I feel like God gave us dinosaurs so we would have something to talk about with our children. When my daughter discovered Dinosaur Train on PBS, our home-life was transformed into a paleontologist’s dream. Ever since she was a little girl, I have wanted to visit the Fernbank Museum with her. Online reviews compared it to the Natural History Museum in New York City, which sounded like big shoes to fill. So, when we ended up having an extra day in Atlanta, Georgia, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History was the first place I wanted us to go.
Fernbank Museum is listed as a reciprocal museum on my ASTC museum list. Upon arriving, we discovered that they hadn’t been a reciprocal museum for three years; meaning we actually had to pay to get into this museum, which was a huge disappointment. In their defense, It does say on the passport list that you should call ahead to check the museum’s requirements but I, unfortunately, did not do this and won’t be making the same mistake in the future. Had this not been a museum we desperately wanted to go to for years, I wouldn’t have paid the price of admission.
After paying the unexpected admission fee, we made our way to the central hall of Fernbank Museum and I have to say, it’s beautiful and easy to see why so many events are held in this location. The dinosaurs in the rotunda looked like they could walk away at any moment, even though they were just bones. There were several volunteers helping to educate the children and plenty of small, entertaining exhibits throughout the facility. My children loved the star room and the shells. They enjoyed looking for animals in the Georgia Habitat area. We saw a presentation on snakes in their live animal talk. But what takes the cake were the outdoor areas.
We ate lunch at the museum’s delicious café, then made our way outside to explore some of the trails that were spread all throughout the property. It was a slightly warm day but the trees provided the shade we needed and allowed us to explore more of the trails. At the end of our walk, there was a playground with an incredible water feature. We had so much fun simply looking at nature and just spending time outdoors with each other.
The Nature Trail
What you cant see in this picture is a little sign at the bottom of the hill that could change the way you feel about this picturesque little scene.
But it was worth it to see this view.
The children’s play area inside was also a winner. They did a great job capturing the attention of the young and old with these hands on displays and pathways.
For us, the Fernbank Museum had its ups and downs. The biggest bummer was having to pay the admission fee, but besides that there also weren’t as many dinosaurs or exhibits that were the same caliber as the Natural History Museum in New York. All that hype about the Fernbank Museum being comparable to the one in New York made our expectations too high, though neither of those things are fair to count against the Fernbank Museum because we were simply misinformed.
Overall, the Fernbank Museum was beautiful and definitely would be the perfect place to hold an event. The children enjoyed it and we spent about three hours there. They loved interacting with the friendly volunteers and there was lots of open space for them to stretch their legs. The outdoor areas were great and I would love to explore the trails even more. I’m not sure if we would visit again unless they decided to become a reciprocal museum once more, but it was well worth the visit. Plus, I fell in love with this dino tea infuser. Isn’t it cute?