Have you ever done something that has taken you from a grown-ass adult with responsibilities and world fears to the size one shoes of your childhood self?
It’s a feeling that I hold near and dear to my heart. One that, the older I get, the more I find it harder to attain. But there are some things in this weary world that lead me to that nostalgic, carefree feeling; Pokémon games, the ribs my Omi makes me and the basement of my parents’ house, to name a few, all bring me that wistful warmth. However, there is one thing that towers above them all. One thing that I strive for, that I do my best to absorb as much as possible…
I absolutely adore dinosaurs. There’s something about the magnificence, the grandeur of their forms that instills awe in me. It’s like looking at a mountain, only dinosaurs don’t exist anymore, and they could have eaten you whole, which is pretty metal.
With my luck, I was graciously offered the chance to check out the new TELUS World of Science (TWOS) exhibit, titled ‘Expedition Dinosaur.’ This was the first media opportunity I had received, and it was for DINOSAURS? Best day ever.
Well, let me rephrase that. It was a way to pass the time, and still pretty cool. Let me explain.
This Dinosaur exhibit just wasn’t for me. There were a few interesting things, like some fake fossils that were covered in rubber crumbs for kids to uncover. There were a couple of staff members roleplaying as ancient archaeologists and that was nice, very enjoyable. They also had some large dinosaurs that were mechanized and moved slightly within the confines of their fences.
This is where they lost me.
The dinosaurs they had on display were all made of rubber. This would be okay, I mean, it mimics the texture of reptile skin, and from a distance, it looked realistic. Unfortunately, there were multiple spots on the dinosaurs where you could see tears, and a lot of them were repaired with black electrical tape that stuck out like a sore thumb.
Keep in mind these dinos are behind a fence that children can’t cross, so the tears must have happened beforehand.
Rubber also JIGGLES. When the dinos move around, their horns, spikes, tails, hands, all shudder around like the dinos are experiencing some moderate stage fright. Who could blame them with all those kids running around?
Now, I will admit I am biased. I grew up going to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which is the epitome of all dinosaur museums. I mean, the place is huge. I went once or twice a year and would now consider myself spoiled rotten when it comes to dinosaur content. So the TWOS just didn’t have the same lustre as I had hoped for. I imagined something to the scale of the Royal Tyrrell, and when I didn’t see it, I felt let down.
I’ll be the first to admit. That was my fault.
There is, however, a silver lining that perhaps makes the whole exhibit worthwhile, depending on your situation.
There were kids EVERYWHERE, as far as the eye could see. Little knee-high munchkins slack-jawed with amazement wandered the room like zombies. This is exactly why the TWOS Exhibition Dinosaur is worth it. If you’ve got kids or are a kid, it is all up in your wheelhouse.
I saw so many kids talking to their parents about their extensive dinosaur knowledge, kids who were scared to go near the lifelike dinos and kids who were really enjoying the few interactive events. The joy emanating from the children was contagious, and it was really nice to see that childlike sense of wonder that I was chasing flowing out of these kids.
You could see it infect the adults as well. The grandparents were laughing with the kids, parents smiling, listening to their kid boast about the statistics of a Pachycephalosaurus, then laughing when they couldn’t say it right. It was kind of magical.
On your own, as a young adult, the $14.95 price tag might be a little steep, considering it’s less than an hour of activity. But if you’re a parent with kiddos, and you’re looking to beat the heat and make your kids’ day, it’s probably the place to go.