The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science hosts Night at the Museum

Jocelyn Sandusky, Reporter

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The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science hosted people of all ages for their ninth annual Night at the Museum presentation on Oct. 25 and 26.

Museum docents escorted groups of 10 through the dark museum with a flashlight as they educated small children and adults about pre-historic and modern animals, civilizations, and natural occurrences and objects.

Throughout the night, the guides integrated fun and spooky stories to make the tour a different, fun and festive experience for people, both new to and familiar with the museum.

To stay on theme for Halloween, everyone working the event dressed up for the festivities. Whether it was a simple pumpkin sweater or a smurf costume, everyone dressed up to add to the theme and ambiance of the night.

The tour was approximately one hour and it took participants through four different special presentations throughout the entire museum. On the ground floor, the night’s first guide, Koral Hancharick, walked the group through animal exhibits, which included lions, deers, sharks, and whales.

Following her portion of the tour, Hancharick directed the group upstairs, where they experienced the highlight of the night. Museum-goers had the opportunity to pet and hold snakes, both big and small. 

For Melissa’s Pittman’s daughter, it was the best part of the night because she held an albino snake for the first time, all on her own.

Following the excitement of the snakes, the group moved its way onto the third floor, where they encountered dinosaur casts and real fossils protected behind glass. Some casts were decorated with glow sticks, and animatronic dinosaurs came to life as people passed by.

The night concluded with a presentation of experiments by the mad scientist. With the help of elements from the periodic table and a mashup of different objects, he created scientific reactions that were fiery, loud and explosive. For their safety, observers had to stand back and cover their ears to prevent an injury, and for good reason. At one point, a tin-can flew across the room at a rapid speed after a failed attempt of an experiment. 

The entire night, especially the collaboration with the mad scientist, encouraged participation and questions from the museum-goers. 

Although Pittman brought her daughter to the museum before, the night was a different experience for her.

“It was very different with the lights turned down and some of the displays were switched up. The dinosaurs were lit up and the T-Rex isn’t usually there,” she said. 

Pittman is considering bringing her younger daughter to the event next year, given how much her daughter enjoyed the decorations and presentations.

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