Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Mayborn Museum ~ Waco, Texas

Want to take your kids to a "Night-at-the-Museum"- Museum? At least, that's the description my kids gave it!

The Mayborn Museum Complex in Waco, Texas was a perfect combination of natural science mixed with hands-on children's fun.  Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn features a Natural History Museum, a historic village, and a children's discovery center.  The tag line the complex is using "engage! explore! enjoy!" describes this museum to a T.

Recently, we had the opportunity to explore this museum complex and was so pleasantly surprised at how amazing it was!  There are so many great things to say about it, that we had to break it down into two posts.  Today we will talk about the Natural History Museum.  
With the general focus on Central Texas, the Mayborn does an incredible job teaching and showing us what life was like before we were ever around.  The first room you walk into is the Strecker's Cabinet of Curiosities - take your time in here, open the drawers in the cabinets and see what surprises lay in there.  And make sure you see the HUGE Humpback Whale Skull! (explore!)
What we loved the most are the several walk-in dioramas - they really add to your experience.  When you walk into the Texas Caves exhibit, bend down as if you are going into a cave. See the life-sized Waco Indian grass-hut or Comanche tipi in the Waco at the Crossroads of Texas exhibit.  Stand over the "mammoth bones" as if you were excavating them yourself.  Everything here is so life-like, it really enhances your learning.
One of the things my children enjoyed the most was the museum scavenger hunt that you can pick up at the information desk.  Not your typical hunt with questions to find the answers too, these are blown up pictures to find.  My kids were attracted to the pictures and did not rush through the museum to find them all. They would find a picture and then linger to learn what it was.  (engage!)
They also really enjoyed the hands-on games at many of the exhibits.  Fun games such as word scrambles about the topic was another fun way to learn.  They collected a letter from each exhibit to unscramble for a prize at the end of the tour.  Yet another fun way to keep them "learning"! (enjoy!)
Right as we were walking out, a juggling performance captivated the kids - many scheduled performances are brought into the rotunda.  Make sure you check the events calendar on the website before you go.

The Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village is currently being remodeled, so we did not have a chance to see this exhibit.  It re-opens in May 2012.  

This is a gem of a museum and I have only told you half of the story! Come back tomorrow to hear about the infamous bubble room!!!

Texas Travel Facts for Mayborn Museum:
Location: 1300 S. University Parks Waco, Texas
Hours: Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (open until 8:00 pm on Thursday) Sunday: 1 pm - 5 pm 
Admission: Adults: $6.00
                    Children (18m to 12 years): $4.00
Recommended Time: 3 - 4 hours
Good to know: Check the website for special events, strollers are available to use at no charge, bring a picnic lunch (tables are available outside), great gift shop

My children and I were invited to visit the museum and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of the Mayborn Museum  are strictly my own based on my experience.  

No comments: