Move over, T. Rex–– your big cousin Giganotosaurus is in town and he just roared into The San Diego Natural History Museum! Your little paleontologists will be awestruck by The Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit which features 16 rare, full-scale dinosaurs and thrilling hands-on technology that brings them to life. Read on to learn more about this din-o-mite adventure.

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Photo: Cherie Gough

Start Your Jurassic Journey
As you enter the exhibit, look for the Ultimate Dinosaurs Stamping Station and grab a Family Guide. This great resource leads kiddos through 6 stations that challenge them to search for clues and learn about fossils, dinosaur types and moving continents along their prehistoric journey. Kids earn a dino stamp as they complete each challenge. Big screens filled with 3D dinosaurs in motion immerse visitors in a prehistoric wonderland. Your little ones may even want to pretend they’re part of the scene.

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Photo: San Diego Natural History Museum

Not Your Childhood Dinosaurs
Get ready to meet some “new” dinosaurs, mostly unknown creatures from the Southern hemisphere. These beasts evolved in isolation and have fascinating features. Dino lovers of all ages will enjoy learning about the fantastic fossil findings from South America, Africa, Australia and Madagascar. You’ll view a dinosaur larger than a T-Rex with tiny arms that never functioned at all, a feathered dinosaur as small as a chicken and the dominating Giganotosaurus, a monster of a dinosaur looming 43 feet-long.

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Photo: Cherie Gough

Dinosaurs IRL=Mind Blown
Your family will marvel at the incredible technology in this exhibit. Touch screens that you swipe like an iPad give bites of cool information, so visitors may dig deeper into what makes each dinosaur unique. The standout highlight are the stations with augmented reality screens. Lift up the screens and view what the skeletons would look like if they came to life, lumbering realistically and covered in skin. The experience is exciting and mind-blowing for kids of all ages.

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Photo: Cherie Gough

Prehistoric Puzzle
Older kids (and adults) will be enthralled with a large screen video game puzzle. Take a seat with 4 others and work as a team to piece together Pangaea as it appeared 260 million years ago. Each player chooses a piece of the puzzle and moves it on their touch screen, trying to guide it into place. Be warned: even for gamers, this takes teamwork and patience and can be frustrating for younger players. While older kiddos try their hand at the game, younger visitors will enjoy the play areas filled with toy dinosaurs stationed throughout the exhibit.

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Photo: San Diego Natural History Museum

More Roarin’ Good Times
The museum is hosting special family events to complement the new exhibit. The next Family Day on Sun., March 26 is a mega dinocentric celebration with a dinosaur scavenger hunt, science games, art and a special ride through prehistoric times on Ms. Frizzle’s Magic Schoolbus.

All summer long, learn more with your toddler or preschooler at Nature & Me Storytime – held the second Thursday of each month at 10:15 a.m. In June, explore long neck dinosaurs, in July the ferocious T. Rex and dig deep into fossils in August.

Ultimate Dinosaurs runs through Sept. 4, 2017.

Admission: $28/adults; $15/child 3-17 (Includes general admission, Ultimate Dinosaurs, and a film)

San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: sdnhm.org

Have you been to Ultimate Dinosaurs? What was your favorite part of the exhibit?

––Cherie Gough