Museum that Allows Visitors to Explore Natural History


Examining the roots of the earth and what lived here before us is an exciting past time for many. At the Morrison Natural History Museum, you have an entire museum at your disposal for exploring and learning. The museum is small and focuses on teaching more than larger museums that leave you on your own to explore. There is a field research station that works on Front Range Colorado paleontology. Numerous fossils and bones have been discovered, and these are all on display at the museum. They include the first discovered Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus bones and baby dinosaur footprints that have been featured in the Smithsonian magazine publication.

When exploring the exhibits you will be guided by a tour expert who will allow you to view and touch the items, as well as ask questions and engage in discussion. The tours had school groups in mind when designing the tour, so children will feel right at home exploring the fossils, bones, and rocks. Exhibits include "Living Where Dinosaurs Roamed, "Jurassic Morrison,'' "Cretaceous Colorado,'' and "Ice Age Survivors.'' There is a new paleontology lab, several new skulls including a giant sea lizard and a wooly mammoth. A new mural will display Morrison's quarry, and newly constructed skeletons of a stegosaurus and an Apatosaurus are available to be viewed. There is a fossil dig pit and a Discovery Outpost that can be rented for parties and birthday celebrations.

The purpose of the museum is to "...interpret and preserve the dramatic Earth history of Morrison, Colorado and the greater Front Range.'' The site of the museum was originally a condemned cabin that was refurbished with materials. The Town of Morrison operates the museum and the admission entrance cost and gift shop sales go toward the residents of the town. Morrison is home to about 450 people and this money helps with the cost of educational services.

Visitors to the museum are encouraged to touch the displays while learning about the creatures. You can handle bones and fossils during your tour, making your experience truly hands-on. Those who have a fascination for dinosaurs will love the museum regardless of their age. Students studying natural history and adults with a natural fascination for prehistoric times will enjoy the museum. The museum has been running for more than a decade and offers education for all ages and levels in school. Tours are built to incorporate the state and federal education guidelines. They are docent led and encourage discussion and exploration. There are also geology tours available that lead visitors through Morrison and along the Bear Creek Trail. Together with a guide you will discuss Morrison geological setting and enjoy Dinosaur Beach and the Petrified Desert. With an environment so rich in history, it is necessary to incorporate the outdoors into the museum for a full lesson. Outdoor visitors are encouraged to wear sunscreen and comfortable footwear, and bring along a bottle of water.

The Private Curator's Tour of the museum is led by the staff curator. This program allows visitors to engage in discussion and hands-on activities while speaking to the museum's resident expert. This tour lasts 90 minutes and must be scheduled in advance. The tour cost is $4 per person with a minimum of $50 for groups of 13 or less. The Morrison Natural History Museum is a destination for those who love dinosaurs.

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