Chasing Dinosaurs: A Quest Through Cardiff National Museum

“I want to see a stegosaurus!” Aidan shouted, excited, as we hurried up the steps to the Cardiff National Museum.

Uh oh, I thought to myself. Having spent two years’ worth of lunch times inside the museum, I knew there were dinosaurs, but I didn’t recall ever seeing a stegosaurus.

Nevertheless, we set out eagerly in search of the remains of a plated denizen of the Jurassic period.

Little Aidan was so excited that we rushed through most of the exhibits, barely stopping to say hello to a stuffed springbok, only slightly pausing inside the geology room to admire the gemstone collection and running right past the creepy crawlies of the deep sea.

At last! We reached the dinosaur room!

“Look! A T-Rex head!” he squealed. “And a mammoth! But where’s the stegosaurus, Mummy?”

My heart sank into my shoes. “I don’t think they have one…”

Friends, there is nothing as heartbreaking as a disappointed little boy. I tried to distract him with fossilized remains and footprints, but he didn’t find them interesting at all. In the end, I googled to see where in the world I could find some stegosaurus bones for him, and turns out they’re mostly found in the US (as well as displays in Scotland and London, neither of which we’d be able to visit on this trip).

“Can we go see them someday, Mummy?” Aidan asked in a small voice.

“Of course,” I promised. To be fair, if they’d been on the moon I would still have sworn to find a way in that moment.

With damped enthusiasm, we strolled through the rest of the museum. It was difficult to appreciate the ceramics and the art section with a disillusioned 7-year-old in tow, so we quickly paid our respects to Rodin and Monet, before beating a hasty retreat.

It was still raining mercilessly outside, but nothing would deter me from finding something that would brighten Aidan’s day, and I knew exactly what would do the trick: another castle to explore…

Have you been to Cardiff National Museum? What was your favourite exhibit? And where would you recommend we go searching for stegosaurus bones?

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