Have you guys ever looked for the 13 hidden gnomes at the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point? We tried to do it once with kids but our kids wanted to go faster than finding these gnomes required so we came back for date night last week. The idea is that paleontologists have to search really hard for things that everyone else misses to find fossils. The gnomes are hidden all over the museum, in various nooks, crannies, and fossils!
Let me tell you - these things are tricky to find! We were there for just over an hour and only found TWO. Have any of you actually found all of them before?!?!?
Sometimes when I take my kids to the museum I see people walking around with flashlights and binoculars. THIS IS WHY! I have to admit, I thought the flashlights and binoculars were a little over-the-top so we didn't bring anything but I will tell you one of the two gnomes we found, my husband ended up using his phone light to find. Next time we'll be taking flashlights. I don't know if binoculars are necessary because obviously we haven't even come close to finding them all yet.
Don't you worry though, I talked to the staff and got some "insider tips" you should know before you go.
The gnomes are hidden throughout the museum - starting through the doors after the iguana and ending with the doors leading from the sand digging quarry to the lobby. No gnomes are hidden in the lobby, gift shop, café, bathrooms or geometry playground.
8 gnomes are figurines like the one pictured above and 5 are painted.
The gnomes are hidden twice per year, usually around October and April.
There are no gnomes hidden behind the glass of any exhibit.
The Head of Paleontology at Thanksgiving Point is in charge of hiding the gnomes. Very few of the staff know where they all are!
I have seen people with flashlights and binoculars looking for these before. I don't know about the binoculars but I would recommend bringing a small flashlight.
According to the staff "it is a pretty rare feat to find them all in one visit, but not impossible."
On average it takes at least three hours to find them all.
Going for date night was a ton of fun but when we go back we are going to double (or group) date so we have a lot more eyes looking.
Once you find them all your picture goes on the wall in the lobby!
Honestly, this activity helped me appreciate the museum on a whole different level. I never noticed all of the detail that goes into every single exhibit. I really did love it and can't wait to go back!