Mama’s Night Out at the Museum of Nature & Science’s New Amazon Exhibit!
posted by: Amber Johnson
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 dmns.org.
(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.