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The Museum of the Earth holds 10th annual Dino Eggstravaganza

Museum employees scattered colorful eggs throughout the exhibits as a part of the Dino Eggstravaganza.
By Rachel Mucha and Anne Uhle

The excitement was palpable as dozens of children ran around the museum’s crowded rooms, stuffing colorful eggs into their bags. While many children were preoccupied with the egg hunt, others were playing with dinosaurs toys or learning about prehistoric eggs from workers. All of this was a part of the Dino Eggstravaganza that the Museum of the Earth holds every year during the Easter season.

The Dino Eggstravaganza was happening long before the Museum of the Earth even existed. Twenty years ago, it was simply called the Dinosaur Egg Hunt, and it took place on the lawn of the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI). Museum of the Earth director Warren Allmon recognizes how much the event has evolved since then.

“After the Museum opened, we switched to an indoor event and it got smaller, but retained the dino egg theme. Our dinosaur mascot, Cecil the Coelophysis, started visiting the event after the Museum opened,” he said.

Over the years, the Eggstravaganza has become a huge event, and is the museum’s most popular. Maureen Bickley, the museum education manager, was in charge of organizing the Eggstravaganza this year. She said there is always a huge turnout.

“This is one of our largest events and the reason we still keep it on our schedule. Many visitors really like the non-stressed attitude about getting eggs and having no candy involved with the hunt. It makes it a bit different than other egg hunts,” Bickley said.

While the Eggstravaganza is planned around Easter, the museum really wants to focus on celebrating the holiday through science and not religion.

“We used to have a Christmas event as well but have tried to go away from the holiday themes and go to more science or fossil-themed events. Now in the fall we have Fossil Mania instead of the December holiday event,” Bickley said.

Marissa Zuckerman is a Marketing and Development Associate at the Museum of the Earth, and she focuses on promoting big events such as the Eggstravaganza. Zuckerman understands that the Easter aspect will get more people in the door, but the museum’s main goal is to get kids interested in the science.

“We have this yearly around the Easter season because we want to engage people in earth science education in a way that’s fun and interactive. It’s kind of fitting…that we have our egg-related activities that kind of correlate to the Easter season,” she said.

The museum has plenty of activities to teach the kids about science. There is an amniotic egg table where children can touch and learn about dinosaur, bird and reptile eggs. Visitors can also make dinosaurs hatching out of eggs at the craft table. The regular exhibits are all open as well, with plenty of fossils and underwater creatures to look at.

While the Easter egg hunt draws the kids into the museum, Zuckerman notices how excited they are to learn once they’re inside.  

“We try to tie in fun, interactive things like the egg hunt with some more education opportunities so that children of all ages and their families can really get some type of take away from it. Some kids really love all the different activities that we have,” she said.

Bickley put in a lot of work to plan the Eggstravaganza, with preparations beginning three months ahead of time. She gathered information for the marketing staff and looked for extra volunteers. Bickley did a lot of hands-on work as well, such as going through thousands of plastic eggs and getting rid of any broken ones. It can be tedious work, but she knows it’s worth it.
“It all comes down to a busy Saturday, lots of happy children and hopefully some learning about eggs. I would call that a success,” Bickley said.

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