Family Fun

Dinos Are Alive (Kind of) at the Natural History Museum

The super-cool (honestly, so super-cool) life-size dinosaur puppets have returned to roar some more.

Natural History Museum

We encounter dinosaurs everywhere, or so it seems.

The ancient beasties can be found on t-shirts, greeting cards, wrapping paper, and gummy snacks, too. And if our hats, pajamas, games, puzzles, and toys require prehistoric flair, the scaly superstars are there.

But having a Dinosaur Encounter at the Natural History Museum?

That's an encounter of a very different sort, for the dinosaurs you'll see at the science-focused destination are on the move, really, and they're not up on a screen, honestly, and you may wonder if you're not actually watching some extinct animal suddenly spring to magical life, incredibly.

The magic part?

The special program, which is returning to the Exposition Park museum after a hiatus, features intricately designed life-size dinosaur puppets. These carefully crafted artworks aren't hand puppets, to be clear, or even the sort of larger puppet you might wear like a sleeve.

Rather, the sizable figures seen in the Dinosaur Encounters program have talented puppeteers operating them from the inside, which gives every step, slight motion, and subtle shift of a dinosaur's large head some truly astonishing realism.

We may never time travel back to the Triassic or Jurassic Periods, but we can find our way to the museum for these Dinosaur Encounters, which is again raising a roar, twice each day, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

If you share your home with a devoted dinosaur-ologist, the sort of super-smart kid (or former kid) who knows the name and genus of every enormous reptile that formerly called our planet home, they'll likely want to know which dinos these remarkable puppets represent.

That would be T. Rex, because of course we want to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex in person (sans any "Jurassic Park"-style chases or drama, of course), as well as the regal Triceratops, that horn-rocking herbivore sporting the famous frill.

"Each show explores a different theme," says the Natural History Museum site, so not only do guests get to see a dinosaur on the move, but an educational component adds prehistoric panache to the program.

Seeing a behemoth lived a long, long, long ago tromping through a room? It's $6 if you're not a member of the museum, and free if you are.

Your Dinosaur Encounters ticket will be in addition to your museum admission, so do keep that in mind.

Tromp by this page now for roar, we mean more on the welcome return of an imaginative puppet program, one that brings the giants from our jammies, toy boxes, and dino-focused daydreams to spectacular life.

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