Travel more than 65 million years back in time Saturday, April 15, by participating in the annual Dinosaur Day at the Garvies Point Museum & Preserve in Glen Cove. Take a photo with a Coelophysis dinosaur, touch a T-Rex jaw and sit in the footprint of a Hadrosaur.
The dinosaur replicas are a manageable size, so kids can touch them and get up close and personal. “We don’t have huge dinosaurs like the American Museum of Natural History,” says Veronica Natale, museum supervisor.
Many of the kids who attend are mini dinosaur experts already, says museum attendant Dimitria Patrikis. “It never ceases to amaze me how little kids in kindergarten or first grade will be able to spew all this information about the Cretaceous and the Jurassic,” says Patrikis, referring to time periods of the prehistoric era. “They’ll correct you, too, and they’re right.”
Here are six activities on the agenda for this year’s Dinosaur Day:
1. Create your own fossil
Kids will get a slab of self-hardening clay and use items such as a fake frog skeleton, fern fronds and dinosaur skin to make impressions in the clay and form their own fossil, which will harden in 24 hours.
2. Sit in a Hadrosaur footprint
A footprint of this duck-billed herbivore’s three-toed foot is big enough for kids to sit in. It’s on display next to an actual Hadrosaur fossil of the foot, which is encased in Plexiglas. The foot is attached to a replica of the dinosaur’s leg, so kids can stand next to it and get an idea of the creature’s scale.
3. Enjoy a dinosaur photo op
The life-size, 10-foot-long Coelophysis — one of the earliest meat-eating dinosaurs — will be on display so kids can strike a pose next to it.
4. See a T-Rex jaw bone
The replica of part of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex’s jaw — including a nostril hole and six teeth — sits on a table next to an illustration of what the whole head looks like. “They seem like something that someone would make up. But they actually existed,” Natale says. “It’s not like someone just imagined what that would look like. It’s made from real fossils that are found.”
5. Be part of a dig
Kids can use paintbrushes to sweep away sand from dinosaur bones buried in a wagon. “They pretend to be a paleontologist,” Natale says.
6. Get your dinosaur on
The museum has several dinosaur tails and claws that fit kids up to about 8 years old that visitors can don to dress up as a dinosaur.
ELSEWHERE AT THE MUSEUM
Dinosaur Day admission also includes access to the entire museum. Here are some other areas to explore:
- Indians of North America: A wigwam made of tree bark shows what American Indians in the Northeast called home. Learn details of their daily lives through dioramas. See their tools fashioned from stone — including arrowhead artifacts. A touch table lets kids feel pelts of animals they hunted, including a bear, raccoon and more.
- The Study of Human Bones: A skeleton in a case displays the different bones that make up the human body.
- Geology of Long Island: Check out the rocks and minerals that make up the Island, and read about its glacial history. See the only dinosaur fossil found on Long Island — a footprint of a small, raptor-type dinosaur.
- Nature trails: If it’s a nice day, pick up a quick reference trail map at the museum and take a walk through the property’s miles of land.
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at Garvies Point Museum & Preserve, Glen Cove
INFO 516-571-8010, garviespointmuseum.com
ADMISSION $5 (free ages 3 and younger)