Diggin’ Up the Past at Cranbrook Institute of Science’s exploreLAB

Cranbrook's new exploreLAB gives dino-loving kids the chance to sift through sediment, check out artifacts and more.

Kids who dig dinos can really dig for them at the Cranbrook Institute of Science’s new exploreLAB. The new immersive attraction packs two rooms with faux bones of critters that roamed the planet some 400 million years ago.

“(CIS is) a classic natural history museum and we don’t apologize for that,” says John Zawiskie, curator of earth and life science, “but (exploreLAB) does bring a much more interactive element to it.”

Younger learners flock to the excavation area to sift through sediment for one of three skeletons in the three-level dig box and check out dinosaur teeth, facts and more embedded in the walls around them. Or check out artifacts including the skull of a mastodon found in Bloomfield Hills, saber-toothed cat bones and human fossils, too.

Kids also can watch paleontologists in action, ask questions and even extract the fossil of a shelled animal or coral found in Michigan’s bedrock to take home.

More about exploreLAB

  • Hours: 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Prices: $5/program plus $9.50-$13/regular entry
  • Ages: 2-plus

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