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Life-size dinosaurs invade South Florida Science Center | Video

Jennifer Jhon
Contact ReporterSouth Florida Parenting

The largest traveling exhibition of dinosaurs in America is roaring into South Florida on Saturday in the “Dinosaur Invasion” at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach.

Sixteen dinosaurs are featured in the Science Center’s newest and largest-ever indoor and outdoor exhibit, including life-size re-creations of Tyrannosaurus rex, Spinosaurus, Dakotaraptor and more. The exhibit is on display through April 21, 2019.

The dinosaurs are animatronic, meaning they move and roar. That element was a favorite for Katie Diamond, a mother of two from Jupiter who got a sneak peek with her sons Charlie, 4 months, and Perry, 2.

“We’ve been looking forward to this exhibit for quite a while,” she said. “We pulled up and [Perry] was like, ‘The triceratops is moving!’ ”

Other displays, such as the Dinosaur Naming Station and a sand pit outside with a buried T. rex skeleton, teach visitors about paleontology and fossils.

Julia Gonzalez, 10, a fifth-grader at Renaissance Charter School in West Palm Beach, also got an early look at the new exhibit. She liked the indoor space best. “It actually has the coolest dinosaurs,” she said. “They have the most colors, and they’re super pretty.”

She was surprised to see dinosaurs with feathers, reflecting recent scientific findings. “I knew they flew, but I didn’t know they had feathers,” she said.

Her classmate, Fabiola Perez, also 10, said her favorite was the T. rex. “It’s humongous, and we still have so many questions about it.” What did its roar sound like and what did it do with its tiny arms?

Kate Arrizza, the CEO of the Science Center, said dinosaurs are always popular. She first saw the exhibit in Jacksonville and thought it would be perfect for the center. “It’s a very interactive exhibit,” she said.

The dinosaurs aren’t limited to Science Center grounds, Arrizza said. Two animatronic dinosaurs have also been installed in Concourse C of the Palm Beach International Airport to welcome guests to Palm Beach County with style.

The Science Center plans to supplement the dinosaur exhibit throughout its six-month stay with special events, such as the Roar and Snore Family Sleepover planned Nov. 2-3. Families will be able to make plaster fossil claws, view a planetarium show, participate in a dino egg hunt and sleep next to a dinosaur. The $40 cost includes dinner, breakfast and all activities. To register, visit sfsciencecenter.org/sleepover.

Admission to “Dinosaur Invasion” and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is $17.95 for adults and $13.95 for ages 3-12. Exhibit admission comes with a scavenger hunt that guests can complete to earn a discount in the science gift shop. The Science Center is at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit sfsciencecenter.org or call 561-832-1988.

editor@sfparenting.com, jjhon@sunsentinel.com, 954-574-5316 or Twitter @sfparenting

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