My mother recently made her second trip to South Dakota for the year. As usual, she thumbed through the South Dakota Vacation Guide and noted the Mammoth Site, in Hot Springs, has stood out over the years as a definite place to visit.
So off we went…this would be a first visit for both my mom and my kiddos. I wasn’t quite sure how my 2 year old daughter would react, but I knew my son, 6, being the dinosaur fan that he is, would appreciate standing next to something so old and large. My son’s jaw dropped at the grand size of the assembled mammoth when he first walked into the Mammoth Site, but the tour was just about to begin and there is so much more to see at the dig site.
The tour immediately led my family to the dig site for an informative walk thru of the project at hand. My mother was in complete awe stating, “It is just amazing how the story can be put together just by revealing what lies in the dirt.” I think it’s inconceivable for a six and two year old to realize just how ancient these bones actually are, but they sure took interest in what the tour guide had to say, plus there was the appeal a telephone has for a 2 year old.
After the guided tour we all took a little extra time exploring the Mammoth Site in more detail. You can get pretty close to the fossils from the designated viewing areas. The museum offers plenty more to look at and you can also take an elevator down to the laboratory. You may not be able to get in, but you sure can see what they are working on through the glass.
All-in-all my mom and kids loved all there was to see at the Mammoth Site. It definitely satisfied my mom’s desire to witness something very old for the first time while having a great day with her grandchildren.