Describing the incredible size of dinosaurs to kids can be a challenge. If you want to give your kids a more realistic chance to see how they measure up with a life-size dinosaur, head to Brookfield Zoo for its new Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit.
Eighteen prehistoric, animatronic creatures will be displayed beginning April 4 and continuing through October. The exhibit, adjacent to the Children's Zoo, will host dinosaurs ranging from a 4-foot-tall "baby" to adult-size species, all dating from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods 200 to 65 million years ago.
But don't worry-in spite of their overwhelming size, the exhibits are designed with children in mind.
"Our exhibit is not meant to provoke terror; it's meant for families to have a really fun time," says Angela Sullivan, director of strategic initiatives at the zoo. "There is sound, but it won't be loud."
Sixteen of the dinos, including life-size replicas of the spiky-spined Stegosaurus, three-horned Triceratops, flying Pteranodon and the meat-eating Tyrannosaurus rex, can be viewed along a wooded paved path. Zoo visitors will be able to manipulate four of the dinos from interactive remote-control consoles.
Kids can also get their hands dirty being a paleontologist at an interactive dig site, where they can unearth replica fossils.
Admission to Dinosaurs Alive! is $5, $3 kids 3-11 and seniors. General zoo admission is $12, $8 kids and seniors. Kids 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $8. The zoo is located off First Avenue and 31st Street in Brookfield. For more information call (708) 688-8400 or www.czs.org.