Thursday, April 21, 2016
Road Trip Pit Stop: Mesalands Dinosaur Museum
My family and I recently took a cross country road trip and between the potty breaks and gas fill ups, we had to try and find something to fill a few hours of time with the kiddos..
We took our trip from California and followed the I-40 all the way to Georgia. I did my research in the weeks prior to heading out, and had such a hard time finding anything for us to do. Maybe a roadside attraction here or a weird structure on a hill you can stop and see there, but nothing that would hold the kids' interest for long. I gave up on planning anything and just went on our way.
Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum up online as we were driving and checked out the price, just to make sure it was not astronomical (like most museums). I was relieved to see that admission prices were cheap!
Children 5 to 11- $4.00
Children (Under 5) FREE
This museum is tucked in along a small town and is super easy to find -- just follow the signs that are posted all over the place! If you are like me and need the directions, here you go:
Located at 222 E Laughlin Ave, Tucumcari, NM 88401
From Interstate 40 (Route 66):
Take Exit 332. Continue north on First Street to Laughlin (1.6 miles, two blocks after the signal light), then turn right to the Museum parking area.
From Highway 54:
Exit west onto Route 66 Blvd., go west to First Street (1.3 miles at signal light), then turn right to the Museum parking area.
When you walk into the building, you are greeted at the ticket counter inside the small gift shop. The shop is full of souvenirs, books, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.-- everything you generally find at a museum giftshop. You pay your admission and are directed through the doors.
For a small little museum, this place is pretty jam packed with Life Size Bronze and Original Fossils.
There is a paleontology lab right there in the building where you can observe scientists doing what they do and studying fossils.
As you walk through, you will see a few of Life Size Fossils ( I mean like 6-8 life size fossils and replicas) My girls loved seeing all things in there. There are wall to wall murals, original paintings and a ton of exhibits showing rocks and small impressions found throughout the region.
There is even an area strictly for kids. They can dig for bones in an enclosed area filled with what seems to be walnut shells. This entertained the kids for a few minutes.
There is an area where they can dig through the sand and show different levels of change in the water and land over the years. This kind of went over my daughters heads as to what it was meant for but they had fun with it regardless.
Overall, for a small museum in a tiny little town off the beaten path, I would highly recommend this pit stop if you are traveling with young kids!
It was a nice break, a chance to stretch our legs and get out of the heat, and we all enjoyed learning a little bit about dinosaurs and paleontology.