Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dinosaurs, Pioneers, and Leonardo da Vinci in Montana

We took advantage of the Man of the House being off for the long weekend, to sneak in a quick road trip to the Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, Mt. That is, quick by Montana standards, where 75/mph speed limits, and relatively light traffic, even on a holiday weekend, make 500 miles round trip, a doable distance for a day drive.

As you might guess from the picture above, the Museum of the Rockies is one of the stops on the Montana Dinosaur Trail. It is said to have one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world.

We didn't make the drive for the dinosaurs though. We actually wanted to see the temporary Leonardo da Vinci - Machines in Motion exhibit, before it's taken down next week, to make way for an exhibit on dogs.

After reading about the scientist, it was fun to see some of his sketches built into models.

And, most of the exhibit was hands on, which was great for the children. When we could get them to hold still long enough, to read the write-ups with each machine, it was truly fascinating.

The real hit of the day though, besides a Lewis and Clark film in the planetarium (a first for the children), was the living history farm, outside the museum.

Helpful volunteers walked the children through some of the chores of a pioneer day, such as feeding the chickens...

...cooking on a wood stove...

...and weaving rag rugs.

The girls really embraced the whole experience, and announced they want to live on a farm, when they grow up.

I think what they really mean, is they'd like to work as reenactors, demonstrating pioneer life all day, but returning to the comforts of televisions, and microwaves in the evening.

Either way, I see a nice segue into a career day.

For more fun with history or geography, check out this week's link-up at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

There's a living history farm near here, that I keep intending to take the kids to. I also want to find out about volunteering there, because they love homeschoolers to volunteer because it gives a wider variety in age ranges.

Christy said...

That looks like a fun day trip. I can't believe the distance you traveled in one day though! I have been planning on visiting a museum in western MA and I keep postponing it because it is over two hours away.

That living museum reminds me of Plymouth Plantation. My little ones haven't been there yet, but hopefully we will go soon.

Hallie said...

I can't wait to check thisout next time we are in Montana! Thanks so much for sharing!


Joyful Learner said...

JC would have been thrilled...dinosaurs AND Leonardo's recreations?!! We just read about it in MHT about his failed inventions and wanting to fly. I would have loved to visit the pioneer days. I'm going to keep Montana in mind if we ever to a drive across the states!

Debbie said...

What a fun day trip. I would love to see the living history farm myself.

Marcee said...

Sounds like you guys had a great day. R had to work yesterday and B had football practice, so no Holiday for us.

Raising a Happy Child said...

What an awesome trip. I wonder if there is any living history farm around here. Anna is intensely fascinated with pioneer life after listening to the first two Little House books. I am impressed that you drove 500 miles with 6 kids in one day.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

I have a crush on Leonardo da Vinci. :-) He is endlessly fascinating to me, and I'm so jealous you got to see the exhibit!! It looks amazing!

kewkew said...

What a great field trip. I would love to be able to go to a living museum. Gotta see what sort of things we have available around here.
I also think the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit sounds great. Glad you got in to see it before they changed exhibits.
I love what you mentioned in your comment over at Debbie's blog, about returning everything if you find yourself gorging on goodies. Great self control. It is hard to know what is a necessity and what is frivolous. I know when I put things back after debating about getting it I look back after a few weeks or so and realize I can't even remember what it was I was thinking I needed so bad, obviously not a necessity. Not sure I have ever put everything back though.