Push Away the Screen: Florida Museum of Natural History

Last weekend my family pushed away the screen by visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. We seem to be on an every other year schedule and the museum has changed since our last visit in 2010 (so maybe more like every 3 years Tongue Out)

Like other museums around the country, FMNH has traveling exhibits. This summer they were featuring TITANOBOA-Monster Snake! Ella is a huge snake lover, so when she asked to visit for her birthday, we happily obliged! Titanoboa is the largest snake EVER discovered! Over 48 feet long, and weighing over 2,500 pounds, this snake could crush and devour a crocodile! I'm thankful this snake is only a fossil and went extinct over 60 million years ago!!


My budding naturalist exploring microscopic life in 2007!


And again in 2013! But this time she knows what she is doing!


Our favorite traveling exhibit from years past was the Carcharodon Megalodon. We loved that exhibit.

They kept a few of the jaws and teeth for a permanent exhibit, but it doesn't even come close!

This was the first year we went in to the butterfly exhibit. We always visit the butterfly wing (no pun intended) but in the past the kids have been too young to follow the directions of "DON'T TOUCH THE BUTTERFLIES"  but this year we thought they were ready and they were!! They loved it! They sat still on a bench and allowed the butterflies to fly right in front of them! One Blue Morpho was particularly fond of Miss Ella! You can see it flying in front of her in both of the photos below.



We spent a total of 3 hours at the museum exploring Titanoboa, Florida Fossils, Our Energy Future, South Florida people, and the kids also really enjoyed their new interactive play area: Discovery Room.


The museum is FREE, but there is a charge for the special exhibits and the Butterfly Rainforest, though students who receive an 'A' or 'E' grade in science can provide their most recent report card at the front desk and receive a free admission with the purchase of a paid adult admission. The offer is valid for the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, the temporary exhibit, when available, or a value admission for both exhibits.

Do you enjoy visiting natural history museums? Which museum is your favorite?


Happy 8th Birthday, Ella

Happy Birthday, Ella.

Birth in a garden at dawn.

Beautiful flower.


I can't believe you are 8. I remember the day you born like it was yesterday.

Your nursery was decorated in flowers and fairies. Little did I know that this would be foreshadowing to your birth day. Wish you could have spent more time in this beautiful room. Ronin arrived so quickly behind you. You never really got the chance to be "the baby."

You have always been such a lover. You are always giving hugs and kisses.

You love your brother even when he is being difficult.

And Haley. Haley has been your best friend since the day you were born. You two are always together. I hope it stays this way. Forever.

You have also been firm in your political stance since you were 4 months old!

And Nature. Ella, you just LOVE the Natural world. From snakes to butterflies, tadpoles, to fish, you love it all!

You requested to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville for your birthday, and we happily agreed.

This Blue Morpho butterfly kept flying right near your head. Its wings were moving so fast. You were in awe.

When you were born little did I know that you would become my running buddy.

You love to bike, swim, and run. You are naturally athletic, and this year we got you a Giant 21 speed bicycle. Hope you learn to love gears. Mama and daddy are looking forward to some great rides with you in the future!


You amaze me every day, sweet Ella. Happy birthday.


Love, Mama