I'm wondering how old kids need to be to get something out it. Trying to decide whether to just wander the gift shop or sign up for the short tour?
sorry, I just got this question. I haven't signed into Tripadvisor for a long time. I would totally skip the tour and just peruse the building. then go onto the beach yourself and walk around. Watch the tide, it comes in so quickly it caught me unaware. hWhere the stairs lead down to the beach is actually farther out into the bay. so if you are walking on either side of the stairs ( which is set back into the beach wall more) you actually think you have more time - but you don't!
Kids of any age tend to love fossils and you see lots on the tour of the cliffs. my only regret is that I couldn't have spent all day there!
I didn't go with Children however without the tour I don't think you would be able to 'spot' the best fossils.
The tour included in the ticket price is also pretty short and has some interactive elements (like handing around examples of fossils).
In addition the majority of the tour is on the beach, so if your kids found it hard to engage - it wouldn't be a problem to have a wander away from the group!
I would do tour
Children of any age would enjoy the beach and the exhibits in the center. Even pre-schoolers would enjoy looking for fossils if a guide could help them see all of the "special things on the beach.
The tour on the beach will be a thrill for kids to discover fossils, been going there for years and always a joy, too bad Don Reid, known as the Keeper of the Cliffs passed away this year, he started it all with his fossil finds and was known all over the world and was always accommodating to do tours for young and old, will miss him dearly.
I think school age kids would like the short tour. The guides we saw were animated and very descriptive in their talks. They take the group right to the sometimes giant fossils and encourage folks to touch them. After the talk it is fun to walk the beach, find fossils and photograph them. The guides at the center will then tell you what you found. Just remember these are plant fossils and invertebrates, not dinos.
5 and up for the short tour. 10 and up for the long tour. Don't need to take tour to visit the beach. Museum is excellent for all ages. Gift shop is small, but has many unique items.
Young children might be excited just to be on the beach. You do not need to take a tour to go on the beach. With primary school age children, the short tour would be sufficient. For older children (teenagers), a longer tour might be interesting if geology and fossils are their thing. The foosils are from the pre-dinosaur era. The tours are good as the guides can point out the fossils and give the geo-historical background. Tours (especially the longer ones) are dependent on the tides, so plan well ahead.
I don't know how old your kids are but i would have thought that it would be worth taking young kids on the short tour as the guide made it all very interesting and hands-on.
We were there on a rainy day so did not do the tour, but I would like to go back and see the rest. I believe most children, even preschoolers would enjoy the adventure of the tour. So much to see and touch.
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