The National Geographic Museum has some amazing exhibits going on right now, and this Saturday, October 16, they will be among the highlights of World Animal Day, a free event to celebrate species around the globe.
Recent posts about the new exhibits, “Geckos: Tail to Toepads” and “Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Nature,” provided general details, but after visiting them a few days ago, here’s my take: Both get two huge thumbs up. Owen and I spent at least two hours ogling the geckos and exploring different sounds and, had it not not been near closing time, could have stayed even longer. The interactive installments in “Wild Music” were engaging and fun — we produced sounds of the city and nature in the jam room, listened to various bird whistles, whale calls, underwater noises, and world music, saw the measures of our own voices, and more.
The gecko exhibit was way more than a few lizards in cages. The variety alone (18 different species) is fascinating, and trying to find some of the camouflaged creatures was an added interesting challenge. Besides the geckos themselves, there’s a kids’ reading and drawing area, including texture patches on tables to color over to replicate gecko skin. Interactive puzzles and games and large, striking images of close-up gecko features — eyes, skin, toes, tails — round out the display.
Along with those exhibits there will be plenty more to check out at World Animal Day. View animals on the move in the “Great Migrations” photography exhibit, watch screenings of the cartoon Toot & Puddle, register for a family photography workshop with an award-winning documentary filmmaker, create animal art projects, listen to stories, and experience Animal Jam!, Nat Geo’s new virtual playground for kids.
The event runs from 10am – 3pm. Admission is free, but tickets are required for Geckos ($7/adults, $4/children under 12).