About twenty years ago my family spent some time exploring various attractions around Drumheller, AB. It was such a memorable experience that I wanted to bring my own children here one day. Now that we are here I am happy to report that the experience does not disappoint.
Our first stop was the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology which is located 6km north-west of Drumheller, AB. We arrived just after lunch and pulled into the RV parking lot below the museum. The upper parking lots were packed with vehicles but the RV parking lot was practically empty. As we entered the museum I was staggered by the crowds of tourists. It reminded me of the time we visited the Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World earlier this year; it was that busy.
The museum itself is amazing. It is two levels and divided into fourteen distinct sections. The first part of the museum has some interactive stations that explains where fossils are found, how they are unearthed and prepared for display. There is a large preparation lab in the museum that visitor can view through large windows. What follows is the Lords of the Land exhibit. In this room precious fossils are displayed with royal flair, it is quite beautifully done. The rest of the museum is a journey through 3.9 years of evolution starting with the Burgess Shale exhibit and moving through the Devonion Reef, Permian, Cretaceous Garden, Dinosaur Hall, Bearpaw Sea, Mammal Hall and Ice Age exhibits. There was so much to see and learn!
After spending a couple hours exploring the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which was perfect for our young children, we hiked the Badlands Interpretive Trail which starts just past the water feature in front of the museum. The hike took us about an hour to complete at a very leisurely pace. The interpretive trail is easy but not stroller friendly, because of the stairs. For a family with young children, half a day is plenty of time for exploring the museum and doing the Badlands Interpretive Trail hike. In a couple years, when all my children are school aged, I would like to return to the museum and take advantage of their various programs and camps. They have a family science camp that looks like a lot of fun!