By 1812Blockhouse

This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. For the first time in two years, we’re sharing events taking place in-person, although by all means please all ahead and verify what social distancing, masking, etc.

Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.

Today we’re heading again to the Columbus area for a new treat for youngsters.

The ever-popular Dinosaur Island is back from extinction and is now open at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Dinosaur Island transports guests 65 million years in the past on a quest to find more than 17 animatronic dinosaurs. Made of steel with a urethane waterproof skin, the dinosaurs have eyes that shift, tails that move, mouths that roar, and electronic “brains” that activate and control their movements and sounds. The result is a thrilling experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages!

The animatronic dinosaurs arrived at the Zoo on May 2 and were unloaded from trucks by forklifts and cranes. Now that each dinosaur has been successfully placed, they are ready and “roaring” to greet Zoo guests!

Through Oct. 30 guests will have the chance to enjoy this expedition by foot path and the boat ride. A special admission ticket is required for entrance and is not included with Zoo admission. Admission to Dinosaur Island is $3 for general admission, $2 for Columbus Zoo members and free for Columbus Zoo Gold members, as well as included in the price of a ZooMore ride wristband. Explorers of all ages will enjoy this adventure, whether they have expert knowledge or are discovering dinosaurs for the first time.

Visitors can spot these ‘dino-mite’ dinosaurs and more around the island:

  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Lived in the late Cretaceous period (approximately 65 million years ago). Name means “tyrant lizard king.”
  • Megalosaurus: Lived in the middle Jurassic period (170-155 million years ago). First dinosaur to be discovered. Name means “Great Lizard.”
  • Pachyrhinosaurus: Lived in the late Cretaceous period (76-74 million years ago). Plant eater; named because of a bony plate where similar species commonly had a horn.
  • Brachiosaurus. Lived in the late Jurassic period (145 million years ago). One of the tallest dinosaur that ever lived!
  • Stegosaurus. Lived in the late Jurassic period (155 to 145 million years ago). Spikes on their tail were used for self-defense.

The dinosaurs were acquired from Billings Productions, Inc./The Dinosaur Company located in Allen, Texas. Billings Productions, Inc./The Dinosaur Company is the leading provider of animatronic dinosaurs for zoos, museums and theme parks in North America. They specialize in producing large, life-size animatronic dinosaurs that can withstand outdoor weather for traveling or permanent exhibits. Billings Productions Inc./The Dinosaur Company is a women-owned, minority-owned, small business with international clients. The company has been sharing incredible dinosaur experiences with the public since 2004. In addition to the dinosaurs acquired from Billings Productions, Inc./The Dinosaur Company, six animatronic, prehistoric creatures were custom made by the Zoo’s own Planning team.

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