I used to volunteer in the paleo lab and the fact that they had a paleo lab is indicative of the hands on approach that this museum takes. They have a great permanent exhibit in dinos, all kinds of animals and plants. But do not miss the special exhibits from time to time. I know they charge admission for those, but they are always worth the price. I was there for the Deep Sea and Space Exploration exhibits.
Also, do not be shy about volunteering for the museum.