Rip-ROARING family fun!
Looking at the dinosaurs out in the wilds of the RFK Stadium parking lot, you can’t help but wonder if InGen, the sneaky dino-cloning corporation in the Jurassic Park movie franchise, have relocated their clandestine operation to the District.
But they’re not to blame. This time . . .
The prehistoric activity is the brain-child of Jurassic Quest (no connection to the movies), a drive-thru exhibition of more than 70 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, that made its DC debut Friday. You pull into Lot 5 at RFK Stadium, pull up an audio guide on your phone and drive a safari-like route through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods. Even the gift shop is drive-thru.
The Texas-based company is renting the site from EventsDC, which manages the RFK Stadium (which is scheduled to be demolished in a few years) for the city.
Jurassic Quest consulted with actual paleontologists when making the animatronic dinosaurs, so you’ll encounter true to life-sized dinosaur replicas from the very small, to the gigantic creatures that used to rule on land and sea, from a 80-foot Spinosaurus to a 55-foot Megalodon.
The audio tour is more than recorded sounds of roars, growls and jungle noises. Kind of like the car consoles in Jurassic Park, the audio automatically tells you informative and fun facts about each creature along the route. Fun Fact: Park Ranger Marty, one of the voice characters, reveals the infamous velicorapters in the Jurassic Park movie were probably a species called Deinonychus, but that name just didn’t sound as cool. Definitely a good call.
Part of the adventure includes meeting one of the baby dinosaurs and team of dino trainers, as well as take a safari=style photo of you and your vehicle against a dinosaur backdrop (one free picture per vehicle).
While Jurassic Quest boasts dozens of different species, it does not include DC’s official dinosaur: the Capitalsaurus. Construction workers found the bones of the Cretaceous-era beast in Southeast D.C. in 1898.
As a COVID precaution, you have to stay in your car the entire time and no walk-ups are allowed. The route takes about an hour depending on when you go, and the audio tour includes instructions to slow down to help ease traffic flow.
With the National Museum of Natural History and its dinosaur fossils exhibit still closed, Jurassic Quest is a great adventure for T-Rex obsessed littles, ages 7 and under. You might want to go at night when the dinosaurs are lit up to boost the level of excitement, but it could be a little scary for very young kids.
The cost of admission is $49 per vehicle (timed tickets must be purchased in advance), plus optional $15-$50 “dinosaur-themed quest pack add-ons” that come with three to five “dinosaur surprises.” The adventure park will be in DC from Nov 6 - 15.
So get your Paleo crew and head out to RFK Stadium to see what it might have been like when dinosaurs roamed DC.
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