We saw 17 of them, to be exact, in animatronic form. The creatures roar, snarl, blink, move their limbs and even open their jaws as if they’re ready to take a bite of something (or someone!).
“Whoa!” said both our boys, ages 3 and 8, as we encountered a giant T-Rex, staring right at us. All of the dinosaurs are realistically recreated, but this one, facing guests as they enter an exhibit room, looked like it was about to move toward us. The exhibit lighting is dim, with spotlights on the dinosaurs, standing grouped in several small (but tall!) rooms. A huge skeleton replica of an Omeisaurus, a long-necked herbivore, runs 57 feet long and dominates one section of the exhibit.
Our two boys were most fascinated by the fossil digging areas where children pretend to be paleontologists, digging up dinosaur bones. For younger kids, it’s similar to an upscale sandbox with discoveries to find once they brush the sand away. Older children can use their detective skills to uncover bones, part by part, and use their newfound dinosaur knowledge to determine which species roamed that spot.
The “Make Me Move” stations, located at a handful of the dinosaur models, allow visitors to press buttons to control specific dinosaur body parts. We made a dino roar, blink its eyes, thrash its tail and turn to look around. We thought there was a good mix of familiar dinosaurs most kids would recognize, as well as some that we learned about for the first time.
We spent about 45 minutes touring the exhibit, with much of that time spent on the interactive elements. Older children who are big dino fans would likely take an hour or more to explore. The exit is through the gift shop, where you’ll find plenty of dinosaur-themed merchandise.
– Sharie and Lou Bassett
Extreme Dinosaurs Exhibit
Atlantic Station Premier Exhibition Center. 265 18th St., Atlanta
Cost: $18; ages 3-11, $13; 2 and younger, free; save $2 per person by ordering tickets online in advance.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.