by Libby Vasquez
This long weekend we went to Laughlin and on the way back home we detoured and went further into Arizona to visit the Meteor Crater off Highway 40. The Meteor Crater Museum is located off Interstate 40, Exit 233 in Winslow, AZ. It was a bit of a trek from where we were at but it was better than driving straight from home and it was a test run to see if we could do a week-long road trip from Los Angeles to Boston.
Meteor Crater is fun, informative and a natural wonder to gaze upon. The drive from Laughlin, Arizona to Meteor Crater was about 3 ½ hours but we stopped to eat prior. Meteor Crater is over 500 feet deep and over a mile wide. It is a result of an asteroid crashing onto earth over 50,000 years ago. It is certainly a sight to see. They have a tour running every 30 minutes to visit the rim of the crater and a movie area for a 3D movie at the half and top of the hour until closing time. They have varying hours but the earliest is 7am and latest is 7pm closing only on Christmas day.
Since my husband was driving so out of the way instead of heading straight back to Los Angeles I gave in to his craving of Olive Garden in Flagstaff instead of my Yelp choice. Oh, sacrifices a wife must make lol! My kids were pretty good on this drive as it fit into their nap time, both my 1-year old and 4-year-old still nap. Thank God! We missed the last tour as we started walking around the museum area and the telescope area. We walked around and looked at exhibits that detail asteroids, meteoroids, comets and other space matters. You can see a life-sized example of an astronaut in the museum and in the outside exhibit. My daughter liked the old-style phones that relayed information as she thought she was talking to someone and my son liked listening to the facts. His favorite part was a weight comparison activity exhibit that looks at weight between a car, horse, motorcycle and asteroid.
The outside exhibit lets you walk around the crater looking through telescopes down to different areas of the crater. Indoors you can see a wide map and information on each area you see on the telescope. There is a life-sized wooden astronaut cutout to see just how a person would compare in size to the whole of the crater and what an astronaut would look like in outer space with a flag the exact same size as what was placed on the moon. This part was hard for me as my daughter wanted to walk to the downward part of the crater. She is too stubborn and I felt like I was walking a tight rope. The sight is very beautiful and you can sit on benches right outside the museum walls and sit under the shade and enjoy the crater view. They also have a gift shop on site and Subway to eat o site. It was a great experience and worth the drive and money. My children enjoyed it and had so many questions about rocks and space afterwards. It is great to see their mind engaged in our planet.