Museum of Natural History and Science
This large exhibit space (1801 Mountain Rd. NW, 505/841-2800, www.nmnaturalhistory.org,
9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) contains three major attractions: a planetarium and observatory; a wide-format theater screening the latest vertigo-inducing nature documentaries; and a presentation of Earth’s geological history.
The geology section is structured as a walk-through timeline, beginning with the Big Bang (rendered with black lights and thunderclaps) and meandering through the prehistoric era and age of volcanic activity.
Some of the attractions, such the hokey “evolator” time machine, don’t live up to the hype, but there’s plenty of space given to the real crowd pleasers: dinosaurs.
New Mexico has been particularly rich soil for paleontologists, and several of the most interesting finds are on display, such as Coelophysis and Pentaceratops.
In addition, the Startup exhibit details the early history of the personal computer, in Albuquerque and elsewhere. The show was funded by former Duke City resident Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft here with Bill Gates and moved to Seattle.
Admission is $7 to the main exhibit space, and $7 for the theater or the planetarium, though discounts apply if you buy tickets to more than one.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition