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Kids can spend a night at the museum

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Sunny South News

This summer, Coaldale and surrounding area kids looking for something to do can spend an unforgettable “Night at the Museum” at the Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur and Heritage Museum near Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park.

“Two youth have organized it together and they are from Warner and what we actually did is we got together and put a grant together for this ‘Night at the Museum.’ We sent away for a Youth in Action grant from the Community Foundation in Lethbridge. That means they need to organize everything. The financial side, what we are going to do, what we’re going to offer, how long it was going to run, how many we were going to do — they got approved for that so we were able to run it and these two volunteers will be helping with the camp, as well. They just didn’t put the information together — they’re actually going to be running the camp,” said Trish Hill, general manager of the museum, adding it’s a hands-on museum that offers personalized visits and is located close to home in the Village of Warner.

The first ever “Night at the Museum” summer camps are being held two weekends — July 15-16 and July 29-30. Registration is limited and the camps are for kids aged 10-13. The camps include games, crafts, dinosaur tours, dinner before a campfire and a screening of the Ben Stiller family comedy “Night at the Museum.” Each camper will receive a t-shirt and pillowcase, which each camper will decorate.

Currently, the museum is closed for the winter season but will re-open May 17. The museum features a Hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) nest and embryo, ancient fossils, dinosaur models, and a mural depicting dinosaurs caring for their young. In the Heritage Gallery families can explore the “more recent” past through artifacts and stories from the most recent “early days” of the Warner region and ahead through the time of the settlers, with artifacts from both World Wars that belonged to local soldiers.

“We always wanted to do a ‘Night at the Museum’ but we started with day camps first a couple of years ago. The ‘Night at the Museum’ camp is going to be not only the paleontological-side of the museum, which is the dinosaurs and fossils — it’s also going to be the heritage part. We’re going to mix it together so they have a variety of things to do,” said Hill, adding a whole slew of different activities are planned including making ice cream, swimming, learning about micro-fossils, and exploring the actual dinosaur site for little pieces of teeth and bone.

“It tells the whole story of who lived at the time of the dinosaurs,” noted Hill.

According to Hill, one-day and two-day camps are also offered throughout the summer at the multi-faceted museum.

“The two-day camps are really fun. It’s run more on the paleo-side — not really heritage. They do things a little different than the other camp,” said Hill, adding the two-day camp offers campers a chance to be involved in experiments, games, a site tour and swimming to cool off on a hot summer’s day. Hill said the day camp is more geared towards younger kids and is also a new event this upcoming season, which is not quite extensive as the two-day camp but day campers still get the chance to decorate a t-shirt and visit the dinosaur site.

“We are Canada’s first dinosaur nesting site. We have the most complete embryonic dinosaur in North America and we call him Charlie,” said Hill, in regards to the museum’s allure.

As for out-of-towners, Hill said she will meet children and families at the tourist information centre in Lethbridge and transport campers to the “Night at the Museum” summer camp, to help those Coaldale, Lethbridge and surrounding area families with transportation, which is approximately a 45-minute drive.

The cost for the “Night at the Museum” summer camp is $150 per camper or $125 per camper for the first 12 children registered.

If two or more children from one family are registering, the cost will be $125 per camper. To register e-mail or visit online at for more information.

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