Guest Post by Christine from Life on Manitoulin, July 18, 2016
Inquisitive minds will enjoy checking out Big Nickel and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, Ontario.
I have to admit that I have lived in Northern Ontario for twelve years, and this was my first time checking out Dynamic Earth. It’s been on my travel bucket list for a while now, and I can now say that I’m checking it off the list. I’ve been to Science North countless times, and though Dynamic Earth is part of Science North, I haven’t had the chance (until now) to visit the latter.
When planning your trip to Dynamic Earth, give yourself a few hours to check out the exhibits. We arrived around 2pm and stayed until closing (6pm).
Yes, I'm THAT tourist.
We often find ourselves passing the iconic Big Nickel on our trips to and from (and through) Sudbury. Since we finally got to visit the Big Nickel, Big Nickel selfies and pictures of our heads sticking out Canadian currency were a must.
A Few Big Nickel Facts:
The Big Nickel is a replica of the 1951 Canadian five-cent coin, built in 1964 by local Sudburian Ted Szilva. Open to the public at no cost, visitors are invited to walk around the Big Nickel and explore the site of the Centennial Numismatic Park.
Little One was interested to learn that the Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world. Another interesting tid bit: The Big Nickel is an exact replica of the 1951 Canadian nickel. It was built in 1964 and symbolizes the wealth that Sudbury has contributed to the Canadian economy through nickel production.
Dynamic Earth offers lots of learning opportunities for everyone in the family
Our seven year-old daughter could have spent even more time at Dynamic Earth. She was in awe of all the information to soak in!
The Megalodon Exhibition
When Little One saw the signs for the Megalodon exhibition, she immediately said, “The Megalodon! That’s the world’s largest predator!”
She loves all things science, animal, marine biology, and nature-related. For some reason, Little One already knew a great deal of information about the Megalodon. Perhaps she learned about it at school, or perhaps she found out about it on one of her science shows on TV. I didn’t have any prior knowledge about the largest shark that ever lived!
At 18 metres long, megalodon was the largest shark that ever lived and a dominant marine predator.
There was a sign in the exhibition that caught my attention:
"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We understand only what we are taught." Baba Dioum, Environmentalist, Senegal
As Little One pointed out, sharks are at risk today (some of the recent population declines attributed to humans). The Megalodon vanished 2 million years ago, but its fascinating story inspires lessons for science and shark conservation. At Dynamic Earth, visitors can learn all about this ancient creature (its size, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbours, evolution, extinction and the science that continues to reveal megalodon’s tale) in a very engaging and interactive way.
The Megalodon exhibition is a special exhibition that runs until September 5th, 2016.
A rock and mineral lover's haven
Our seven year-old is obsessed with rock collecting and all things mineral related. She spends much of her time looking for rocks and fossils. Fortunately for us, we live on Manitoulin Island and have found lots of fossils on our shores.
Little One really enjoyed all the stations and displays at Dynamic Earth, where she got to explore hands on and interactively. The Mineral Wall was one of her favourite spots at Dynamic Earth.
Being able to explore, identify and learn all about the specimens with Dynamic Earth’s interactive touchscreens is so much fun. Little One was thrilled to touch and inspect rocks and minerals from around the world and see how they tell the Earth’s geologic story.
Our family’s favourite part of our Dynamic Earth experience was the ‘In the Footsteps of Sudbury’s Miners’ Underground Tour. Little One was excited to be able to go underground. She was amazed and loved “going back in time”. She thought the elevator ride down was really cool too!
On the guided tour, visitors are able to descend seven storeys to walk in the footsteps of Sudbury’s miners. The guided tour takes visitors through Dynamic Earth’s demonstration mine to discover the evolution of mining in the region, from the turn of the century to modern mining. It is very interesting!
Underground tours are 1 hour and 15 minutes in length. Little One and I were wearing sandals, but I would recommend wearing sturdy (and closed-toe) shoes!
There’s so much to see and do. If you’re looking for a fun place to take the family, we highly recommend Dynamic Earth. Little One really enjoyed learning through fun and play. It’s a very hands on place.
Next time we go, we’ll plan on spending a few more hours at Dynamic Earth! We didn’t get to see all the Dynamic Earth exhibits, and we will definitely be back!
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Disclosure – This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Sudbury Tourism. All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.