Today my kids and I had the privilege of previewing Brookfield Zoo’s newest temporary exhibit: Dinos and Dragons, opening this Saturday, May 6 and running until September 17, 2017. Real, live dragons along with kid-friendly interactive exhibits can be found in the large tent at the entrance and you will spot large, animatronic dinosaurs as you walk down a winding path outside. Keep reading to get the inside scoop with photographs and video!
The indoor component of the exhibit has three themed areas: Medieval, Asian, and Paleontology.
Each of the structures has viewing windows where you can observe and learn about different dragons, including the Bearded Dragon, Black-throated Monitor, Crocodile Monitor, European Legless Lizard, Frilled Dragon Iguana, Komodo Dragon, Nile Monitor, Plumed Basilisk, Roughneck Monitor, and Uromastyx Lizard. Some of these reptiles are even animal ambassadors, which means zoo staff periodically takes one of them out so you can see it up close and even pet it!
My kids really enjoyed the interactive exhibits and we spent the most time in that area. There are two opportunities to be a paleontologist. One is a pit full of gravel that you can sit in to search for bones and the other is a table of rubber chips where you use brushes to uncover bones and four golden shovels. It was a fun scavenger hunt! We also played with mini-catapults, launching different sized pom poms to hit a moving or stationary target (your choice). There are also temporary tattoos, a dragon texture rubbing project, and a knight and dragon made out of LEGO bricks.
When you exit the tent you will find a crushed gravel path that winds around a wooded area full of huge animatronic dinosaurs. When you pass by the green sensors, the dinosaurs make noises and move their arms, heads, mouths, and tails with smooth, life-like movements. There are cute herbivores and ferocious carnivores, each with informational signs and games that you can play along the way, including DINOPARDY, Are You Smarter Than a Paleontologist?, and Dino Feud.
After coming to the end of the dinosaur trail and walking through the gift shop, take a quick left to check out the dinosaur dissection lab. You can learn about the parts of a dinosaur body as zoo staff takes out each part and talks about its function.
In addition to the Dinos & Dragons exhibit, zoogoers can enjoy a free, live theatrical show featuring a costumed animatronic dinosaur raptor at the outdoor Stage-o-saurus Theater, just west of Tropic World. The show will be held daily, weather permitting.
Dinos & Dragons is an additional $5 per adult and $3 for children 3-11 and seniors once you are in the zoo. Members receive a 50% discount on these attraction prices.
This post is brought to you by Brookfield Zoo, but all opinions are my own.