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Posts Tagged ‘Marina Bay’

Brought the boys to catch the Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction exhibition at the ArtScience Museum.

Dino welcome

Dino welcome

It was touted as tracing the development of dinosaurs from the pre-dinosaur age of the Precambrian period to when dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  I was in particular looking forward to the Precambrian exhibit since none of the other dinosaur exhibitions we’ve been to covered this. Unfortunately, I found the coverage of the Precambrian period to be quite sparse.  There was one room dedicated to it with some exhibits and write-ups, but I guess I was disappointed because I expected a much more in-depth coverage of the period.

Moving from time period to time period, there was also just a short write-up about the changing times.  Mostly there were fossils and models on display, with some information about which dinosaurs or reptiles they were, the meaning of their names and their diet.

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Tracing the timeline

Tracing the timeline

The interesting part, for me, was that many of the dinosaurs/reptiles on display were new to me and the kids.  We had not read or heard about many of them.  And the ones that we were familiar with were not usually shown at other exhibitions.  For example, we’ve never seen cynodonts or dicynodonts at other exhibitions.  My favourite was the Ischigualastia. I just thought it’s feet were so cute!  Yes, a bit of a strange word to use when it comes to fossils.  But it was rounded and looked padded.  Not the typical claws you’d expect from these creatures.  Of course once you complete it with teeth and flesh and skin it won’t be so cute anymore.

Cute feet right?

Cute feet right?

File:Ischigualastia skeleton.jpg

The whole Ischigualastia

Ellery’s favourite was the Saurosuchus, a type of reptile not a dinosaur.  It was huge!  And not a friendly looking fellow at all.

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Asher liked the Sillosuchus because, in his words, “it’s skinny like me!”

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

And we got to see the Megalania too!  How exciting!  I didn’t expect to see it here because we had read about it when learning about prehistoric mammals (though this is a reptile, not a mammal.  It was one of the predators during that time).  This creature is from a much later period than the dinosaurs.

Megalania

Megalania

I liked that there were some real fossils interspersed among the replicas, and the boys would get excited and proclaim, “Mummy!  This is a real fossil!”  It was also nice that there were some stations where the kids could get some hands on fun too.

Lots of things to touch and feel

Lots of things to touch and feel

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

There was also an impressive display of what Liaoning, China, would have looked like in prehistoric times.  The boys had fun trying to spot the different creatures.

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

We ended up spending almost three hours at the exhibition, including 30 mins attending their paleontologist workshop where they explain what a paleontologist would do when digging up fossils.  They boys very much wanted to be picked as a volunteer, but unfortunately they weren’t chosen.  But at least the kids got to get up close to the demonstration materials after the workshop and look/touch some of the stuff.

Digging for fossils

Digging for fossils

Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction runs until 27 Jul 2014, from 10am-7pm.  You can get your tickets from SISTIC and save $2, or buy directly at the ArtScience Museum counter.  There are dino shadow puppet shows daily from 10am-630pm, and a paleontologist workshop at 4pm.

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi (the creature on the water behind him)

Attack!

Attack!

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We had gone for the 2012 iLight festival held at Marina Bay, and I remember the kids had a great time interacting with some of the light exhibits.  So I was very keen to take them down for this year’s iLight festival.

I managed to coax my parents to come along, and we started by fueling up at Glutton’s Bay at Esplanade, ordering wayyy too much food but somehow managing to stuff it all in.  Whenever I’m there I can’t stop myself from ordering the hokkien mee and the or-luat (oyster omelette).  The hokkien mee is cooked with a punchy stock, giving the final product a wonderful flavour.  The or-luat also beautifully balances the chewy texture of the starch with the crispiness of the fried eggs, topping it off with fat, juicy oysters.  Yum!

After stuffing ourselves, we very much needed a good walk to work off our dinner.  And boy, did we have a good walk.

