Friday, July 22, 2016

L.A. Zoo: Lions, Tigers and Dinosaurs Oh My!

The L.A. Zoo is always a great place to take the kids. I love it because it's a learning environment and the kids love it because they get to see all the animals. This year the L.A. Zoo has kicked it up a notch with a temporary "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" exhibit. What a summer of fun this is making.

As we made our way to the zoo early this summer, my daughters noticed the posters for the "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" exhibit. It was our first stop as we entered the zoo. With excitement we entered. Quickly my daughters smiles turned into jaw opening stares. The Dinosaurs are so life like that they took my breath away. There are 17 animatronic creatures on display. Each is life size and you can see how attentive to detail the creative team was. As I walked though the exhibit I had that moment of,  'what if they were real how do I get away from them.'  I would like to tell you that, like we do at all other animal areas, I stood there reading the facts to my girls, but I didn't. The girls made sure we stayed right in the center and kept walking. 

one of two water spiting Dilophosaurus
You may remember the Dilophosaurus from Jurassic Park as being able to spit venom. Well at the L.A. Zoo it spits water and to my girls it may well have been venom. It caught them by surprise and this mommy had a laugh at their expense. As I mentioned each dinosaur has great detail from the scaly skin to  sharp teeth. Each dinosaur has a special feature such as moving eyes (that feel like they follow you), mouth opening, heads turning, roaring noise and more. Each one gave us a little feel at what it would be like to live during their time.

Above is the Stegosaurus robot that the children can each take a turn at moving different parts.  It also, shows the children all that is behind each dinosaur for those future engineers.

Don't miss this great photo op with the life size Pachyrhinosaurus

This sight of the Tyrannosaurus Rex lunching on a Triceratops really gave us a taste of the Jurassic time.

In addition to the Stegosaurus robot the children can each practices dig up fossils. This was a great resting stop for us moms, because the kids really enjoyed this activity.

Specially trained guides are around (not always) to educate you on some current facts that even us adults may not know. Such as did you know that, "longstanding assumptions that dinosaurs were predominantly green or gray (shades that would have allowed them to blend into their environments) are being challenged by theories that color may have played an important role in dino society" according to our guide. He went onto tell us that, "the dinosaurs that they are certain of (color wise) are the ones with feathers, as the feathers have maintained some of the color." This would be the case of the Utahraptor, my daughters biggest fear.   

scarier in person

We make a detour though the "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" exhibit just about every time we are there and the girls love it. They have sure been frighten, but now my daughters are more into dinosaurs then ever. You never know when a little detour can make for great memories.

At the end of the day the L.A. Zoo has something for everyone. And for us moms trying to get a workout in, this is your our door gym. Remember the sun screen and to stay hydrate. This is one roaring adventure.

Something that I just came across and is worth a visit is the California Condor area. This indoor learning/ activity area is location in the building to the left as you exit the Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo gift shop. I hate to call this a play area, but it really is just that. This area is dedicated to learning all about the Condors. There is scavenger hunts, dress up as a condor, a clinic and the whole place is free for climbing. This is an interactive and learning area. The last time we were there the staff members were amazing. One helped my daughter find "food" for the condors and then took her to the vet area.  

++ Note the "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" exhibit is an addition $5 cost per person (in addition to regular zoo admission and membership). Children under 2 are free.