Beaty Biodiversity Museum

This is the museum we wanted to see but ended up at the MOA last summer instead.  They are both out by UBC so it was not a surprise I had them confused.

I waited for a Groupon for the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and received for $6.00 instead of the $12 for an Adult.  (Mason was already free as he was 3 and under).

Masey is turning four (omg I can't believe it!) next month so I need to take advantage of the freebies for his age now.

Groupon describes the museum:

Strengthened by its affiliation with UBC's Biodiversity Research Centre and more than 500 natural-history exhibits, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum aims to foster a deep bond between its visitors and all life on the planet. Exhibits include a 26-metre-long blue whale skeleton within the two-storey glass gallery of the Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium, as well as the third-largest collection of fish in the country and a vast assemblage of fossils, insects, birds, reptiles, and Fred Flintstone's ties. In the Allan Yap Theatre, films championing biodiversity play, and on the south side of the atrium, baristas grind coffee beans at the Niche Café while serving snacks to patrons. Designed by Vancouver-based Patkau Architects, the building also hosts interactive activities in the discovery lab, as well as public presentations and community gatherings aimed at illustrating the interconnectedness of all living things.

We drove out to UBC on a Sunday and I forgot how I feel about the UBC campus.  I spent a zillion dollars on gas and at least 20 mins going around in circles trying to find 'main mall' which was the street Google Maps says the building is on.  I should have known better than to trust Google Maps!

The building is between two main roads which is misleading because it's not visible ON the road.  The best instructions are to drive in from Kits.  Turn left on Wesbrook Mall, then right on Agronomy Rd and then Right on East Mall.  Park in front of the Michael Smith Laboratories building (on the left) [just before the round about].  

Parking was a bit expensive.  $3.75 for one hour or $7.50 for two.  You definitely need 2 hours to see all of the exhibits.   Payable by coin or credit card.  I took a picture of the meter in the event that I needed to buy more time. (Don't forget to remember your parking space # if you do that!).  Location 5621.  Ph #604.676.9933.  Web:

There is a sign on the street and one beside a building leading  you to the Bio building.  We found the entrance (Look for the giant whale in the window)

Once inside we followed a long corridor to the Admission Desk/Gift Shop.  The washroom is just off to the left but is a one toilet 'room'.  There is no change table.  There may be another washroom on the bottom floor but I didn't see one.

We walked down the long ramp to the bottom (and only floor) and I was surprised to see the layout.  It was long rows of floor to ceiling walls that had displays built in.

I took this shot before I saw the sign that said 'No flash photography' and something about it degrading the quality of exhibits??  There might have been enough light to take pictures without the flash but I didn't bother.

There were also a lot of drawers that were encouraged to be pulled out to see what treasures lay inside.  The floors had giant 'icon's of what the exhibit was for that row.  Fish, birds, plant life etc.

Mason was a bit on the hyper "I want to run around only" mood so we didn't get to stop and look at much.  There was an employee sitting at a display table with some children near an interactive kids 'room' which had books, chairs, stuffed animals.  I'm not sure what they were doing but it looked artsy.  

He mentioned that there was another room behind him.  Another employee was there to answer questions about a few tables of 'stuffed' animals and jars of dead things.  Mason enjoyed this more because he could actually touch something.  Although a lot of the signs said 'do not touch' the employee said that she would allow him to handle a dead bird or something with care.  I refrained lol.

From Mason's obsession with Octonauts, he was able to identify most of the undersea creatures in the jars.  She was quite impressed!

Somehow an hour zoomed by and soon I was ushering Mason back to the front door.  We stopped and looked at their gift shop which had a few items in it but didn't buy anything.  We made it back to the car with only minutes to spare before we'd be ticketed.

In hindsight I would have planned this trip out a bit better.  Considering it's 26 km/45 mins one way, I should have planned lunch beforehand (lots of great restaurants on West 4th/Broadway) and then off to a playground after 2 hrs at the museum.  There is a great one on Hamber Road (Off Chancellor Road) I believe it's for the University Hill Elementary School, you see if as you drive onto Campus on the right.

Unfortunately Mason was a bit under the weather so I was in a rush to head back into the city to get into the medi clinic before it closed.

While Mason is a bit young for this type of exhibit which needs a lot of attention to look at the walls and wait for someone to read what it is, it was worth the stop and see.  We'll definitely be back when he's a bit older and has more patience for learning! 

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