Dinosaurs invade downtown Wilmington this weekend

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Discover the Dinosaurs, a national touring interactive exhibit devoted to the prehistoric lizards, runs Saturday and Sunday at the Wilmington Convention Center.
Discover the Dinosaurs, a national touring interactive exhibit devoted to the prehistoric lizards, runs Saturday and Sunday at the Wilmington Convention Center.

The Port City is going prehistoric this weekend.

National touring exhibit Discover the Dinosaurs comes to the Wilmington Convention Center, 515 Nutt St., Saturday and Sunday with a look at the giant reptiles and their habitats.

Visitors can see true-to-size dinos–both static and animatronic–in the period that reflects when they lived. The scene is fully set with lighting, sound effects and fog. Pick up a scavenger hunt at the entrance to track the dinosaurs throughout the exhibit.

You can even hop in a saddle and take a once-in-a-lifetime ride on the back of a terrifying T-Rex or Triceratops for a photo op.

In addition to the life-like replicas, there will be a theater screening educational and entertaining movies on a “dinosaur-sized screen” throughout the day and a themed mini-golf course.

Children and adults can take a 'ride' on a triceratops or T-Rex.
Children and adults can take a “ride” on a triceratops or T-Rex.

A gem and fossil panning station allows you to purchase a bag of mining rough and step up to the sluice to shake it out in running water, and you can don a headlamp-equipped hardhat to find hidden rocks, gems, and fossils located in a dark makeshift mine shaft.

Specifically for the little ones, a “dino dig” gives budding paleontologists a chance to discover fossils, while the “dino den” houses less ferocious versions of the creatures that can be hugged, touched and climbed upon. And there will be a host of inflatables on hand, as well as face painting in a variety of dinosaur designs.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $19 for children ages 2-12. Children under 2 years of age are admitted free and senior tickets are $12 each. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets in advance. Admission is also available at the door.

A map shows the typical layout of the touring exhibit, which includes mini-golf, a theater and inflatables.
A map shows the typical layout of the touring exhibit, which includes mini-golf, a theater and inflatables.