Social Science – Party with the Pharaohs

How much fun was the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Social Science: Party with the Pharaohs on Wednesday?


When the Hubby and I first arrived, I was little worried. We found parking as soon as we entered the ramp (not a good sign – where was everybody?), and when we arrived in the lobby at 6:45pm (15 minutes prior to doors opening), we sauntered in, flashed our IDs at the ID-checking dude at the door and walked right up to an available ticket salesman. Ack! Was anybody but us going to show up for this thing? Three of our friends had arrived around the same time and were hanging out on one of the couches. We grabbed some wine from the cash bar and waited for the rest of our group to arrive. A few people trickled in over the next 15 minutes or so, but the music from the DJ was still echoing around in the mostly empty, large, open space. Ohhhh dear.

And then it happened – the tipping point. Around 7:15 pm people started POURING into the lobby.

People queued up to buy tickets – excellent! HUGE crowd = More events like this in the future!

The Hubby and some of our friends took over the plush couch area. Behind them you can see the ticket line extending out of the lobby doors and all the way back to the elevators! Yipee!

I hung around in the lobby to see if anyone else from our group was going to arrive while the others headed downstairs to try out some of the good from Crave, Golden Fig and TeaSource. It was reported back that the food was all interesting and tasty, and while there was enough food to handle the crowd, the lines were tremendously long.

Our first stop was the 8pm showing of Mummies at the OmniMax theater. The movie went through some of the history of Egyptian dynasties and the discovery of the royal tombs in the 1800s. It was entertaining, and visually amazing as always. At one point the picture was so crisp and we were seated at such a perfect angle that I had an odd sensation of being in the on-screen crowd. Fun!

After that we went to the 5th floor – the Mississipi River Gallery. All of the normal exhibits were open, and there were special live animal exhibits for the Social Science event. We saw an American Kestrel, snakes and other reptiles from the Minnesota Herpetological Society, and tarantulas from a Bugs exhibit.

After browsing around up here, it was time to go see the King Tut exhibit. I have a confession: I’m not a huge history buff. Not only do I not know a lot about history, I usually am not interested in it. I like to know leasons learned from history, but start going on about time lines and processions of leadership or rule and I have to work really hard to stay focused. That’s what a lot of the King Tut exhibit was about. There were some very interesting relics in the rooms we walked through – I liked looking at the statues, the jewelry, the stones and realizing that I was standing a few feet away from something that was thousands of years old – that was awe-inspiring.

But my favorite part of the exhibit was the room where the replica of King Tut was stored. Here there was a panel presentation of the medical and imaging technology that has been used in the last century to infer how, why and when King Tut met his early demise. Now, that’s cool! *shrugs* Specialized nerdery.

Afterwards we bummed around in the King Tut gift shop, and then we saw the Medical Quackery devices and the other fourth floor exhibits.

The Hubby tried on a Pharaoh’s head dress earlier in the evening at the lobby gift shop.

Me with LOLpharaoh kitty and LOLpharaoh dog.

Chris poses in front of the medical quackery devices.

A piece from the SMM’s permanent collection – an actual mummy (not a replica). This  was not part of the Tut exhibit.

Flying fossils!

Next we went to my favorite areas – the general science exhibits! I like the biology and medicine areas the best (of course), but the physics and chemistry areas also have a lot of fun hands-on activities. It was at this point in the evening when we discovered we had made a mistake. If you’re going to go to the museum to enjoy the benefits of no kids – skip the Omnimax and go play in the routine exhibits! Kids are pretty well behaved in the theater and in the solemn, respectful atmosphere of the special exhibits; it’s in the “play areas” that they run wild! Plus, by the time we had finished up with the mummy stuff, everything was shutting down; I missed the DNA lab and the interactive presentations at the activity areas! Ah well, next time we’ll know.

Back-lit slice o’ human. Sweeeeet.

Chemistry activity station

Hanging mural; part of the light and color exhibit.

Help, I’m trapped in a crystal ball! I’ve got a bit of a “Face of Boe” thing going on, don’t you think?

Dino fossils seen from the fourth floor – entry to the paleontology area.


That pretty much wrapped up our evening. We had just decided that we were too old/responsible to be up past 10pm on a school night when the “Get the hell out of the museum” announcements started playing over the intercom. I had a lovely time, and it was a really neat treat to see so many people in their 20s and 30s enjoying the museum. I can’t wait for the next Social Science!


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7 Responses to “Social Science – Party with the Pharaohs”

  1. Jo Oltman Says:

    I love the photos. It looks like you and your husband had a lot of fun. Hopefully someday the Boston Museum of Science will start hosting adult-only events like this (the museums all talk to each other so maybe the success of this may influence other science museums to give it a try).

  2. Carly Says:

    Dang, I’m so bummed I was under the weather & couldn’t attend. Hopefully next time. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through!

  3. Erin Says:

    Holy crap that looks like a fun time! I demand LOLpharoah Cat and Dog for b-day presents 😀 Also that the picture of your face through a crystal ball becomes your new gravatar.

  4. Alannah Murphy Says:

    Looks awesome and I want a LOLpharaoh Cat. I saw a King Tut exhibit in Miami about 5 years ago, it was pretty cool, like looking at things, but like you, I don’t get into all the history…

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