Dino Days is back again at the Sherman Museum. The exhibit opened on Wednesday and was the first big project for the museum’s new director, Betsy Dieterman.
The exhibit is open during museum hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission for the exhibit is $5 for everyone except those under the age of five. Those five and under can visit the museum for free.
“Our skeleton moldings will becoming from Dino Brokers,” Dieterman said on June 1. “One of the pieces is supposed to be around 40 feet long and the other big piece is going to be about 20 feet.
Dino Days began in 2012 under the direction of then museum director Dan Steelman.
“Planning for the exhibit every year starts way in advance,” Dieterman said. “I know that they began planning for this exhibit almost immediately after the last Dino Days ended.”
The theme for this year is “Heavy Weight Showdown of the Summer” and there will be a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops.
“Children are really fascinated by dinosaurs,” Dieterman said. “We want to use this exhibit as a way to get children excited about and accustomed to going to museums. We want to capture their hears and to help enrich children as well as their families.”
A member reception to kick off Dino Days was held Thursday at the museum for museum members and potential members.
“Dino Days is a very exciting time for us at the museum and for the community,” Assistant Director Brandon Young said in a press release. “It is an amazing experience watching kids’ faces light up when they see the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the other dinosaurs.”
Regular museum hours are not the only time area residents and guests can see the Dino skeletons at the museum. Throughout the summer, the museum will host Dino Academy, nights at the museum and other special events.
Dino Academy is a day-program for children,” Dieterman said. “Right now we have it set for July 18-20. Tentatively there will be two short days for younger children to attend and then the last day will be longer and will be for older children.”
For the younger children, there will be a morning and an afternoon session on each day and parents can choose which session they would like their child to attend. On both days, morning sessions will be identical and the afternoon sessions will be identical, Dieterman said.
The classes on July 18-19 will be for children ages 3-6 and parents are required to be in attendance with them. On July 20, the class will be for ages 7-11. The session will be all day and children will need to bring a sack lunch.
Dino Academy is $40 and includes two sessions for the younger children and the all-day session for the older children.
Dino Academy will be the first big project for the museum’s newest assistant director Natalie Bonner.
“This summer we will also have a new part-time person Brianna Teel,” Dieterman said. “We will also have an intern from Austin College, Holly Kapp.”
After her first big event at the museum, Dieterman said that she has some ideas for other things that she would like to see from the museum.
“Everything is based on board approval,” she said. “But, I would like for the museum to be more community focused. The board and I are working hand in hand. We want to be more involved in community events and not just museum-centered events.”
Dieterman also said that she wants to revisit older activities that the museum has done in the past.
“A lot of the people do not know that the museum is here,” she said. “But, it has been here since 1970s. Come. We would love to talk about the artifacts here and tell some of the interesting stories about this area. We want people to feel like they can just come in and say hello and see what we have.”
Dino Days going to be a segue into giving people more information about the types of prehistoric animals that used to live in this area.
“I am so excited to be here and I am looking forward to being able to tell people about the history of this area,” she said.