3 things to see at the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature

From hands-on activities to new work by local artist James Havens, there’s plenty to experience at the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature this month.

The parking lot — closed for construction throughout most of the summer — is now reopened. And once you make your way through the rebuilt entryway, there are several new attractions and more than a few old favorites.

1) A 26-foot pterosaur sculpture: Hanging from the museum’s ceiling, the giant flying dinosaur is one of Havens’ latest works. It soars over other exhibits; wings spread, jaws open. The details are so fine you can look up and see the wrinkled pink skin of the dinosaur’s neck.

2) A 12-foot-tall Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum painting: Another Havens creation, the canvas stands 13 feet wide and overlooks the museum’s main lobby area. Andi Havens, James’ wife and co-owner of The Havens Studio & Gallery, said all of his paintings are carefully researched and feature Alaskan dinosaurs. The horned Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum was discovered on the North Slope in 2006.

3) Schmidt Mine Geology Room: The museum’s rocks room is chock full of colorful and fascinating stones. The mirrored cases and carefully placed lights make this one of the most eye-catching exhibits in the building, but it’s not all enclosed displays. There’s also plenty to touch, and information on how many of the rocks are made.

The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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