Drumheller had always been on our list of places we’d like to visit. It’s not every day that you get to go and see real dinosaurs. No really, how often are we ever able to really experience them? I’m not looking for an authentic Jurassic park type of adventure though! I enjoy the safety of visiting skeletons.
So we woke up early and hit on the road on the Dinosaur Trail to Drumheller. It was about an hour and half of a drive from Calgary. Long enough that the kids needed entertainment but short enough that they were excited the whole time.
The sign alerted us that we were close to Drumheller. The fields that we had been driving through for the past hour and a half quickly disappeared and we drove down a windy road that looked almost like a tunnel. Suddenly the farmlands of Alberta were in the rear-view mirror and we were in the bottom of a canyon… we had found the Alberta badlands!
You could feel the dinosaur pride as soon as you entered the city. This town was kid friendly central and a place for dinosaur enthusiasts to thrive. Every street corner had a large statue of a brightly coloured dinosaur and shop windows had dinosaur paintings welcoming visitors.
Signs teased us as we got closer to the museum. “You’re almost there” “Two more minutes” It was like someone had a big present for us to unwrap and we had to wait to get into it! The anticipation added to our excitement!
And finally the big sign “Welcome to the Royal Tyrell Museum” We had arrived!
We were greeted by a world class, world renowned Dinosaur Museum and Research Centre. My kids were impressed with the larger than life dinosaur statues that lined the entrance way. “DINOSAURS” they would say, and then run up, take photos or pose with the giants. “This place is awesome” they squealed. And we hadn’t even gone inside yet!
The Royal Tyrell Museum celebrated their 30th anniversary this year, although it’s founder, Joseph Burr Tyrrell made his first discovery over 100 years prior to the opening of the museum! (In 1884 to be exact!) The museum boasts one of the biggest displays of dinosaur skeletons in the world spanning over 125,000 sq. feet! Since opening day they have welcomed 12 million visitors from 150 different countries. It truly is a world-class facility.
Once inside the museum we were welcomed by a friendly and passionate staff member who was excited to share all of the museum offerings with us. She quickly went over everything we needed to know including the map and audio tour, the schedule of events and programs, and where to find support, and then we were off on our adventure!
I expected the entrance to the actual museum to be a large T-Rex. However when we first entered we were greeted by large dinosaurs that were so lifelike that they actually scared the kids. I think it was a combination of the lights, sounds and animatronics!