Last year my youngest son became completely and utterly OBSESSED with dinosaurs. I mean, we learned about dino species that were total tongue twisters, perfected our own dino roars, and could recite just about every line of Jurassic Park. So when we heard about Brookfield Zoo’s Dinos Everywhere exhibit, we couldn’t wait to check it out. As a family that takes Covid precautions VERY seriously, we waited quite some time to hear visit feedback from others, practiced our social distancing techniques, and finally made the trek to see the dinos a few weeks ago and had an AMAZING time. A little apprehensive about what to expect? Then check out this Guide to Dinos Everywhere at the Brookfield Zoo.
Purchase your tickets online. To limit capacity and make everyone’s zoo experience as positive as possible, you must have advanced tickets for Brookfield Zoo. Be sure to purchase on a computer instead of your phone so you can see all the time slots available for the week/month, not just the day. Show up at your allotted time but don’t sweat it if you are a little late (early visitors will be turned away and asked to wait for their specific time). More info here.
Practice social distancing prior to visiting. Masks can be tricky for kids, especially on hot days, so practice wearing them at home (I love the tip of kids having to wear their masks while watching TV if they want to have screen time) as well as how to stay six feet away from others (standing still and reaching both arms out is a great way to help kids realize how much space they should give others). Stubborn mask wearer? Brookfield Zoo has some stylish solutions for the zoo lovers in your life.
Talk about what is and isn’t open before hand. Since my boys are dino-lovers, I knew that was the main thing they wanted to see. But if your kiddo loves the zoo’s playgrounds or watching the dolphins underground, you should definitely prepare them to see their favorite places closed. No indoor exhibits are open, but there is still lots of fun to be had, including the chance to feed giraffes and of course over 40 life-like animatronic dinosaurs through the Dinos Everywhere exhibit.
Bring a picnic! Most restaurants are closed due to Covid restrictions so pack your own spread to enjoy while visiting. There are TONS of picnic tables spread out throughout the park, and there are also some food stations open so you can still enjoy snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and frozen treats.
Take a photo of the Brookfield Zoo map when you enter since they are no longer passed out to visitors or download a map here. To help with your Dino’s Everywhere scavenger hunt, simply follow the MASSIVE dinosaur footprints stamped on the ground throughout the zoo. The dinosaurs are spread ALL OVER, but if you are looking for the biggest concentration of them head to the southeastern area of the zoo.
Prefer to avoid crowds? Then I would stick to places on the map where dinosaurs stand alone. There is much less traffic and it will be easier to keep six feet from other people. The zoo has TONS of signs that inform people of high-traffic areas where masks should be worn, but unfortunately not everyone abides by those signs. I also recommend visiting on weekday afternoons when the zoo is the least crowded.
Enjoy some fun photo opps. Whether you take a selfie with a dinosaur, take a boomerang of it flying, or showcase just how small we are compared to the massive creatures, there are tons of fun and creative ways to show off your Dinos Everywhere experience.
Bring home a dinosaur souvenir. There are now dinosaurs in the fun Mold-A-Ramas set up throughout the zoo. I challenged my kiddos to find at least 15 dinosaurs during our two hour Brookfield Zoo visit and they CRUSHED it, so they earned a dinosaur mold to take home. Psst…the t-rex mold-a-rama machine is by the rhinos and the triceratop mold is by the bear exhibit. The machines only take credit cards and there are hand sanitizer stations conveniently set up nearby.
Here’s to hoping that all of the Brookfield Zoo like the Hamill Family Play Zoo will be able to open up soon, but in the mean time enjoy the amazing Dinos Everywhere that will go extinct in November.
Check this growing list to plan your family’s next socially distant adventure.
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