More than 40 animatronic dinosaurs have had the 216 acres at Brookfield Zoo all to themselves for the past few months, but now they’re ready to show off for visitors.
The zoo’s newest attraction, Dinos Everywhere!, was erected while the park was closed to guests during stay-at-home orders. Now that Illinois has reached Phase 4, the dinosaurs can be seen in all areas of the zoo.
Members can start to return to the zoo beginning July 1, and the general public can return July 8. All tickets must be purchased or reserved online, including parking. Among the newest health changes at the zoo is the elimination of cash (credit cards are also accepted at the Mold-A-Rama machines, including the six newly installed with dinosaur molds).
Here’s what you need to know about the exhibit and the new rules at the zoo:
Where are the dinos?
The dinosaurs are, literally, everywhere. Follow the green footsteps on the ground that are directionals and also help visitors find the hidden dinos.
Take a photo of the map of the dinosaurs as you enter the zoo – maps will not be distributed due to health concerns – or download it before you go. That way, you can head directly to the T.rex, scout out the bones, find the garden with the most dinosaurs or plan your dino watching as you check out the zoo’s newest residents (seven African Painted Dog puppies were born while the state was at home and two new lion brothers joined the zoo).
Take your time walking the zoo to see as many as you can. Or come back often to see different sections of the zoo and maintain social distancing.
Also, Mold-A-Rama has installed six new dino molds: a triceratops in Great Bear Wilderness, a T.rex and Apatosaurus east of the pachyderms, a trachodon at the carousel (the carousel is not operating at this time), and a stegosaurus and a corythosaurus adjacent to the East Mall.
What do they do?
Dino Don, Inc. was founded by Don Lessem, a dinosaur expert who was an advisor to Jurassic Park and who creates exhibits across the country, including this one. The company also developed a 100-foot Argentinosaurus specifically for Brookfield Zoo.
Watch closely and you can see the Argentinosaurus breathe, then flick its tail. This giant dino is located in the West Mall near Tropic World.
Around the zoo you’ll find dinos that fly, some that have feathers like birds, plus some with babies, others with eggs, and still others eating lunch. They will growl, groan, munch and roar at guests passing by.
Open July 1-Nov. 1
- Address: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield
- Cost: Included in general admission
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