Saturday, July 21, 2012

We take on the Ogden Nature Center & the Dinosaur Park

My girlfriend, Laura, & I decided that we were going to take the kids (seven between the two of us) down to the Ogden Dinosaur Park today.  I was looking online last night to double check address, etc. and came across a link telling me that there were a bunch of different activities you could do all summer long on Saturdays, in Ogden, that were FREE.  As luck would have it, the Dinosaur Park was on the list for free today!  Seriously, how lucky can a girl be?  

We decided that we'd hit the Ogden Nature Center first and then go to the Dinosaur Park.  I'd never been to the Nature Center & had no idea what to expect.  I was glad I hadn't paid to get into it.  It was kinda lame.  Although, I think if you went in the spring (or when there wasn't a massive drought) it would be better because there would actually be birds there & the ponds would have water in them!  The other thing I didn't like about it was that the trails and the map weren't very well marked.  It was pretty confusing and we kept ending up in places that we had to turn around and go back.  I also wouldn't recommend that you go during the heat of the day!  Because we got a late start we didn't get there until 11 am and it took us over an hour to go the entire 1.2 mile track.  It was fun and the kids had a good time (even though they complained a little bit about the heat).

We went into the visitor center first and got our map and signed in.  Then when we went out the door and were trying to decide which way to go, the kids found a display of birds of prey.  They had a couple hawks and falcons and two eagles (one golden & one bald).  They also had a few ravens & a couple others that I can't remember what they were.  They had this neat replica of an eagle's nest.  I couldn't believe how big it was!  We saw one at the Oregon Zoo, but I'd forgotten how huge it was!  I told the kids we could just leave all of them in the nest & they'd be fine!  There were birds nearby so they'd get food, right?  Yeah, the kids didn't like that idea!

There were two free roaming turkeys by the birds of prey cages.  This one decided he was going to come by and pretend to follow us around!

They had a "bear den" replica.  The boys climbed right in (I still had the heebie jeebies about snakes coming out of the long grass!).

All the boys (my two & Laura's three) climbed into the bear den at once and they actually all fit in there!

These two decided not to barge into the bear den (smart choice if you ask me!)

The lady that gave me my map at the visitor's center told me they had a tree house.  After a LOT of walking and several times of turning around, we finally found it!  There were actually a few things there.  There was this huge tree house thing and just to the right was an actual tree house built into a huge tree.  Over to the left in a big field was a giant tee pee too.  The kids ran and ran.  I was glad they had a drinking fountain to refill our water bottles!  I was not so happy that the bathrooms were locked!

B was happy to just sit in her stroller the entire time!  It took us over an hour to do the entire 1.2 mile walk.  She even just sat in her stroller for a good 20 minutes or so while all the other kids ran and played on the tree houses and in the tee pee!

We had packed a picnic lunch but didn't want to carry it on the trail with us.  So, when we got off the trail we turned the AC up full blast in our vehicles & had a little picnic in the trucks!  The kids were happy & so was I!  Brookelyn slept through the entire lunch time too!

While we were having lunch I was looking at Sam's hair.  I told her I really liked it when it was braided because it looked so cool.  She asked me why it looked cool so I took a picture for her to see.  She's got so many colors of blonde in her hair that it looks like we did it this way on purpose!

We had to have a bathroom break after lunch & before the kids craft.  Caleb was hiding behind the stroller in this one.

If you look close you can see Caleb peeking out the window behind Brooke's head.

The kids craft was kind of cool.  Take 1 rock, find leaves, flowers, etc.  Place Modge Podge on rock. Place leaves, etc. on Modge Podge.  Modge Podge over leaves, etc.  Let dry.  Wa-la you now have a beautified paper weight! :)

Our finished rocks:

After we finished up our kids craft we headed over to the Ogden Dinosaur Park.  Travis & I took the kids last summer and they seemed to love it.  It's not a place I'd visit enough to buy a membership, but I'd take my kids once or twice a year.  Aren't these kids tough?

We let the kids get geodes while we were there.  After Nash & Zeke had theirs cut, they walked over to watch the paleontologist at work.  This guy was so nice!  He opened the window and talked to the boys for at least 30 minutes.  He told them what he was working on, showed them pictures, let them touch stuff, answered their questions.  Seriously, this guy went above and beyond his job description today!  I think this was the boys' favorite part of the day!

After Caleb got his geode cut he wandered over to this little table & made friends with an older boy.  The boy was so nice.  He sat and played pretend dinosaurs with Caleb for a good 20 minutes.

I told Caleb to go stand by the Triceratops and I'd take his picture.  He was funny because he was totally scared that it was going to get him!  And as a side note, the kid can say Triceratops really well!

The kids had to stick their heads in all of the cutouts - even if we didn't take a picture of every single one!

This sign couldn't be any more true!

Here's a picture of the geodes the kids got.  The white ones on the left are Sam & Nash's.  The purple ones on the right are Caleb & Brookelyn's.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of Carter's.  His was black & orange!  I've never seen one like that before!

We will be going on more Saturday adventures.  This list I found has a lot of great places listed on it that I think the kids will really like.  We're going to be going to the Hill Aerospace Museum, Treehouse Museum (which they love & are always asking to go to) and the Ott Planetarium at WSU.  I think we might even try to hit the Egyptian Theater!  Here's to making the most of the rest of our Saturdays through August!  Thank you RAMPS!

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