The Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas is very nearly a destination by itself. If the rotating exhibits interest you, it may take 2-3 hours see everything. If not, a visit will take about an hour and a half. The exhibits are attractive and interesting, I just wish the museum exhibited more of the University's 3,750,000 specimens.
The permanent exhibits on the main floor of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History include fossils collected from across Kansas and (mostly) around the western US. There are also mineral exhibits and videos explaining the history of the museum and story of the collecting of the museum's famous "Fish within a fish."
A ramp leads up to the top floor of the Sternbery Museum. Along the way, you pass through life size displays recreating the seas of Kansas from 70 million years ago and leading up to displays of what might have been found near the shore. Some of the recreated life size prehistoric animals move or make noises.
The Sternberg Museum of Natural History has a large gift shop and book store, but if you visit the museum late in the day, be sure to go there first. In the evenings, the store closes an hour before the museum.
copyright 2005-2011 by Keith Stokes