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The world is full of stories about brave heroes, magical events and fantastic beings. For thousands of years, humans everywhere – sometimes inspired by living animals or even fossils – have brought mythic creatures to life in stories, songs and works of art. Some symbolize danger. Others, we think, can bring us luck or joy. Together mythic creatures give shape to humankind’s greatest hopes, fears and most passionate dreams.
Through a unique collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History and other cultural and educational institutions in the Kansas City area, the Museum at Prairiefire invites you to understand and celebrate natural history and culture in our region and around the world. Our mission is to engage our visitors and area students with world-class exhibitions, important programming and significant educational opportunities. The MAP features information in the areas of natural science and history in three primary locations:
Each location offers visitors a unique experience and opportunity to broaden their understandings of the natural world. In the Great Hall, discover everything from who found the very first Tyrannosaurus rex to how scientists use technology and scientific method to better understand our surroundings. Children and their caretakers are invited on a completely hands-on journey through six areas of science, from Paleontology to Astronomy, in the Discovery Room. Visitors can also view our current American Museum of Natural History exhibition, Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, opening August 30, 2014.
In the Great Hall, visitors are encouraged to discover everything from who found the very first Tyrannosaurus rex to how scientists use technology to understand the world around us. All seven areas in the Great Hall are available to visitors for free:
Discover the world of Paleontology and meet the very first Tyrannosaurus rex ever found by Kansas native, Barnum Brown.
Create a scientifically accurate prehistoric creature and see it come ALIVE on the big screen.
Now featuring the American Museum of Natural History’s “Picturing Science,” the Sprint Gallery will host changing, educational exhibits.
Once a shallow ocean known as the Western Interior Seaway, Kansas was home to some of the most interesting sea creatures.
Step into the Science Theater and learn what scientists are discovering today via the American Museum of Natural History’s Science Bulletins.
Visit the Store for gifts to commemorate your visit. Relax, grab a meal and drink at the Fresh Market Cafe.
Discover Kansas’s maritime story. Millions of years ago, Kansas and its neighboring states were known as the Western Interior Seaway. It was a shallow, narrow ocean home to sea life and flying reptiles, both native fossils to the state.
Come see prehistoric creatures come to life in the Discovery Room’s Paleontology zone. Reconstruct the skeleton of a 14 foot-long Prestosuchus, excavate fossils like real paleontologists and learn about ancient life on earth!
See hominid history mapped out before your eyes! Learn about different cultures from across the globe through objects and artifacts!
Have you ever wondered how a bee sees flowers, where a scorpion lives or about the anatomy of a Praying Mantis? Come discover all of this and more in the Invertebrate Zoology Zone!
Biology is all around us. Complete a scavenger hunt of animals that live in our sycamore trees, find out where a corn snake sleeps and step outside to see these interactions in real life in our wetlands.
Rocks make up the earth, and there are so many different types! Some glow under black lights, some are beautiful colors, and some you can even see through! Come learn about volcanoes, earthquakes and more in the Geology Zone!
Have you ever wondered what the solar system looks like in motion? Ever wanted to fly over the surface of Mars? Astronomy is the study of space and all that is in it. Come create your own constellation and even smell the moon!
Everyday objects look completely different up close! Discover what makes Velcro stick together, the difference between salt and sugar and what a butterfly wing looks like magnified bigger than its actual size!
The Discovery Room is a hands-on space of exploration for children ages 3-12 to discover the world around us. It operates on a session schedule and admission to each session is first-come, first-served. Sessions start at 15 minutes past each hour and last 45 minutes. The first session begins at 10:15 a.m. on Mondays-Saturdays, and at 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. The last session of the day begins at 4:15 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. The Discovery Room closes each hour on the hour for a 15-minute cleanup.
Organized by the American Museum of Natural History, Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids explores fantastic beings that humans everywhere have brought to life over thousands of years through stories, songs and works of art.
Members receive free, unlimited admission to the entire Museum at Prairiefire. Members also receive discounts on additional tickets, the Café & Museum Store, invitation to special events, lectures and more. Individual and Family Memberships levels available.
Rotating semiannually, American Museum of Natural History traveling exhibitions will support and expand the Next Generation Science Standards, National Social Studies Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Resources for our upcoming exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids will include an educator’s guide and onsite student engagement materials, made available on Opening Day: August 30, 2014.
Global STEM Partner
Black & Veatch’s Building a World of Difference Foundation supports the Museum at Prairiefire’s development and distribution of educational resources to students and educators.
The Museum at Prairiefire is proudly supported by the Sheraton Overland Park.