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Mama’s Night Out at the Museum of Nature & Science’s New Amazon Exhibit!

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On Wednesday evening, Mile High Mamas went wild.

Or rather, into the wild.

We were among the first to see the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s newest exhibit, “Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches.”

The museum hosted 40 of Colorado’s social media moms to a gourmet South American buffet dinner that included Columbian Sirloin Empanadas, Acarajé-Brazilian Black Eyed Pea Shrimp Fritters and Fresh Jicama Napa Cabbage Salad.

We weren’t exactly roughing it.

The exhibit’s aim is to teach about the biodiversity of the second-longest rivers in the world, and show how humans can reverse some of the damage they have done to the region over time.

Or in kid-speak: You get to explore the Amazon and learn how to make a difference in a fun way.

This interactive bilingual exhibit informs and entertains both grown-ups and children with live animals, original artifacts, dance, music, multimedia demonstrations and more. Visitors will also get an eyeful of the Amazon’s ultra-dangerous wildlife, or “The Seven Perils” — piranha, anaconda, electric eels, stingrays, caiman (an alligator relative), piraiba (giant catfish) and candiru (parasitic catfish).

Though I preferred hanging out with the Capybara, the world’s largest rodent.

There are more than 20 Interactive Areas where kids can question, explore, discover, and learn. Kids will love:

· Huge Snake – Team up with friends or family to lift a huge sculpted anaconda that measures 12 feet long and weighs 100 pounds.

· Muck Fish Tank – Watch a video of a scientist sifting through pools of muck where he discovered a totally new type of fish that breathes both air and water. Reach into a watery tank to search through rotten leaves and muck.

· Tetras Journey – Follow small neon fish from the Amazon River to an American living room and learn how an American consumer’s decision to purchase a tropical fish may affect the local economy of Brazil.

· Fish Print Craft – Select from large stamps of stingrays, piranhas, and peacock bass to make your own Vicious Fishes artwork to take home.

· Celebration – Sing and dance on stage at a festival that celebrates ornamental fish collecting in the community of Barcelos, Brazil. Wear fun costumes to look like sting rays, pink dolphins, and more. Try out samba dance steps on the floor.

· Exotic Fish – Crawl into an underwater viewing dome for a unique look at live, colorful fish – cardinal tetras, marbled hatchetfish, and blue discus fish.

· Electric Eel – Feel the slight electric shock equivalent to that of a small electric eel. Then imagine feeling the jolt of a larger eel, such as the 600 volts of electricity nine-foot electric eels use to stun prey and ward off predators

The exhibit runs through Jan. 2. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, juniors ages 3 to 18 and students with ID. Learn more at

(A few of the moms in attendance: Back: Chris, Mary-Frances, Lori, Amber, Ariella, Laura, Meagan, Catherine, Barb of Mom It Forward, JoAnn, Melissa, Vicki, Cara, Suzanne, Lori. Seated: Emily and Ratna.)

Note: Special thanks to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and partner Mom It Forward. Kathleen St. John contributed to this article.

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  • comment avatar Karen Jones October 3, 2010

    Y’all always have such fun events. I had heard of the Amazon exhibit but didn’t think it sounded very kid-friendly. I thought wrong.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck October 3, 2010

    What I like about the exhibit: I learned a lot but know my kids will have a blast when we return. Best of both worlds!

  • comment avatar Lori October 3, 2010

    I got a kick out of watching people sample the power of electric fish. Shocking!

    Fabulous exhibit — loved the night with Mile High Mamas!

  • comment avatar Barb October 4, 2010

    Wonderful night. I can’t wait to go back and show the kids all the fun stuff. They will love the fish rubbings area.

  • comment avatar Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom) October 4, 2010

    It was a wonderful night. I missed everyone and it was great to sit around and talk, catch up on everyone and of course hear Amber’s laugh! It’s contagious!

    Playing around in the muck and seeing the photography they had up was great.

    My parents will be here in November, Dave and I are planning on dragging them to the exhibit (My father is a South American anthropologist), it should be tons of fun then as well!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 4, 2010

    I can’t wait to return with my kiddos. They will love playing around in the muck and dress-up and dance on the stage!

  • comment avatar Mama Bird October 4, 2010

    This was my first time to the museum and I was so impressed. Wasn’t sure if it would be fun for my pre-schooler but now I see I was wrong! Not only did they make the Amazon Exhibit very hands-on, colorful and fun for kids of all ages, but I now know about the museum’s Discovery Zone that is also made just for them! Looking forward to going back with my 3yo for a full-day of exploring.

    And, an FYI for military families, admission to the museum is free with your military ID! We’ll be using our ID whenever we return so I now have 2 tickets for admission to giveaway on my blog to someone else! Just leave a comment to enter at:

  • comment avatar Dana October 4, 2010

    So much fun! Was so glad to get the chance to hang out with some great mamas. I can’t wait to bring my lil’ one to the museum. She’ll love it!

  • comment avatar Laura aka LaLaGirl October 4, 2010

    I had so much fun! I liked pulling all those treasures out of the huge catfish! Even more fun was watching an older gentleman reach inside of it and shudder, then pull his hand back out. Ha!

  • comment avatar Laura October 4, 2010

    I had so much fun! Great to see all of you I missed so much over the summer! That giant catfish was freaky, wasn’t it? I was standing near an older gentleman who reached his hand inside of it to feel for the foreign objects inside, and yanked his hand back out with a shudder. So funny!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 4, 2010

    Freaky to kids of all ages. :)

  • comment avatar Ratna October 4, 2010

    I had an amazing time … my favorite part was meeting all the wonderful ladies who do incredible things daily and in the exhibit itself, painting the stingray and then creating a stenciled picture (like a fossil) was quite cool! The kids loved it too!

  • comment avatar Connie Weiss October 5, 2010

    I had to leave suddenly to pick up my children….but I’m excited to take them back to see the exhibit based on what I did see!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 5, 2010

    Ratna and Connie–It was so great to meet both of you!

  • comment avatar Kristine Colwill October 5, 2010

    I can’t wait to being my kids! This is such a great exhibit, and I had so much fun!

  • comment avatar Vicki October 5, 2010

    It was a great night! It was too funny watching everyone search through the muck! I am bringing my kiddo’s back to see it soon.

  • comment avatar Catherine October 5, 2010

    Besides the obviously delicious food and the beyond awesome company the night was awesome. I really enjoyed watching people shake their booty’s in fish costumes. I’m really looking forward to heading back with my family in tow.

  • comment avatar Samantha October 6, 2010

    After the MNO, my husband took the kids back to the exhibit while I was out of town last weekend- and they had a blast. The piranhas were totally the biggest hit… thanks for such a great night out, ladies!

  • comment avatar Ariella Rogge aka SanbornCamps October 7, 2010

    This was such a great event! Thank you to Amber, Barb, and the rest of the Mile High Mamas for being so inclusive and warm–this is a fabulous group of tremendous mamas. I’ll take a trip down the Amazon with you ladies anytime! :)

    I learned a ton about the Amazon and about the Denver Museum of Nature and Science too:

    Thank you again–and I can’t wait to bring my boys to Denver because we want to answer the proverbial question: how many moms and boys does it take to pick up an anaconda? (hopefully, just three :)

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 17, 2011

    Thanks for coming, everyone!

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