Loving & Leaving Pittsburgh: The Carnegie Museum of Natural History

It’s getting painful to write about my favorite things around the city — we have only 2 1/2 weeks left before we move out to Utah!

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History — or, as we call it, the “Dinosaur Museum” — is probably my personal favorite around the city.  (Hrumm, the children’s museum’s a close second.  Maybe a tie.)  I’ve been going there regularly since before the kids were born, and even more so afterwards.

Usually, the kids’ favorite thing to see is the dinosaur skeletons.  However, last October we took Jeffrey to see the Hall of Ancient Egypt, and he’s been an Egypt nut ever since.  Here he is in the reconstructed tomb:

Eleanor likes the fact that the Egyptians wore necklaces just like hers.  Doesn’t that one on the bottom left look like it was made from macaroni?

I, on the other hand, am a big fan of the Polar World exhibit.  What’s more awesome, the polar bear or the baby Wimmy?  Tough call.

And let’s not forget the awesome snowhouse (aka igloo) exhibit.  In case you’re wondering, the mannequins inside are of a mother and son skinning an arctic fox together.  Cool.

Just beyond the model snowhouse is the oh-so-endlessly fascinating video presentation, “How to Build a Snowhouse.”  The kids always insist on stopping to watch it.  It’s interesting the first twelve times you see it.  After that, the interest wanes.

The secret to snowhouse building?  You should file down your foundation ring of snowblocks to create a spiral.  According to the video, “you don’t have to be Inuit — but it helps!”  Oh glory.  I have seen that video SO.  MANY.  TIMES.

Beyond Polar World is the Hall of Native Americans.  Or, according to my kids, “the place with this really cool boat.”  The boat has something to do with the peoples of the pacific northwest, but I’ve never been able to fully figure out what.  Something about fishing.  Fishing is important.

Oh, and you get to pet a bison!  Cute, fuzzy bison!  I’ve explained to my kids that we will get to see living bison in Utah.  They usually give me puzzled looks when I say this.  Note Jeffrey demonstrating the appropriate “two-finger touch” that kids are encouraged to use:

No visit to the CMNH is complete without a quick lunch at Fossil Fuels, the downstairs cafeteria.  The staff there is sooooo friendly, I love them.  We always get a chocolate pudding to share for dessert — it comes with such lovely whipped cream on top!

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