“We are all part of nature and we can help protect it.”
Last week, the weather cooperated with us enough to be able to go pumpkin picking at Quinn Farm. This week however, has been rainy, windy and chilly (Hurricane/Tropical Storm Patricia) so we decided to do indoor activities. A great option for both children and adults is Montreal’s Biodôme.
Opened in 1992, the Biodôme recreates 4 different ecosystems:
the lush and humid Tropical Rainforest
the Laurentian Maple Forest, changing with the seasons
the Gulf of St. Lawrence
and the Sub-polar Regions of the Americas: Labrador Coast and Sub-Antarctic Islands.
For more information on the ecosystems, visit the page on their site.
The biodôme is set up so you can guide yourself throughout each ecosystem. There are interactive panels that you can read to find out more information about the species you are seeing and about the areas they live in. Their staff is also really helpful in answering any questions you may have. While we were there, a bat expert had a station set up full of skeletons, props to show how wide the wingspan of a bat can get, props of what the bats eat and more. It was a lot of fun and it is interesting for people of any age.
I loved being able to see animals, close enough to touch, that I would (most likely), be unable to see in my lifetime, otherwise. “The Biodôme houses over 4,500 animals from 250 different species and 500 plant species. Its thousands of terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals make it a veritable “laboratory,” allowing researchers to study the inter-relations between organisms and the physical factors in their environments, and between organisms themselves. “
For more information about their collections, you can go here.
There are also two exhibitions:
The Naturalia Room
“The great thing about the Naturalia room is that you learn things “first hand,” you might say. Kids can stroke an otter pelt, pick up a bone from a bird to see how light it is, smell different spices and try to tell them apart, inspect a backbone from a real whale (it’s huge!), compare birds’ beaks, look at a feather under a microscope, count the feet on an insect, a spider and a centipede … There’s all kinds of things you can do. You’re supposed to touch things!”
The Fossil Affair
“The Fossil Affair is a fun exhibition aimed at ages 6 to 12. It takes an interactive, hands-on approach to explaining the major stages in the evolution of life on Earth. What is a fossil? How did life on Earth evolve? Where does the oxygen essential for life come from? They’ll discover the answers to all these questions as they explore minerals and handle fossils. In fact, there’s a 4 billion year old rock that even the youngest visitor can touch!”
Awareness and Commitment to protecting the environment
“The Biodôme, just like the other Space for Life institutions (the Botanical Garden, Insectarium and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium), aims to raise individual and collective awareness about the need to get involved in protecting our natural heritage. It carries out its mission through educational, conservation, research and outreach efforts.”
Overall, the Biodome offers several fun yet educational activities that is a big hit for people of all ages. I could spend all day walking around and learning new things and the child I went with wanted to go through the whole thing a second time… which we did. Your tickets are good for several hours so you can go in and out of the exhibits as often as you would like during the day. We went through once, had lunch at the Sol Resto and then went through once again. We then went through the Planetarium, but I’ll write about that next time. 😉
What is your favorite part of the Biodome? Comment below or find me on Facebook!