Dinosaur UpROAR offers a realistic glimpse of the magnificent creatures that dominated terrestrial life millions of years ago (from the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, ranging from 65 million to 300 million years ago). The indoor exhibit, which runs through May 12, features life-sized dinosaur sculpture installations lurking throughout the garden’s lush vegetation. It’s an adventure through fearsome fauna and flora that is fun for the whole family.
Dinosaurs (and other prehistoric creatures like pterosaurs and a crocodile) range in size from a 14-inch Sordes to a 30-foot Parasaurolophus and a 33-foot tall Daspletosaur. These incredible sculptures are the work of Guy Darrough and his team at Lost World Studios, who bring the prehistoric world to life with amazing detail. Darrough’s works reflect his lifelong passion with paleontology. The knowledge gleaned from his expeditions around the world combine with his artistic vision to create these monumental sculptures that capture the essence of the creatures they depict.
Despite their extinction many years ago, dinosaurs continue to provide a valuable window to the past and insights about our planet. “We designed the exhibit to give guests of all ages an up close encounter with prehistoric creatures, as well as the plants that they co-existed with,” said Lauritzen Gardens Executive Director John Newman. “We want to inspire our community to learn more about the living world, both past and present.”
Signs containing detailed information about each dinosaur species accompany each installation. Adding to the authenticity of the exhibit is a collection of dinosaur fossils from Darrough, a curated collection of plant fossils on loan from the University of Nebraska State Museum, as well as an assortment of plants with prehistoric roots that are in the plant collection at Lauritzen Gardens.
Budding paleontologists can visit the dig site to uncover buried artifacts, play in the dinosaur garden, or participate in other fun drop-in activities created by the garden’s education department. A variety of educational programs, lectures, and excursions have also been planned throughout the duration of the exhibit to allow the community to discover more about our past.
Entrance to the exhibit is included with paid garden admission of $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children under 6 and garden members. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The exhibit is sponsored by Teri and Ron Quinn, a friend of the garden, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation, Claire M. Hubbard Foundation, Iowa West Foundation, Mammel Family Foundation, Ortho Nebraska, Nebraska Arts Council, and Lamp Rynearson, with the support of Emspace + Lovgren and the University of Nebraska State Museum.
DINO-MITE EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
February 15-17, 22-24, March 1-3, 8-10, 5 to 8 p.m. each evening
When the gates close and the sun goes down, guests get to explore the garden’s “Jurassic dark.” Get an evening fossil fix that’s fun for the whole family when the sculptures of Dinosaur UpROAR are illuminated (thanks to the amazing advancements in technology made since the Jurassic period). Included with paid garden admission or membership.
ADULT ONLY DINO-NIGHTS (must be 21 to enter)
February 21 and March 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
If you’re over 21 and still love dinosaurs, or maybe you like the idea of perusing the indoor gardens with a drink in hand, this RAWR-some happy hour is for you. These nights let you unleash your inner child, explore the garden and the exhibit Dinosaur UpROAR without children, and participate in fun activities. Perfect for a date night or an evening out with friends. $10 members, $20 non-members (admission includes one drink), cash bars will be available to purchase additional alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
THE GREAT PALEO PANEL*
Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m.
For those who can’t get enough of dinosaurs (and who can?), Lauritzen Gardens will be hosting an evening with distinguished scientists working in various aspects of paleontology, the study of fossil animals and plants. This panel will feature paleobotanist Dr. Mackenzie Taylor, vertebrate paleontologist Dr. George Engelmann, paleoecologist Dr. Karen Chin, and paleobotanist Dr. Garland (Gary) Upchurch, who will discuss their respective work in paleontology and conduct an interactive Q&A session with attendees. The cafe will be open to purchase dinner prior to the lecture and a complimentary dessert reception will follow. $15, $10 garden members. Pre-registration is required by March 21.
DINOSAUR YOGA FOR FAMILIES*
Saturdays: January 26, February 16, March 16, April 13 from 8 to 9 a.m.
Saturday, February 9 | 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Fossils
Saturday, March 9 | 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Dinos
READ AND GROW AT THE GARDEN*
Friday, February 15 | 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Fun with Fossils
Friday, March 15 | 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Dino-mite Stories
PAINTING WITH PINOT’S PALETTE*
Saturday, March 16 | 1:30 p.m. | Two Mini Canvas Cute-a-saurus (family)
Saturday, April 6 | 1:30 p.m. | Monty the Dinosaur (children)
Sunday, April 14 | 2 to 4 p.m. | Beautiful Brontos (adults)
EDUCATIONAL TRIPS, AND TOURS*
Friday, March 22 | 5:30 p.m. | Dinos at Twilight Tour
Wednesday, April 24 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Adult Field Trip: Fossils and Fauna in Lincoln
*indicates that the program requires pre-registration