Dinosaurs Alive in Brookfield Zoo!

| June 22, 2009 | 0 Comments

dinoI’m a mom obsessed with value. So although most of our neighboring families out here in the Western Suburbs have already signed on for Brookfield Zoo memberships, it took an extra incentive for me to get out my credit card. When we received a membership offer that included four free tickets to the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit, I was finally sold.

My 5-year-old had already heard all about the exhibit at nursery school, and she was especially keen to see the “dinosaur that spits water.” Yet when we walked toward the entryway to the exhibit, she was suddenly not anxious to go in. She’d been sucked in by an interactive table where kids can use a paintbrush to unearth “fossils” buried in some kind of shredded rubbery stuff. Both the 2-year-old and the 5-year-old played at this table – which is not even inside the paid part of the exhibit – for so long that my husband and I joked we could have skipped the tickets and told them this WAS Dinosaurs Alive!

Finally we pried them away and went over to the walled-off exhibit area, where there was no line on the first really warm weekday afternoon of the year. The exhibit itself is a series of animatronic dinosaurs, rooted in place but moving their heads, tails, etc. To add to the excitement, many of the dinosaurs have control panels so the kids can get them to move their body parts at will.

As always at the zoo, there were plenty of informational signs with lots of reading to do. This tickled my new reader, and she and her dad pored over every single sign, taking a good 45 minutes to work their way through the exhibit. I raced ahead with the 2-year-old, who quickly got over her nervousness about the huge “animals” but of course had no patience for hearing their scientific names.

If you’re a parent whose kids have not yet gone through a dinosaur obsession, you’ll probably pick up all kinds of new knowledge at this exhibit, since things have changed since we were kids. Like, there’s no more brontosaurus .

Somehow, with all that learning, she missed seeing the dinosaur that spits water. I later heard that particular dino mentioned in a radio ad for the exhibit, so I know it wasn’t the product of an overactive preschooler’s imagination. Lucky for my daughter, we still have one ticket left from the four that came with our membership, since her little sister was young enough to get in free. I’m sure that if I send her along with her grandparents with her ticket, they’ll enjoy the show too. Actually, they’ll probably like it even more than we did, since they’re more easily impressed by “technological wonders” than we jaded Gen X parents.

Dinosaurs Alive runs at the Brookfield Zoo through October. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 3-11; members pay half price. Admission to the zoo is required, which costs $12 for adults and $8 for kids 3-11.

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Category: Featured, News & Events, See & Plays

About the Author ()

Carrie Kirby blogs about Chicago-area bargains at Frugalista on the Chicago Tribune's new blog site. She also chronicles her money-saving coups at Shoplifting With Permission.

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