ROCKINGHAM — If you ever wanted to know what a Deinonychus skull looked like, Thursday would have been your chance.
Kids and their parents examined that and more at Discovery Place Kids’ Jr. Paleontologist program , which also gave them the chance to hold a replica of a Deinonychus’s claw and see fossils of omega raptor and the Tyrannosaurus rex. They also dug in a sandbox full of different minerals and teeth — and played with letters and dinosaur toys.
“I’ve been here like 10 times,” said 7-year-old Nathan Davis of Seagrove, south of Asheboro. His mother, Adrian, said the two tried to visit a couple of times a year.
“This is a great resource for our area (because) it’s safe,” Adrian Davis said, adding that she preferred Rockingham’s Discovery Place Kids to Charlotte’s because it was geared toward younger children.
Nathan’s favorite show is “Dinosaur Train” on PBS, his mom said. And he said his favorite dinosaur was the T-Rex, but reading is still tops science at school.
For Jazmine Roberts, 9 (but she’ll be 10 this weekend) of Holden Beach, Thursday marked the first time at Discovery Place. Jazmine’s grandfather, Roger Mills, said he had known about the museum for a while and came out Thursday to “see what it was all about.”
Discovery Place will offering dinosaur-themed programs through the end of July, including Jr. Paleontologist programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Prehistoric Proportions — where kids try to come to terms with how big dinosaurs were — on Wednesdays and Fridays, and a Dino Safari this Saturday and Sunday.
Kari Thompson of Pinehurst brought her kids down “just to get them out of the house” and said this was their second visit in a month. She added, “They get to use their imagination and run around.”
Nathan Davis digs in the sandbox while Tatum Thompson and Jazmine Roberts examine their findings as part of the Jr. Paleontologist program at Discovery Place Kids on Thursday.