February 11, 2014

Adventures At Morrill Hall

Morrill Hall is natural history museum tucked in the center of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus. It’s a staple on the class field trip circuit, or at least it was back in my day. And it’s been since “my day” – my grade-school days – since I’ve been there.

That’s a long time ago. Things have changed. Imagine that.

Mr. Wonderful and the kids freezing outside in front of Morrill Hall.

Mr. Wonderful and the kids freezing outside in front of Morrill Hall.

Mr. Wonderful and I packed up the kids and made the short trek to Lincoln recently, and included a stop at Morrill Hall. I figured dinosaur bones and wooly mammoths would fascinate my kids.

They kinda cruised by all that.

We spent like 45 seconds in this very cool room!

We spent like 45 seconds in this very cool room!

They found other things to love more there, though.

This room. This is what my kids loved most. Find it in the basement of Morrill Hall.

This room. This is what my kids loved most. Find it in the basement of Morrill Hall.

The Science Discovery area in the basement of the museum turned out to be the big winner of the day. I didn’t even know this room existed!

She's concentrating here (not filling her pants).

She’s concentrating here (not filling her pants).

Mooch loved dusting and scooping in the archaeological dig site, the toy dinosaurs and puzzles; Farley enjoyed the the large tree in the room and playing the “guess the scent” game.

Mr. Wonderful discovered the jar with the skunk scent.

Mr. Wonderful discovered the jar with the skunk scent.

The basement also features displays of native animals in their natural habitats (and some not remotely native ones). Both kids seem to really like this area, especially when they could push buttons to hear animal noises.

My kids loved looking at this types of exhibits, but I lost count of how many times they smacked their foreheads on the windows. Smart kids. Bad depth perception.

My kids loved looking at these types of exhibits, but I lost count of how many times they smacked their foreheads on the windows. Smart kids. Bad depth perception.

On the top floor of the museum, you can find more interactive exhibits.

Wouldn't it be cool if she was absorbing everything from this exhibit. Hello, toddler genius!

Wouldn’t it be cool if she was absorbing everything from this exhibit. Hello, toddler genius!

These were a little above the kids’ heads, but we spent a lot of time here regardless.

Farley, the scientist.

Farley, the scientist.

The main floor of the museum is where you’ll find all the fossils and large exhibits, as well as the planetarium. Stop by planetarium and have your kids step on the special scale.

Lincoln Morrill Hall8I liked the main floor the most. So much history from our state from millions of years ago!

Just look at this room of prehistoric stuff. I mean, please. Look at it. My kids didn't.

Just look at this room of prehistoric stuff. I mean, please. Look at it. My kids barely did.

I marveled at what fossils have been found in the state; the kids spent the time running from room to room.

I lie. Farley did pause to look at one thing on the first floor.

I lie. Farley did pause to look at one thing on the first floor.

I guess in their own way, they enjoyed themselves.

Did you know?

Morrill Hall was recently named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. That’s a big deal. You can read about it here.

Plan a visit:

Celebrate the affiliation and check out the new traveling exhibition on Feb. 22. “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” opens on Feb. 22 – it’s there through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and will remain in Elephant Hall until Sept. 7. The exhibit delves into the discovery, reconstruction and implications of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrjonensis.

Where: 645 N. 14th St., Lincoln, Neb. There is FREE parking immediately north of the museum. Visitors are required to register their license plate and vehicle information in a log at the front desk.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – open late on Thursdays until 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Planetarium closed on the same days as Morrill Hall, also closed on Mondays and UNL home football Saturdays.

Cost: Adults 19 and older, $6 ($9 to include planetarium); children 5-18, $3 ($5.50 to include planetarium); families of 2 adults and children/grandchildren 18 and younger, $13; children 4 and younger, FREE ($2.50 to include planetarium); UNL students and faculty, FREE ($3 to include planetarium)

Comments

  1. My kids love the basement Discovery room as well! But I did not know about the special scale – I will have to check that out!

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