We started by checking out the performance by Tribal Tide at the Esplanade’s outdoor theatre.  They were performing as part of the Mosaic Music Festival.  We were drawn there by their irresistible beats, created using a variety of drums from Africa,  India, South America and other parts of the world.  It’s the kind of music that just makes you want to move.  I could have stayed there all night if I didn’t already have other plans to see the iLight exhibits.  Plus the kids were in need of some physical activity – they took to climbing all over Papa during the performance, and I was getting worried about his back :)

Tribal

Tribal Tide performing as part of the Mosaic Festival

(clockwise from left) Shooting Kung Kung the minute they saw him, climbing all over him, attempting to sit on the funny curved bench

(clockwise from left) Shooting Kung Kung the minute they saw him, climbing all over him, attempting to sit on the funny curved bench

We decided to walk across the Esplanade Bridge, past Fullerton to go see The Pool exhibit at the Promontory.  The idea was that from there we could walk the rest of way around the bay area and catch the rest of the exhibits without having to double back at any point.  That plan worked out well, though it took much longer than expected!  We took a grand total of 4 hours to complete the round!

We walked at a leisurely pace, stopping to see the various sights and exhibits, even catching the Marina Bay Sand’s laser light show at 8pm from the Fullerton side (which I think is nicer than watching it from the MBS side). Because there was always something new to see, plus the fairly breezy (though slightly hazy) weather, the time passed really quickly.  It was only during the last one hour that we started to feel our feet ache and checked the watch.  We were surprised to see that we had spent so much time there!  The boys really impressed me too.  Asher walked the entire way, while Ellery walked almost all of the way – I carried him for a few 5 minute stretches during the last 30min of our outing.

I thought this year’s line up of exhibits was more interesting as a whole than the one two years ago.  The kids, in particular, loved playing at The Pool.  It’s an exhibit made up of giant concentric circles created from interactive circular pads.  You can jump onto the various pads, and when you do the pad changes colour.  At different times the colour scheme of the pads would change.  For example, all pads start blue and change into rainbow colours when stepped on, or all pink changing to blue when stepped on.  It was pretty to see a path of coloured lights where people had stepped on.

The kids pretended they were Elsa from the cartoon Frozen.  They stomped on the pads and imagined ice forming under their feet :)  I could only coax them away from The Pool by telling them there were other exhibits ahead that we could pretend were made of ice.

At Floating Hearts, a wall of illuminated hearts that passers-by could switch on and off, the kids tried to turn off all the lights.  The iLight guide attempted to convince them that it was prettier with the lights on and proceeded to switch the hearts back on, but this only spurred all the children around to try and switch all the lights off even faster!  It was quite funny seeing half the exhibit darkened, and realising that the upper part was still illuminated only because the children were too short to reach the hearts above!

Ellery liked Joujou-ours, a bunch of teddy bear heads in different colours – and one looking like it had chicken pox.  He happily ran from one bear to another giving them a big hug.

The other exhibits the kids liked were The Wishing Tree, which they pretended was an ice tree (had to stop them from stomping on it!), Happy Croco, more because of the funny sign that said “Please do not enter or Croco will bite”, and Cloud where they could pull chains to turn on and off the lights.

At Flash, Ellery on his own decided he wanted to lie down and rest, and he chose to lie down in the exhibit much to the amusement of everyone around :)  He really looked so comfortable.

iLight Festival 2014 1   iLight Festival 2014 3 iLight Festival 2014 2

If there’s anything that could be improved, it would be signs pointing to where the nearest toilets are – important when you are with little kids.  The map they provide does not give that information too.  FYI, you can duck into the Fullerton Hotel, some portable toilets at the Promontory where Savour (the food festival) is being held, Marina Bay Link Mall (there’s a lift along the Promontory), and MBS.

Also, be prepared to pay through your nose for any drinks.  We brought some of our own, but along the 4 hour hike we drained all the bottles and needed refilling.

The iLight Festival is on everyday from 730-11pm until 30 March.  Check it out if you can!

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