number of hands-on exhibits, along with numerous volunteers around to help or answer questions. Here's Sabrina experimenting with gravity. I loved what I weighed on the moon—only 17 percent of what you weigh on Earth. Relocating to the moon sounds like a much better idea than my current low-carb plan.

This pair fascinated Sabrina. They're hominids, aka great apes who lived millions of years ago and who bore a serious resemblance to humans. Sometimes, I look like that when I wake up.

Of course, we brought home a treat for Max.

Revved to do some field trips now? Kleenex is giving away $5000 to 100 schools in the U.S. to use for field trips. You can sign up your school on their Facebook page through September 14.


  1. I LOVED field trips as a kid--anything to get out of the everyday humdrum routine. It was so much fun getting on that bus and going somewhere different--on a SCHOOL day!! You're right, they don't do them as much. I guess they cost too much, parents don't have the money, liability issues, not enough parent volunteers to watch the kids, that kind of thing--it is a real shame, because you get so much from them (and not all of it is academic, a lot of it is peer interaction).

    Great post, brought back a ton of memories before heading out to work! I'll be talking about field trips all day now!

  2. What a great experience for both of you!! It is good to expose kids to museums when they are young. What great pictures - looks like Sabrina will remember this day for a long time, especially since you were there with her.

  3. I think my older 2 kids went on 1-3 field trips last school year. Ash went on more since she has special needs. Noah went to the zoo & I chaperoned. Wow, that was fun!

    Earlier in the summer we took the kids to our Natural Museum for the first time & they loved it. Next time I need to look for frogs. I can not remember if they had any.


Thanks for sharing!

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