The other week I headed to Trenton, NJ and met up with a few blogger friends for a Jersey Family Fun day at the NJ State Museum. Jennifer, the brains behind Jersey Family Fun, planned a great day for everyone:
Museum tour with a surprise guest
3D Laser Nutcracker show in the Planetarium
Lunch together in a reserved room
Tour of the State House
and a “Make a Law” program for older kids.
Since the X-man is just two years old, I only planned to explore the museum, watch the laser light show, and then head out after lunch. I was excited to see the laser show because I thought X was going to love it.
The best part of the day was the surprise guest though. A visit from Tyrannosaurus Rex! T.rex was a preview of the Field Station Dinosaurs attraction which will be opening this Spring in Secaucus, NJ.
All the kids gathered to see and hear Sam, the dinosaur troubadour, sing about dinosaurs. After getting the kids hyped up with a fun song about Tyrannosaurus Rex a HUGE T.rex came walking around the corner and surprised us all!
This thing was 15 feet and the size of a juvenile T.rex. Truly, it has to be the best puppet/costume I’ve ever seen. Even though none of us really know what dinosaurs looked like I was pretty darned convinced by this T.rex. It is FULLY INTERACTIVE. It sniffs, snorts, roars, blinks, and walks. The kids were amazed (and so was I). The X-man’s survival instincts didn’t take long to kick in though and he soon crawled as fast as he could through the legs of all the adults standing in the back. See us in the background on the Trenton Times site just before X totally left me behind as dino-meat!
After I caught back up with him and he insisted, “we go now” and “I go mommy’s car now” I decided to head down to the planetarium and wait for the light show.
Next thing I know, T.rex comes lumbering around the corner again and we are essentially pinned against the wall as he sniffs and interacts with museum patrons again. As any momma would, I successfully hid X behind me as T-Rex passed and we made it into the light show without incident.
Unfortunately, I think I may have wasted my money on the light show. The show just did not hold X’s attention long enough and he was bouncing all over the place. I felt sorry for the girl sitting next to us! He even escaped once and had me chasing after him in the sold-out and dark theater. Luckily, everyone was looking up and the music was loud enough that no one said they saw me running around like a crazy woman.
I was about to give up and leave the theatre when the exit doors open up. Relief! They were conveniently located right in front of us too. But before we could get up and get out of there T.rex comes in!! We had NO WHERE TO ESCAPE since Rex and his handlers were blocking the exit. The big beast was now standing right in front of us as he tried to maneuver into the theatre and let us all know we were now in his territory.
X hopped up on my lap and was screaming and clinging to me like a scared little monkey. He was literally shaking. Poor kid. As T.rex slowly backed out and swung around he was inches from my face. And although this was a very friendly and tame T.rex, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that scene in Jurassic Park where the the giant not-so-tame T.rex inquisitively inspects the cars and looks in at kids.
Let me mention, that I once volunteered at the Franklin Institute for about a year and was there during a special Jurassic Park exhibit. I was subjected to repeating scene loops of the popular movie while I worked the exhibit and taught visitors about dinosaurs. No lie, I had recurrent dinosaur nightmares for years after that exhibit. (Can’t wait for Jurassic Park IV!) Haven’t had a dino-mare in years but if one pops up again I am so blaming Jennifer!
After the light show, we waited a bit for T.rex to fully clear the area and then headed outside because mommy had to feed-the-parking-meter.
Guess who was outside and at the door!? Waiting to make an meal out of unsuspecting visitors, perhaps? We easily by-passed him/her this time though as others offered themselves up as easy prey.
Then we headed down the street to meet up with our group to eat our packed lunches in another building….
We just couldn’t escape even though I was truly trying to avoid the toddler-terrifying creature.
But at least I know X isn’t scarred for life since he likes to look and ROAR at these pictures. He even tries to sing the Mighty T.Rex song that Troubadour Sam taught us. Can’t wait till he gets a little older because we are so going to check out the Field Station Dinosaurs! :)