By Angela Peacock
Editor’s Note: This is a weekly series about family-oriented activities within a day’s drive of Portales.
Painting a picture of New Mexico’s history from the beginning of time is what officials said people will experience when they visit Albuquerque’s New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.
One of the museum’s biggest attractions is the Bisti Beast dinosaur display.
Experts discovered the fossils of the Bisti, which was a large, sharped tooth meat eater related to the T-Rex dinosaur species, near the Four Corners area. John Arnold, manager of visitor services, said New Mexico is so rich in dinosaur fossils because the state has certain areas of land that were the proper conditions for preservation.
Aside from all the dinosaur exhibits Arnold, said the museum has daily nature documentaries on the largest movie screen in the state at the Extreme Screen DynaTheater, which is currently showing two films, Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees and Dolphins.
“The Extreme Screen DynaTheater takes you on journeys throughout the natural world in a way in which you have never experienced,” Arnold said.
The mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the diverse and evolving natural history of New Mexico and the Southwest, and according to the Web site www.nmnaturalhistory.org, “the museum pursues scientific inquiry, develops focused collections and presents innovative and engaging educational exhibits and public programs.”
Another museum attraction is the LodeStar Astronomy Center, which Arnold said is a state of the art planetarium and motion simulation theater.
“The entire experience is not to be missed. We have learning and fun down to a science. People will learn and have fun here,” Arnold said. “Visitors really do have a lot of choices as what they can do at the museum. It’s a great informal science education center.”
New Mexico Museum
of Natural History & Science
Location: 1801 Mountain Road Northwest
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $2 to $6
On the Web: www.nmnaturalhistory.org