New Dinosaur Adventure in Rosemont brings prehistoric creatures to life
If a measure of safety could be reasonably assured, who wouldn't want to take a walk through the land of the dinosaurs and glimpse a long-ago version of Planet Earth?
Visitors to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont will experience something like that this weekend when Dinosaur Adventure opens for a three-day run.
"This is a new event coming to the Chicago area," said Sanjay Syal, president of Pinnacle Production Group, the company behind the attraction, which takes place Friday through Sunday, Jan. 10-12.
Syal said that while the event is aimed at children up to age 13, it appeals to all ages.
"We have plenty of adults that come with kids that are fond of dinosaurs," he said.
Some 80 dinosaurs, all in motion, will be the centerpiece of the prehistorically-themed wonderland, where visitors can gawk at a towering, 25-foot-tall, 40-foot-long Tyrannosauras Rex; marvel at the long-tailed Diplodocus; and check out the velociraptor.
These dinosaurs are not the fierce, frightening giant reptiles that stalked human visitors in the movies, but they look a lot like them. These dinosaurs are of the kind, gentle, animatronic breed that visitors can ride, pet and cuddle. There are even a few that humans can control, said Syal, through technology that allows dinosaurs to mimic human movement.
Syal said the adventure's displays indicate which dinosaurs lived during which periods of history -- such as the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous Periods.
"The exhibit piece is 100 percent educational," he said.
Beyond the exhibits are the activities, some educational, some just for fun, which include a chance to dig for "fossils" in sand boxes and make silicone fossil castings, dinosaur-themed crafts and an opportunity to put on a miner's hat and dig for keepsake "fossils," Syal said.
"You'll see a lot of hands-on activities. We have Jeeps. They can drive around in them. It's designed for kids to drive in," Syal said. "There's a triceratops that actually walks. Kids can ride on it."
For the youngest set, there are cartoon-style dinosaurs to ride on and inflatable rides to bounce on, he said.
Live entertainment will include music and baby dinosaur puppets that kids can pet, he said.
Syal said Dinosaur Adventure, which recently visited Boston and is bound for Charleston, North Carolina, after its stop in the Chicago area, arrives in each city on the tour with between 7 and 10 truckloads of equipment and supplies.
"It is a challenge. We operate with about 50 to 60 people during the event -- tech people, artists and performers," he said.
Tickets are available online at dinosauradventure.com and, if still available, at the door.
Syal said the Boston show sold out, a popularity he attributes to the universal appeal of dinosaurs.
"Dinosaurs are something that fascinate every age group," he said. "It's something we grew up with, our kids will grow up and their kids will grow up with."
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When: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12
Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont
Tickets: $20 to $55