Jersey City, NJ – July 19, 2021 – It wasn’t quite 250 million years in the making, but Dino Dig Adventure was highly anticipated. Now this permanent outdoor exhibition has arrived at Liberty Science Center, aiming to bring the dinosaur age to life for anyone who digs dinosaurs.
Beginning on Wednesday, July 21, LSC guests will get a taste of what it’s like to be a real-life paleontologist. From physically digging and uncovering life-size replica dinosaur fossils to learning more about these prehistoric beasts, Dino Dig Adventure invites kids of all ages to celebrate paleontology through a fun, interactive, and unique experience.
“We view this new exhibition as an authentic tribute to the exciting world of paleontology,” said Paul Hoffman, the Center’s president and CEO. “We want to expose our guests to the exacting physical work as well as the evolving body of scientific evidence that inform our current understanding of the dinosaur age.”
At 1,750 square feet and 60 tons of sand, Dino Dig Adventure occupies LSC’s backyard, with a stunning view of the New York City skyline as a backdrop.
The experience begins by exploring the age-old question: “What did dinosaurs really look like?” Guests are greeted by life-size illustrations of some of the most iconic dinosaurs: a nearly 30-foot-tall Brachiosaurus, a 15-foot-tall Spinosaurus, and more, all the way down to a Velociraptor that measures up to the knees of most of the Center’s adult guests. These illustrations were created in conjunction with a paleoartist who used the latest research about dinosaur anatomy and colors to bring these creatures to life.
Once guests reach the outside portion of the exhibit, they become part of a scene conjuring up some of the world’s most iconic dinosaur dig sites like Ghost Ranch in New Mexico or Egg Mountain in Montana. The sandy dig site holds fossil replicas representing significant recent discoveries about dinosaur behavior. In three distinct dig pits, guests uncover the three unique phases of dinosaur age: the Triassic, which features a Coelophysis and a Phytosaur; the Jurassic, depicting the aftermath of a confrontation between an Allosaurus and Stegosaurus; and the Cretaceous, featuring a Maiasura adult and her nest. Dedicated amateur paleontologists may even uncover fossilized dino poop!
Guests climb into each pit to explore or go to table-height areas, which are wheelchair-accessible. They use a brush and their hands to remove sand and uncover fossils, then utilize the educational text and visuals around them to figure out which bones they have discovered. Each bone in the pit is cast from a real dinosaur fossil and has been custom-made by Research Casting International (RCI), which mounts specimens for museums all over the globe. This newly created exhibition is covered by a custom canopy designed to invoke the image of a giant Ankylosaurus, which will protect guest paleontologists from the elements nearly all year round.
The concept for Dino Dig Adventure started with a pop-up exhibit in 2016 honoring Jack Horner, the paleontologist who inspired the main character of Dr. Alan Grant in Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park.” Horner was honored with the LSC Genius Award that year, and opened the original “Dino Dig” on a visit to the Science Center.
“We saw incredible visitor interest back when we did a ‘Dino Dig’ pop-up in 2016 and knew that we had a hit on our hands,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Paleontologists’ discoveries are constantly updating our understanding of the prehistoric world, so Dino Dig Adventure will be updated as consequential discoveries are made. This exhibition is designed to reflect the dynamic nature of the science of paleontology.”
Liberty Science Center is celebrating the opening of Dino Dig Adventure with a full suite of “Summer of Dinos” programming. Guests will enjoy SUE: The T. rex Experience, an exhibition featuring an exact replica of the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever found, and Asteroids: Discovery, Danger and Dinosaurs, a new live show presented in the Center’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium.
To learn more and purchase tickets online, please visit LSC.org.
About Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot, not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers and bringing the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology to learners of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. Before COVID-19, more than 250,000 students visited the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participated in the Center’s off-site and online programs. Welcoming more than 750,000 visitors annually, LSC is the largest interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.