I decided that we needed to get out of the valley, and I really don’t like driving north on weekends. I will just say that the traffic on i17 going north reminds me of i95, and if you are an east coaster, you might understand the pain. Or, for my California friends, think of LA traffic any day. I am not a fan of sitting in the car more than I have to on a long trip. So, we headed out to a big hole in the ground on a Thursday.
Meteor Crater is approximately 3 hours away from Surprise. And, when we say its a big hole in the ground, it really is! As my husband said to our kids “Hey, we haven’t done much in a while, so going to see a big hole in the ground seems exciting, right?” Setting low expectations for our kids is sometimes what we do. We weren’t exactly sure how good this was going to be, but it was better than sitting home all day!
You can purchase tickets online or when you arrive. You receive a small discount by purchasing online. However, if you are a veteran or active military, you can get a discount if you show your ID.
If you are traveling with a dog, they have enclosed dog kennels.
This is a view overlooking the parking lot. The crater building sits on a small hill a little higher than the neighboring landscape.
The Meteor Crater building, entrance.
The Cafe, museum, gift shop and bathrooms were all on a second floor. You can reach it by outside stairs from the entrance or elevator. There was some outside seating. Bathrooms were next to the cafe and were beautiful and super clean!
Some awesome memorabilia. Munchie was enjoying looking at all of this!
Unfortunately, due to state mandates, we weren’t able to watch the video at the time.
The Meteor Crater seems not as big as it actually it is from this picture, but it is nearly a mile wide and 570 feet deep.
About 50,000 years ago, a 30 to 50 meter iron asteroid came to our planet and BOOM, made the meteor crater impact. With the force of 2 1/2 million tons of TNT, or about 150 times the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
There are fun telescopes that let you look down to the bottom of the crater, where there are fun little things set up for you to see. Tell me what you see at the bottom!
My husband is not so fond of heights so he didn’t go out on this deck with . me, but I hopped out there to keep an eye on the kids. They wanted to climb to get a better look at the telescope. Giggles is about 51″ tall and couldn’t see in the telescope without assistance. Keep an eye on your little ones here. After this part, there are steps going down and it is not accessible.
We headed down to another area to overlook the crater. Be careful with little ones on the steps and the walkways as they can slip through the fencing easily.
It honestly doesn’t LOOK 1 mile wide, but is. At the bottom of the meteor crater are a few things that are people-sized, yet by the naked eye they can’t even be seen! (You have to look through the telescopes at the previous overlook to see them).
My husband and I were joking that whenever we go to a place that is mostly sunny, it rains. And, you can tell, it was raining. And thundering!
The elevation of climbing up and down the stairs winded my husband and I, and we are in pretty good shape. The elevation is 5,640, so just be wary that you may be affected by that as well. There is a rim tour, but we skipped that. My kids don’t do well with those unless they are kid focused.
The Barringer Crater website has great information about the crater as well, It is the name of the museum, but I feel like they should have said “Click here for tons of info!” There are also Teacher activities on the site (also great for homeschoolers too).
The Barringer Center at Meteor Crater was almost like a little science museum, with hands on activities (yes, even during the pandemic!). They could have the museum open but not the movie. Strange we can put our hands on everything, but couldn’t see the movie where we could stay apart from each other!
A big piece of the meteor and the beginning of the museum.
I had to take a picture of the “Double Impact”Note one of the places is Wethersfield Connecticut! My husband and I are from Connecticut, so it was pretty cool. And, they have the bench from the home too.
This was a cool explanation of one lady’s experience with a meteor. And Munchie explores making a meteor.
The Museum at Meteor Crater was really cool, and I think the whole place was definitely neat to see. The kids loved it. It was a nice science museum and had a lot of information packed in. I wish we were able to do the other things, but we will catch it next time!
While you are at Meteor Crater, if you are an Eagle’s Fan, you can do what we did and check out Winslow, Arizona.
INTERSTATE 40, EXIT 233 WINSLOW, AZ 86047 USA