From the stegosaurus to the gigantoraptor, the â€œDinosaurs Unearthedâ€ exhibit, which opened on Feb. 23 and will remain open until Sept. 2 this year at the Witte Museum, features models of many dinosaurs, including those that were familiar to me from my days spent watching â€œThe Land Before Time,â€ and several I never even knew existed. Â The Witte says that this exhibit allows visitors to experience â€œthe worldâ€™s largest and most advanced life-sized animatronic dinosaurs,â€ created with electronics instead of hydraulics allowing the models to â€œcapture some of the most life-like motions ever created.â€
In addition to these animatronic models, the exhibit showcases complete skeletons, fossils and even â€œdung stoneâ€ (yes, itâ€™s what you think it is). Â There are interactive aspects to many of these displays, as well, some of which even encourage you to play with iPads. Â For one dinosaur model, you can push buttons to make the life-size model move â€“ a kidâ€™s dream come true. Â If you want to embrace your inner child and rekindle your love of dinosaurs, this is a great place to go.
However, I feel that I should inform you of some qualms I had with my visit to the Witte Museum. Â Â Firstly, I went under the impression that there is a student discount. Â The volunteer at the door even thought that students get in for free. Â Much to my surprise, upon reaching the front of the line to get the tickets, I was informed that there is no longer a discount for students, and I would have to pay the full price for admission, $10, plus an extra fee for the dinosaur exhibit, $5. Â A $15 per person charge in a small, less than world-class museum that you could easily walk through in an afternoon is rather ridiculous. Â I thought, â€œthis exhibit better be good.â€
I was disappointed. Â I imagined full dinosaur skeletons galore and expected a high-class atmosphere similar to that of museums I have visited previously. Â Â But, despite the Witteâ€™s impressive exterior, visible when driving down Broadway, the interior seemed quite small, and the â€œDinosaurs Unearthedâ€ exhibition was tiny. Â Â As for the atmosphere, poorly-supervised screaming children running rampant ruined any hint of class that may have possibly previously existed. Â In the end, it seemed to be much more of an over-priced childrenâ€™s day trip than a fun, educational collegiate experience.
Although Iâ€™ve ranted about all of this, please donâ€™t let me completely talk you out of going. Â It really is cool to check out, and I wouldnâ€™t have complained as much if there were free admission. Â Luckily, you can go for free.
Even though there is no longer a student discount, after paying for my ticket and reading the visitorsâ€™ guide, I discovered that admission on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m. is free. Â This is the perfect opportunity to check it out, although there is still a fee for the â€œDinosaurs Unearthedâ€ exhibition.
All things considered, if you have a passion for dinosaurs, definitely go. Â I would recommend going to the Witte at least once in your years at Trinity, and if youâ€™ve never been to the Witte, now would be a great time to experience it. Â Â Do it on one of these beautiful spring days, and you can meander around the various buildings on the grounds and stroll along the river as well. Â The setting is quite beautiful. Â However, if you arenâ€™t particularly interested in dinosaurs or visiting a mediocre museum, save your money.
If you decide to check it out, keep in mind that the museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Tuesday when it closes at 8 p.m and on Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. Other than â€œFree Tuesdays,â€ admission is $10, and, as previously stated, there is an additional fee for special exhibitions. Â For more information, call (210) 357-1910.