This morning I had the opportunity to attend a preview of the Michigan Science Center’s A T.rex Named Sue and Toytopia. The Michigan Science Center is located in Detroit across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts. At only 45 minutes from Ann Arbor, it makes a great day trip.
Since I was attending a special media reveal during the daytime, I attended alone. I can’t wait to bring my daughter back to the Michigan Science Center to visit both exhibits and explore the entire museum.
A T.rex Named Sue
Sue is the most complete T. rex fossil ever found. “Sue” was discovered in 1990 in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson and later purchased by the Field Museum for preservation. Sue is a 90% complete skeleton. Previously, the most complete T. rex fossil was only 60% complete. The original fossil is at the Field Museum in Chicago and there are 2 castings that tour museums.
A T.rex Named Sue is located near the museum entrance in the ITC Gallery. The main feature of the exhibit is the 42′ long, 12′ tall (at the hip). Also in the exhibit areas are a rotating cast of the skull and both a T. rex and triceratops head with eye pieces so you can see as they would have seen.
The video below shows some highlights from the exhibit.
Toytopia is an interactive exhibit featuring toys through the ages. The exhibit includes some classic toys in displays behind glass as well as a number of interactive displays.
There is enough variety in the interactive activities to entertain kids with a wide variety of interests…LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Keva Planks, games, dollhouse, play kitchen, blanket fort, and more. There was also an arcade of games from the 1980s. Be sure to bring quarters (or $1 and $5 bills to use in the change machine).
During my tour today, there were some students present who had a great time exploring the exhibit. They enjoyed the 80s video games, Etch a Sketch, the giant dot-to-dot puzzles, and the piano from Big.
Toytopia is in the special events gallery on the third floor and requires a special entry fee. Many of the museum’s admission packages will include Toytopia admission. Be sure to bring extra money for the arcade games in the exhibit (quarters, although there is a change machine that can break $1 and $5 bills).The exhibit exit features a gift shop.
Michigan Science Center
The Michigan Science Center is located at 5020 John R. Street in Detroit. There are currently construction-related road closures on several roads around the museum due to the M-1 Rail Project. The Science Center’s directions page suggests the best route to reach the museum with the closures. I found that Apple Maps accounted for one closure, but not another.
Parking was readily available in the DIA lot for $7 (flat fee on entrance). There is also street parking available. On weekends, the Michigan Science Center offers valet parking free for members or $10 for other guests.
Fall Hours through November 25
The Michigan Science Center is open 10a-3p on Wednesdays-Fridays, 10a-6p on Saturday, and noon-6p on Sundays. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission to the museum starts at $14 for adults and $11 for kids. Ticket upgrades include Toytopia, IMAX, and planetarium shows. The museum is part of the ASTC reciprocal programs. Since it is within 90 miles of Ann Arbor, I asked about reciprocity for members of the Ann Arbor museums. Members of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum receive a 50% discount on admission (basic admission). Members of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History receive free admission.