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Dinosaurs and LEGOs: Arizona Science Center stop keeps kids engaged

Posted by on October 9, 2012 – 11:26 am

You won’t get five feet into the Arizona Science Center before your children engage in some serious “oohs and ahhs.”
And if you do make it past the front door, their excitement will grow to, well, dinosaur size.
The Valley museum is hosting two travelling exhibits right now – just in time for fall break. Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs opened this week. LEGO Travel Adventures set up in August.
My kids couldn’t decide what to see first.
Since the dinosaurs are new, we started there. Life-size fossils and robotics from the Triassic period through the dinosaurs’ last days welcome visitors who walk through a “Jurassic Park” like entrance (the exhibit’s creator, “Dino Don” Lessem, was a consultant on the film).
Most of the dinosaurs were dug up from China. There are pieces children can touch, a place where they can “dig up” bones and a chance to “spin the wheel” to determine how the dinosaurs disappeared.
My 7-year-old daughter just finished several weeks of studying dinosaurs. All her lessons came together at the exhibit.
And my 2 year old? She entranced by all the fossils, but as soon as we turned the corner to the robotics, well, “real” dinosaurs were scarier than the bones. They are that life-like.
We made it next to the LEGO exhibit. It’s truly amazing to see what can be built with those colorful blocks. I loved the displays from different places – cable cars in San Francisco, the space shuttle in Florida and an incredible train.
The kids liked finding Sponge Bob, Princess Leia and other characters in a combination display just inside the door. (There are others, too. We just don’t want to give them away.)
Of course, the most fun is building. The children loved putting together vehicles and then photographing them with different backgrounds, from the desert to the city.
Before you start to hear, “I’m bored,” during fall break, take a trip down to the Arizona Science Center.
With two travelling exhibits – and don’t miss the next “Rocky Mountain” movie – there’s plenty to keep them busy for a day – or more.

Arizona Science Center
600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
(602) 716-2000
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission – Adults: $14; children (3-17) $11; seniors (62+) $12
LEGO Travel Adventure, on exhibit through Jan. 1, is free and included in general admission.
Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs, on exhibit through Jan. 21, is an additional fee.
Non members – Adults $24; children (3-17) $19; seniors (62+) $20
Members – Adults, children and seniors $8