exploreLAB logo

The Institute’s newest educational exhibition and experience space, exploreLAB, offers themed, hands-on activities, objects from the Institute’s collections, changing installations, and rotating experiences create a learning and exploration environment unlike any other. Both public and field trip programming are available.

exploreLAB kicks off with an immersion into the world of dinosaurs: discovering them like a paleontologist would and learning about what it takes to reveal a dinosaur. The overall experience is separated into two sections:

The Deborah Cooper Dino Dig

A floor level installation, designed for children of all ages, where they will use paleontological tools to dig through model fossil beds representing the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, brushing away millions of years of sediments to expose real dinosaur casts. 

The Paleo Portal

A lab and exploration setting geared toward elementary school age and above, and those who want a more in-depth experience into the topic. Visitors will observe dinosaur fossils in rock and the ongoing process for their conservation, exposure, and removal as well as the preparation of the asteroid fall out layer linked to the extinction of terrestrial dinosaurs.  

Additionally, Paleo Portal visitors will have the opportunity handle real meteorites and to prepare and extract their own take-away fossils from the Mid-Devonian bedrock from Michigan and Ohio that are 400 million years old, when this region was covered with shallow tropical seas and coral reefs.

Generally, tickets to exploreLAB will be offered at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm weekdays during summer and on Saturdays at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm and Sundays at 12:30pm and 1:30pm year round. Because the schedule can change, please check the "exploreLAB Schedule" link below for program availability on the specific date you wish to come. Tickets are $5 per program for all non-members over age 2, $4 per program for standard members, and $1 per program for all children under 2 years old. Tickets are available for purchase at the front desk. Enhanced members enjoy free admission.

For specific program times on specific dates, please check out our daily schedule.