If you have a dinosaur lover in your house, Jurassic Gardens is the spot for you! With a towering brachiosaurus and a ferocious T-rex greeting you at the entrance, the excitement begins the moment you arrive. Wander the path through the exhibit hall as you learn about your favorite dinosaurs. Below you’ll find all the details about what you’ll see, how to get food, or even tips for extending your visit to the far north suburbs.
A Visit to Jurassic Gardens at Volo Auto Museum
Features of Jurassic Gardens
Jurassic Gardens is an thrilling place for all dino lovers. The atmosphere and decor is top notch; even the garbage cans are dinosaurs! The size of the exhibit was perfect for our family. Enough to see and learn about, but not so much that our littlest legs were tired. There is a one-way path guiding visitors through the main exhibit hall where you’ll be greeted by triceratops, a dilophosaurus, and much, much more. These larger-than-life dinosaurs are moving as they roar and hiss at guests passing by. At each dinosaur, visitors will read about each creature including their name, origin, and quick facts.
There are a few interactive components that bring the exhibit to life. Near the entrance, children are invited to take part in a dinosaur dig, discovering fossils covered by rubber mulch. You’ll also find some hands-on fun, such as fossil and gemstone panning, and a short demonstration video.
As you make your way through the hall, there are great photo opportunities. Snap a picture inside a dino egg, or scream for help from inside a T-rex’s mouth. My husband loved his picture with the Jurassic Park replica jeep parked outside. Of course, no adventure is complete without a stop in the Raptor Pen Arcade, as well as a gift shop.
Outside the building you’ll also find a large dinosaur-themed playground, as well as picnic areas for outdoor seating. We loved this additional spot that gave us a change of scenery and helped us burn off any remaining energy before the car-ride home.
More to See at Volvo Auto Museum
Jurassic Gardens is just one of the exhibit halls on the grounds of Volvo Auto Museum. Admission to the Jurassic Gardens can be purchased separately, or in a discounted package to include all of the automobile areas. The Exhibits page of their website has details on all that can be found at Volo Auto Museum, some of which include a Disney Gallery and TV & Movie Show area.
In the main entrance hall to Volo Museum, guests will find a blast from the past at Show Biz Pizza. Yes, you read that right: the animatronic entertainment from your childhood is back! Grab a slice of pizza, ice cream or nachos as you tell your children all about your favorite childhood memories at Chuck E. Cheese. Certain menu items are only available on weekends.
If this doesn’t interest you, McDonald’s and Fratello’s are both a short drive away, as well as many other restaurants as you head south back down Route 12/Rand Road.
Volo Museum has bathrooms available within the Jurassic Gardens area, as well as in many of the automobile exhibit halls. Their website includes a map to help you find the nearest restroom available if you’re out and about on the grounds.
As of December 10, 2021, Volo Auto Museum is open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm. No one will be admitted after 4:00pm.
Prices and Discounts
Jurassic Gardens general admission tickets, which cost $15.95, are required for all guests ages 5 and over. Tickets may be purchased online in advance, or at the entrance. Volo Museum offers discounted rates (and free next-day admission) if you’d like to also visit the automobile exhibits. A map and detailed pricing information can be found on the Plan Your Visit portion of their website.
With both a 3- and an 8-year-old, I find myself struggling at times to find things that are good for both little and big kids. This was a great spot for our family. My 3-year-old was able to do a few laps around the place, stopping to interact with dinosaurs, and even watch the video. My 8-year-old was more focused on reading about the dinosaurs, discussing where their fossils have been found, and analyzing the characteristics described on the placards throughout the exhibit hall. We enjoyed a snack at the tables outside and a bit of time on the playground before returning home.
We realize that Volo Auto Museum is in the far north suburbs, so it may not feel worth it to drive that far for one exhibit. If you wanted to extend a day-time visit, there is quite a bit more to see in the automobile portions of the museum. You could also make a getaway out of it and pair it with a visit to the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva or Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee.
Special Needs Accommodations
Between the roars, hisses, general background noise, and people, the exhibit hall is loud. The front desk offers ear plugs to anyone who is interested, but if your child is particularly sensitive to noise, I would recommend noise-canceling headphones. The entire exhibit hall is on one level, making it wheelchair accessible.
Jurassic Gardens at Volo Auto Museum
27582 Volo Village Road
Volo, IL 60073
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