There are Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids at COSI!

There are Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids at COSI!

The new Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures exhibit just opened at COSI and runs through September 2. With such an intriguing name, COSI has set the bar high for this exhibit.

My 4- and 8-year olds are dragon-obsessed (the Dragons Love Tacos books are their favorite), and at 6, my daughter loves anything related to unicorns. Add a husband with a classics degree (Greek mythology is his thing), and we were all very excited to check out this exhibit. Happily, Mythic Creatures is everything you could ever hope for — and more!

As with COSI’s Dinosaur Gallery, the entrance to Mythic Creatures is particularly stunning. Guarded by a 17-foot-long dragon (with a wingspan of over 19 feet), this larger-than-life creature sets the tone for the entire exhibit. 

Perhaps the most ubiquitous of mythic creatures, dragons are found on land, air and water, in all parts of the world. Likewise, your kids will be delighted by a 360-degree dragon experience in this exhibit, as these creatures appear in every shape, form and setting. (The sprawling 120-foot-long Chinese parade dragon at the end is a fireworks-level finale to this exhibit.) COSI has designed the exhibit with kids in mind, and there are several interactive touches to keep kids engaged and excited. The “create your own” dragon at the end was an especially nice touch.

However, this exhibit isn’t all dragons: the eponymous unicorns and mermaids each share a piece of the spotlight. My daughter was “in” from the moment she saw a unicorn sitting in the hallway outside the exhibition. As we made our way through the exhibit, we connected the other-worldly unicorn to the real-world narwhal, helping her see the origins of this particular myth.

For younger kids, the “Mini Mythic” area is just plain fun. Mini castles, stuffed creatures, a large felt board and coloring sheets — what a great idea!

When we think of mythic creatures, dragons, unicorns, mermaids come to mind, but this exhibit examines the origins of the Cyclops, Kraken, Bigfoot and more. (Kids who enjoy the Harry Potter books will be delighted by the giant Griffin.) Their forms and meanings are as diverse as their cultural origins, which you’ll learn all about in this exhibit.

While many of theses creatures seem “other” and unusual, what you’ll quickly discover is that mythic creatures serve as symbols of the human experience. My eight year old was able to connect the idea that all these creatures served the same purpose: to tell stories through symbolic expression. (I credit the CMC’s Egypt exhibit for helping him make the connection!)

Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures is located in COSI’s American Museum of Natural History Special Exhibition Gallery, and it’s an “add-on” experience — admission is an extra $5 add-on with COSI General Admission/$4 with COSI Membership. This exhibit is absolutely worth the additional cost, because it’s an engaging and accessible experience that will get your kids excited about history and mythology. More importantly, Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures is a testament to the power of human imagination that will inspire the next generation of storytellers and creative thinkers.

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