I went on a Monday, which I thought might be less highly trafficked, but guess again - hundreds of schoolkids were there on class trips. They were adorable and mostly I was fine with them being there (except one group which seemed unchaperoned)... However, one thing to know: Most of the surfaces in this museum are concrete or marble and any noise at all gets magnified greatly. Multiply that by hundreds of schoolkids, all excited to be looking at dinosaurs with their friends, and, well, I've been to quieter rock concerts. Seriously. It was just pretty distracting to be trying to focus on the material while trying to tune out the noise. Also, they should do something about the kids running - that just isn't safe and on a couple of occasions I thought I was going to witness an accident, as falling on hard marble can break bones.
On the upside, there's a lot of great fossil material and I particularly enjoyed the prehistoric paintings by Charles Knight. The Butterfly Garden was quite nice and not overcrowded or loud. Loved seeing the beautiful insects in a natural setting.
The fossil collection is very nearly as good as that at Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman - for my money the best dinosaur collection on the face of the Earth - and since I'm a paleohistory buff I was glad to see a lot of the current thinking on dinos was up to date (they are ancestors of birds, in many cases they had feathers, etc.) The curation was excellent, with explanations of where things are found.
Definitely worth a visit, the lawn outside is gorgeous, too. Very friendly staff. The gift shop was amazing, bought some super-cute jewelry I'll wear to pieces. I'll be back!
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