The Museum of Nature is one of my favourite go-to-places in Ottawa and one that I feel everyone should experience regularly. The museum is perfect for people of all ages and really does have something for everyone. This post is going to recap the new Vale Earth exhibit, which I was able to experience in a media preview, give you information on their special discounted rates for the month of December and provide you with an opportunity to win passes for you and your family!
Last week, I had the fortunate experience of attending the Vale Earth exhibit at the Museum of Nature. This exhibit is a new permanent exhibit for the museum and one that is going to be very exciting for school groups and regular visitors.
The new Vale Earth Gallery opened on November 30. With breathtaking gems, awe-inspiring giant crystals, a walk-through limestone cave, and fun contraptions (such as magmanator) that explain the different types of rocks, this gallery will surprise you at every turn.
The exhibit is very, very well done. From the moment you walk into the exhibit, you are presented with slabs of rock that let you know exactly what to expect as you venture onward. From there, you walk through a short hallway with features that explain what you can expect to learn and see inside.
The next main room features the gorgeous Earth model, as shown above, with cases of precious gemstones and crystals flanking each side. There are interactive exhibits that you can touch and play with to really get a sense of what you are looking at and why it’s important.
I spent the majority of my time looking into these cases, above, as the rocks, crystals and other gorgeous formations were astonishing. So many of them looked delicate and incredibly breakable and I was in awe of the museum staff for being able to set the entire thing up so flawlessly.
I always love the interactive features that the museum comes up with. The one above shows the journey of magma and lava and how it helps shape and form the area around volcanoes. Everything is touchable and really gives that depth and dimension that is so needed to teach this material.
The coolest part for me is the cave that visitors can journey inside of. It’s hidden and slightly out of sight but once you’re inside, you feel transported to a dark cave somewhere. There is a feature inside with dripping water and it shows you some of the formations that grow inside of caves. Very cool and I know that kids will LOVE this feature.
All in all, this is one permanent exhibit that I am really excited about. The Canadian Museum of Nature somehow finds a way to make rocks and Earth exciting and engaging and FUN and that is always a bonus. This is exactly how kids should learn about this material – by seeing, touching and interacting with live features. Take your children to the new Vale Earth exhibit – you won’t regret it!
Looking for something to do with your family between now and December 24th? Why not add the Museum of Nature to that list? From December 4th to the 24th, the museum is offering half price admission for kids up to age 12. This offer includes access to the popular permanent galleries as well as to the special exhibition, Nature Unleashed, and the 3D movies.
“The Canadian Museum of Nature knows that the holiday season can be a very hectic and expensive time for families,” says Meg Beckel, the museum’s President and CEO. “We’re encouraging people to treat themselves to a break from the frenzy of this time of year and enjoy an affordable family outing to the museum. It’s our gift to you.”
The museum also features special holiday programming, which you can learn about on their website at www.nature.ca.
The Canadian Museum of Nature has graciously provided us with two passes to give away to two lucky readers! To be entered to win, simply follow the museum on or (or both!) and comment below with your favourite thing to look at when you go to museums (at the Museum of Nature, it’s the dinosaurs for me!) We’ll be choosing a winner on December 13th.