Did you find joy and delight at the excitement of learning as much as you could about dinosaurs as a child? Maybe you had toy dinosaurs that you endlessly played with? Or perhaps you just love learning about history or science? All of these are great reasons to visit The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a tourist attraction and a centre of palaeontological research known for its collection of more than 130,000 fossils located in the Canadian Badlands.
Ever since my family and I moved to Calgary, Alberta when I was twelve years old, we’ve been making a day-trip of driving to Drumheller. It’s not a place where you can easily get bored or tired of visiting, which is why we’ve taken visiting family members and friends over the years. Part of the fun of driving to the Royal Tyrrell Museum is the journey – the landscape quickly changes from prairie grasses to rolling hills and then to hoodoos.
If you have never seen a hoodoo before, you’re in for a real treat. A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. (source: Wikipedia)
The area around the Museum makes you feel like you’ve been magically transported to another time and place. It’s pretty easy to imagine dinosaurs of all sizes roaming the landscape.
History in the Making
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Although the dinosaurs are trapped in time, the museum isn’t. Ever-evolving exhibits allow scientists to research, bring new discoveries to light, and keep up with the latest information out there. The Preparation Lab allows you to view scientists at work behind glass.
During the summer months, many of our technicians are out in the field with palaeontologists, prospecting for fossils. When they find items of significance, they transport them back to the Museum and begin to meticulously remove the surrounding rock in order to expose the fossils so that they can interpret and record their findings.
Learn by Seeing
From the moment you step inside the museum, you’ll be confronted with creatures from the past. There are thirteen ever-evolving exhibit areas that will make you feel like you’re a kid again and thirsty to learn and explore more. The exhibits change to bring the latest research to the public to learn from and to keep things interesting. Check out the current exhibits.
The Learning Lounge is an area that allows you to participate in hands-on activities. This is fun for the whole family! There’s a huge Albertosaurus skeleton on display and lots of interactive things to check out. There are also snack machines and chairs to relax in, to break up your visit through the Museum.
Imagine Yourself in the Action
There are camp-ins, guided hikes, digs, and other fun activities for the whole family. Many school groups visit The Royal Tyrrell Museum as it’s such a fun learning environment for children to get hands-on information in an exciting setting.
Don’t think you’ll miss out if you’re an adult! There are also digs and activities, plus informative videos and documentaries to enjoy for all age groups. Check out the programs page on the Museum’s website to plan your time.Frequently Asked Questions:
How far is the Royal Tyrrell Museum from Calgary?
The Museum is 142 km (approximately 88 miles) away from Calgary. The journey will take you approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes if you don’t stop along the way. But, I would recommend you stop to take pictures of the landscape and stretch your legs.
What does the Royal Tyrrell Museum offer visitors?
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of palaeontology. In addition to housing one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs, the Museum offers a wide variety of creative, fun, and educational programs that bring the prehistoric past to life.
Who is the Royal Tyrrell Museum named after?
The museum is named in honour of Joseph Burr Tyrrell, a geologist who discovered the first reported dinosaur fossil in the Red Deer River valley in 1884. The carnivorous dinosaur that he discovered was later named Albertosaurus sarcophagus.
Why is the Royal Tyrrell Museum so important?
It’s the insatiable curiosity of the scientists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum that drives the research program. Their discoveries provide the basis for everything we do, from educational programming to exhibit development. Their work enhances our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth.(source: The Royal Tyrrell Museum website.)
Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum
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What to do Nearby
Midland Provincial Park is a sprawling outdoor space with hiking trails & geocaching, plus just a few minutes away from the Museum.
The Atlas Coal Mine Museum is about 25 minutes away by car.
The Atlas Coal Mine is one of the longest-running mines in Alberta and touts plenty of fresh and fascinating mining tours, all centred around specific themes and folklore. Live the life of a ’30s-era coal miner, handling artifacts in work clothes. You’ll learn plenty about our storied mining past while experiencing mine blowing history.Atlas Mine Museum website
Dinosaur Provincial Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, has camping options, trails, and numerous adventure activities (like paddling, hiking, fishing, and, biking.) It’s located at least a two-hour drive to the town of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
Where to Eat
There is a cafeteria inside the Museum serving the usual things like pizza, hamburgers, and French fries. There is also a coffee station. If you’re looking for something more inspired, head to the town of Drumheller for fast food options, restaurants, and casual dining.
Where to Stay
Nearby Drumheller is a natural choice for where to stay the night when you visit The Royal Tyrrell Museum, which is about a 15-minute drive away.
Canalta Jurassic is a fun hotel for the whole family. There is free breakfast, a hot tub, sauna, and a microwave and fridge in the rooms.
The Ramada Inn is a good choice for a chain hotel that offers free breakfast, fitness room, swimming pool, and hot tub. The rooms are large and comfortable.
The Heartland Inn and Spa is a cozy, boutique accommodation that offers fireplaces, robes, whirlpool bathtubs, and fridges in rooms. This looks like it would be a very romantic place to stay for couples or those looking to relax during their stay.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, have fun, and enjoy the great outdoors while visiting The Royal Tyrrell Museum near Drumheller, Alberta. With the changing exhibits, you’ll want to stop by and visit again if you’ve already been once.