If you've ever wondered what a Dilophosaurus and a Cassowary bird have in common, Dinosaurs Alive! is the perfect exhibit for you. Brookfield Zoo's latest temporary exhibit draws some interesting comparisons between its 18 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and the living creatures throughout the zoo.
Now through Oct. 31, visitors can watch, listen to and even move some of the creatures within the exhibit. Outside the exhibit, a 60-foot-long and 30-foot-high replica of the Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur is located at Roosevelt Fountain. Watch for him to periodically spray water. You can find a Protoceratops in the zoo's East Mall, where junior paleontologists can also participate in a dig and have their pictures taken.
The main attraction is the outdoor exhibit, located just east of the Children's Farm. Visitors follow a guided path as they discover facts and watch the amazing movements of baby Stegosaurus, use push button controls to make a Parasaurolophus' head turn and get up close and personal with an Apatosaurus. The exhibit ends with a two-story-high Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Be warned, several of these creatures roar, hiss and trumpet in a frightening fashion. While there are no age restrictions, parents need to exercise judgment about whether realistic looking and sounding dinosaurs might be too scary for the very young.
Well-designed signs throughout the exhibit help visitors draw parallels between dinosaurs and living animals. And, in keeping with the zoo's mission, there's also subtle information about conservation and caring for all the planet's living creatures. Humorous signs and word-play keep you amused while you wait to push buttons.
Admission to Dinosaurs Alive! is $5, $3 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older (Brookfield Zoo members pay only $2.50 and $1.50), in addition to general zoo admission. Brookfield Zoo also offers an All-in-One Ticket, which includes general admission, as well as discount admission to the zoo's many attractions.
Brookfield Zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8400.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.