Day Tripping: Western Science Center

24 10 2011

Occasionally my Hubby and I manage to get out and do what we like to call a “Road Trip.” Yesterday was the first time in many months that we actually got to hit the road! We went to the Western Science Center in Hemet, California. I always forget how beautiful the hills are in that area, even when they are clothed in their end of summer brown.

The Western Science Center was created to house the incredible collection of fossils unearthed when more than 150 million cubic yards of material were moved to create the three earthen dams needed to form Diamond Valley Lake. They discovered everything from the remains of tiny animals to “Max,” the largest mastodon ever found in the Western United States. Max is on display at the museum, along with other finds including three different types of giant ground sloths, bison, and saber tooth tigers.  The museum also includes displays on geology, ancient peoples, and history of the settlers in the valley beginning in the late 1800s. The Western Science Center was designed with children in mind and there are numerous activities for them. We saw opportunities for them to make their own fossils and trace metal plaques of various prehistoric animals. Short films played in the adjacent movie theater.

Hours when we went are Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission cost: Adults $8.00, Seniors (62 and over) and Students with ID are $6.50, Youth 5-12 $6.00, and children 4 and under and Active Military are free. For an additional $2.00 you can get an audio tour. I felt that there was plenty of information in the museum and the audio tour didn’t add much. The Western Science Center website is http://www.westerncentermuseum.org/

Across the plaza is the Visitor Center for the lake. It is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free! It tells in more detail about the building of Diamond Valley Lake and has displays about the California aqueduct system, water conservation, etc….   The Diamond Valley Lake website, which includes information on the visitor center,  is http://www.dvlake.com/index.html

While you are there, there are also opportunities to see the lake. Check out the website for viewing points.  It was a nice Sunday drive from our house to the Western Science Center and we enjoyed our day out, even if the GPS couldn’t find a Starbucks for me on the way home!

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One response

24 10 2011
S. Kay Murphy

I had no idea this Center existed! Can’t wait to go!!

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