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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sternberg Museum of Natural History a Hidden Gem on the Prairie



I always find it interesting when people assume that living in the “middle of nowhere Kansas” means we have no great museums and attractions to educate our children.  This summer we have had the opportunity through 4-H to take our kids to several amazing museums.  During the State 4-H Geology Trip, we were invited to visit the Sternberg Museum in Hays, Kansas right off of I-70 if you are driving to Colorado.

The Sternberg Museum’s most famous attraction is the Fish within a Fish Fossil.  It is said to be the most photographed fossil in the world. 

The larger fish apparently ate the smaller fish whole and then something happened to it and it suddenly died, falling into the bottom of the ocean. 

The curators have done an amazing job recreating what many prehistoric animals would have looked like.

The highlight of the entire museum for my boys was the animatronic dinosaur display.  Not only did the T-rex move his head and make noise, but when he did the other dinosaurs screeched and started moving as well.  Check out this video I took. 

These were so realistic that one small boy in our group refused to go in.  He had been before and it was too real for him.

You can watch real life paleontologists uncasting fossils from the field.

Hold a mastodon tooth.

And view an extensive skeleton and snake collection.  Snakes are not my thing, so you will have to go check them out yourself.  Sorry!  No pictures they would give me nightmares.

Be sure to stop and see some of the sites as you pass through Kansas.  They might surprise you.  I guarantee you that the admission price with give you a pleasant surprise when compared to other museums on the coasts.  I also found a free museum further south in Emporia right off of I-35 called the Johnston Geology Museum.

The thoughts and opinions in this post are purely my own and those of my kids.  I was not paid to do this post.  Nor does anyone at the Sternburg Museum even know I exist.

-A Kansas Farm Mom