There is a great little natural history museum not far from where we live (that's country talk for it's less than an hour away). It's located on a campus for troubled kids & in fact my in-laws work for this school.
During April school vacation they did a couple different "bird" talks. We managed to make the one on owls. It as a "hoot!" (sorry - I just can't resist...)
We've actually attended some of their talks before & they are all very well done. Admission is also very inexpensive. I think I could actually get in free since my in-laws work for the school (the museum is part of it) but I usually pay since it's so cheap & it's my little way of supporting them. I brought six kids & admission was less than $10 for all of us.
Wait, six kids?? How did that happen!!!
I actually brought my three boys & Miss L plus two of my friend's kiddos. She broke her arm on Saturday & is now in a cast for six weeks. Needless to say it's been interesting for her to try to work part-time (she is the church secretary) & take care of her family. And this was school vacation so her kids were home more.
And now for my "blond" moment...we go over to their house once a week for a Bible study. Since Kathy had only one good arm, I offered to bring pizza for everyone. We meet with another family & they covered dessert. When I left I had my bag of pans & such & just walked out...leaving my purse behind. I'm really glad I have extra insulin pens & blood sugar meters at home. Otherwise I would have had to head back to their house that night after 8pm to get it. They live 20 minutes away. So I met Kathy that morning to get it & realized she was working & had both of her kiddos with her. I offered to bring them with us. Phew - sorry for that long explanation but it shows why I doubled my kids for the day.
We started in the bird room & jumped right in to talking about different types of owls. This museum is over 100 years old & they have kept the displays looking just like they did when the museum first started. A lot of the specimens are also that old (they are all taxidermy specimens & very well done).
Then there was some fun hands-on stuff. Here is my friend's daughter (green shirt/eyes closed) with the instructor. The instructor is placing a "downy" feather from the owl in to her hand. She did this for a number of kids. They were to tell her when they felt it. No one did & she said no one ever had - it's that soft.
She also played a number of different owl calls & hoots plus some distress calls. The final hands-on fun was dissecting owl pellets. We had done this before with our homeschool group, but neither of the boys remembered it.
The boy in the hooded sweatshirt is my friend's son. He was answering a question posed about owl's.
Miss L did very well & I didn't have to worry about her bolting. She discovered the pockets in her jacket & that kept her occupied for a bit. She did keep leaning back on the displays - had to look "cool" apparently. Speaking of cool, it was very cold in the museum as it is not heated. Some of my kiddos weren't dressed for it but that explains why everyone is wearing jackets & hoods.
While there a newspaper reporter was taking photos. He snapped one of B holding the owl down & I was sure he'd show up in the paper. He had a very cool digital SLR camera. It had a recorder inside it & he just talked in to it the names of the kids & what they were doing for each photo. I so want one.
However, the big draw was the replica of the real T-Rex skull they have on display for a few weeks. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't real (as it was being promoted). Nevertheless, it was still very cool. One really neat feature - since it was a replica - was that the kids could touch it. And they did.
Miss L loved "petting" its nose & touching its teeth. And that the photo that made the paper - a little boy standing by its mouth. Guess who was in the background plain as day? Me. Although my friend's son was right in front of me. Next time I need to remember angles & move to the side out of range.