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November 27, 2023

10 Different Fernbank Museum Visitors

While working at a museum, you begin to pick up on the different kinds of people that visit day to day. For your entertainment, here is a very summarized list of visitors we often see:

1. The Dinosaur Lovers

Fernbank is known for its dinosaurs, so it would be remiss if this list didn’t start by acknowledging its biggest fans: the dino enthusiasts. These are the people that go above and beyond knowing your basic dinosaurs (think T. rex, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, etc.) and start dropping six-syllable names that impress even the most knowledgeable paleontologists.  

2. The Field Trip

When a Fernbank employee leaves their office and is greeted by a giggling gaggle of elementary-aged children, they know at least one field trip is present. There’s something so contagious about seeing little kids get excited by the Giants of the Mesozoic that even adults can’t deny their wonder.

3. The Eager Guardian

You know who I’m talking about: These are the parents/babysitters/guardians who need a way for their kids to let loose some energy, usually by letting them enthusiastically explore NatureQuest, as evident by the always-full stroller parking right outside the exhibit.

4. The Hiker

On a particularly beautiful day, you can witness visitors in outdoor wear march past the Giants of the Mesozoic without a second glance as they make their way to Fernbank Forest for a brisk two-mile roundtrip hike. Clad in heavy-duty boots and Camelbak hydration packs, legend has it that these hikers don’t even break a sweat scaling the steep, paved hill found near the entrance of the forest.

5. The Daytime 20-Somethings

Usually found in pairs, the daytime 20-somethings are those who spend two-plus hours reading every bit of information scattered around Fernbank’s exhibits. They are curious about everything and want to soak it all in before returning to the normal world. You can usually find these 20-somethings visiting after peak hours — typically around two in the afternoon — to avoid the gleeful groups of little kids.

6. The Nighttime 20-Somethings

On the other hand, there is the nighttime 20-something. This visitor is also trying to avoid gleeful little kids by only coming to Fernbank during its nighttime events. These are the attendees of Fernbank After Dark, WildWoods: AGLOW and other special nighttime events that are typically designed with adults in mind. We have to admit, sipping a cocktail just before running around in NatureQuest does make you feel like a kid again.

7. The Paparazzi

These are the people who love taking pictures of everything. The dinosaurs, the trees, the Star Gallery, the Giant Screen Theater, the vending machines, the trash cans. Extra points to these visitors if they take a picture of their reflection in the warped elevator doors. Don’t forget to tag @FernbankMuseum – you might get featured on our story!

8. The Speed Walker

If you felt a gust of wind, it was most likely the Speed Walker making their way to the next exhibit. This person will walk through each exhibit skimming didactic panels and glancing at artifacts to try and finish the whole museum in less than an hour. Shout out to the guest who beats their P.R. on their next visit.

9. The Skeptic

People who say they “don’t like museums” fall under this category, but that’s just because they haven’t visited Fernbank, yet. A skeptic assumes that they don’t like museums because all the others they’ve previously been to may have been boring, out of date or less immersive. But, once they step inside Fernbank’s Great Hall or outside into WildWoods, they quickly understand how sorely mistaken they were.

And lastly...

10. The Gift Shopper

Whether you deserve a treat after exploring the full museum or you came solely for the souvenirs, the gift shop welcomes one and all. Come purchase a fluffy stuffed dino, an oversized Fernbank sweatshirt or astronaut ice cream before making the trek home. Bonus points if you collect pressed pennies and get one outside the museum store.