When I was little my family lived in Minnesota. One summer day spent hanging by the pool quickly turned into a day spent hunkered down in the basement seeking shelter and safety from tornado threats near our neighborhood. Keeping us all from being scared of the storm, my Dad put on Jurassic Park for the first time ever. We were riveted by the larger than life creatures, the drama and the excitement that embodies Jurassic Park and our fear of the storm quickly turned into fear of being eaten by a genetically engineered dinosaur which in our minds was entirely possible. The dinosaur love was real and we spent many an afternoon wondering what it would REALLY be like to walk with dinosaurs.
So many kids grow up with a deep love of prehistoric animals- both girls and boys alike- but we don’t always get the chance to feel like we are walking among them. Last weekend at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium our family had the opportunity to experience this years brand new Dinosaur Exhibit and share our experience with you!
That Amber walking stick … so much nostalgia! These character actors were SO spot on.
My little girls bring the emotion lately. Why is the blow up Dino costume so good every time?! What a greeter to be at the opening of this exhibit!
You all know Lilly is my fact girl. She loved every sign, every diagram, every map. She read everything out loud and really appreciated having the setting and information available. It’s what she loves most in the rest of the Zoo so we were glad the Dinosaur exhibit was no different.
Can we take a moment to just admire these amazing Dinosaurs? We were blown away by the detail and life like motion and sound that accompanied each one. They came to life in the best way.
One of the coolest things for Brandon and I was to see Gracie hearing this whole exhibit. The growls and roars of the animals, the mist and waterfall. She was turning and pointing and copying the noises. It was fantastic. She said she could even hear the branches of the jungle.
Sally was pretty petrified of the bigger dinosaurs. She stayed as far away as possible until Brandon convinced her that they truly were not real and were robots. She was screaming at the top of her little lungs though! Ha!
We could’ve paused the whole day at the fossil digging site. These two absolutely loved this part!
This little underpass was my favorite. It took you to a whole different world and was just so magical!
There were even some lurkers in the swamp.
Toward the end of the exhibit there is a control board set up that allows kids (and adults) the chance to control one of the dinosaurs. You can see the “machine” skeleton working and moving and watch the cause and effect of pushing each button. This is 100% the way Gracie’s brain works. She was infatuated with this activity.
Olive missed all the Dinosaurs. Our baby girl can’t quite hang yet!
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to add the Dinosaur exhibit to your summer bucket list in Pittsburgh. It’s only here until a September 3rd so make sure you see it before it’s gone!
This is the rest of the info I think you need to know:
-This exhibit is presented by UPMC Health Plan.
-The Dinosaur exhibit is a separate attraction at the zoo and is open every day from 9:30-5:30pm.
-You need to purchase extra tickets to this exhibit – they are $4.50 per person over the age of 2 which grants you admission to the exhibit as many times as you want in one day. This is awesome for kiddos who may want to see the Dino’s, tour the zoo, then see the Dino’s one more time before heading home. Take advantage of that ticket and plan your time accordingly!
-A few of the Dinosaurs spit water. You can easily avoid them if you wang but it’s just something to keep in mind. In the same breath- the environment is very convincing- you’ll really feel like you are in a tropical jungle with mud and all. We had to rinse off the girls sandals when we were finished at the Dinosaurs.
-If you are a zoo member already you can add an unlimited Dinosaur visit package to your membership for $30. This is a great value if your family will be at the zoo multiple times this summer!
Please Note: This exhibit may not be suitable for all audiences. The animatronic dinosaurs are intended to appear realistic and provide a sensory experience, which includes movement, loud sounds, spraying water, and scenes that contain some blood.