It’s funny how locals very seldom discover their surroundings. I’m guilty as charged. We’ve lived in the Sudbury district for 9 years now and I had yet to visit Dynamic Earth. Our Science North membership included full access and yet we’d never been. I’m really not quite sure as to why we didn’t, but on a spur of a moment decision, after spending the entire morning at Science North, we decided to visit the infamous Big Nickel and see what Dynamic Earth was all about.
The Big Nickel certainly didn’t disappoint. We were all in awe of its size. Driving by is one thing, but standing next to this nine metre replica of a 1951 Canadian Nickel is quite something! The Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world and was originally constructed in 1964. It’s weight is approximately 13 tons!
After playing at the large playground which is located at the entrance of the building, we made our way inside reassuring the girls that the dinosaur outside was not a real one. Dynamic Earth has a special exhibit called “Dinosaurs Unearthed: Secrets Revealed”. It arrived in March and will remain on property until September. I learned after visiting that exhibit for exactly 10 seconds, that my girls are not fans of dinosaurs – at all. So we skipped it. If your kids are big fans they will LOVE it as they dinosaurs are realistic with both their look and sounds. Many fossils from China and North America are on display such as forelimbs, eggs, skulls, claws vertebrae and even a full-scale Gasosaurus skeleton.
Just before you enter the Dinosaur exhibit, you can visit the Earth Gallery. We really enjoyed this and its highly educational. Lots of rock and mineral samples, video animation and plenty of information on the tectonic plates and geological samples of the earth.
If your kids loved the rocks and minerals in the Earth Gallery, they’re in for another treat as there is an entire wall dedicated to rocks and minerals from around the world!
Downstairs is where the kids can really get involved in some serious learning! Mine did NOT want to leave! There is a gold
panning pool where kids and adults can pan for gold (yes there are real gold flakes in there for you to keep!). In the same area is a huge play structure set up like a model mine.
There is also a section below for tots and babies as well as a comfortable area for nursing moms.
Kids can climb to the top of the mine and move foam blocks of ore down the conveyor. There are wheelbarrows for you to collect the orr at the top or the bottom as well. Need to communicate with your friends? You can do so with video and audio links on every level. Very, very cool!
We took the kids on an Underground Tour. This was interesting as you essentially walk through the history of mining from the late 1800s through the present and modern ways of mining. It’s amazing how times have changed! If you like you can test out a remote controlled rockbreaker. There are lots of interactive elements to this tour and the kids loved it. If you have a baby or toddler you can still take the tour as there are strollers readily available.
An interesting fact: The mining company in Sudbury actually helped
Even though we spent over 4 hours at Dynamic Earth, we still didn’t get to see everything. There is a Nickel Gallery, a Mining Command Centre and a huge theatre with live presentations going on throughout the day. We are hoping to discover more of this attraction later this summer. If you are visiting Sudbury or happen to be driving through, definitely make a stop to visit Dynamic Earth. Lots of fun for the entire family!