This past Saturday, the boys and I traveled down to Seymour, TX, to visit the Whiteside Museum of Natural History or as it’s best known around here as the dinosaur museum.
Seymour is a town that has almost 2000 people in it. This place is true small-town Texas. So when you tell people there is a dinosaur museum down here, it really baffles them. The closest big city, Wichita Falls, is about 40 minutes away.
Once you realize this is literally the middle of nowhere, you come to a gravel parking lot with huge animals painted on the side of a building. This is the Whiteside Museum and home to the North Texas dinosaurs. The museum features animals in this area, including the dinosaurs that once roamed this area millions of years ago. You’re greeted by a Dimetrodon sculpture, the local dinosaur that made this place famous for paleontology digs. Don’t forget to take a picture with it, because it was made to be shared on social media.
Most museums I’ve seen with dinosaurs have favorites like the Stegosaurus or Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils. This museum had only the locals, which was surprising to me, that at one time, Tyrannosaurs Rex did roam this area. There is a giant skull located inside the exhibit as well as a replica head of how big they would have been.
I think what most impressed me was how the exhibits were set up. Everything looked state-of-the-art without being state-of-the-art. Small lighting tricks and great use of space make this place look bigger than it is. This doesn’t take away from the experience either. The amount of fossils available to you to view is astounding. Some stuff you’d only expect to see in a major museum, but here they were right in front of you.
There are also models of the dinosaurs, with many having hair to emphasize the newer interpretations of these giants beasts. Personally, my favorite was looking at the Triceratops skull.
The place is great for kids too. Both of my boys enjoyed the experience. My oldest son is really into dinosaurs right now, so he was in a trance the whole time he was there.
We went on a weekend, and there were a couple of places that looked closed, such as the area where they clean up after the digs. There is glass around there, so you can watch them working, but no one was there on a Saturday. They’re also working on a new exhibit that will be about skulls.
Aside from the dinosaurs, they also have local animals like iguanas, horned lizards, and turtles in exhibits to see what real-life reptiles look like. Walking into another exhibition are animals from Texas. You start at the front of the museum with the dinosaurs and then travel through time to the current animals that are alive in our time.
If you do go, you can see everything in about an hour. There are admission prices, so keep that in mind as well. There is also a gift shop in the front that has a lot of hard-to-find dinosaurs. Overall, it was fun to learn about dinosaurs that roamed around the North Texas area, the boys, and I call home.