By Meredith Somers
Rudolph has nothing on these guys.
This weekend, the D.C. Armory is going back in time, hosting “Discover the Dinosaurs.” The two-day event is billed as a family-friendly exhibit that combines education, fun and more than just fossils.
“Our dinosaurs are animatronic, they move, they breathe,” said show manager Tracy Beasley. “It’s more unique than going to a museum where it’s just bones.”
The show begins Saturday and organizers promise visitors will get an education and a good time.
“It’s both educational and entertaining,” said Eric Dornfeld, a member of the Blue Star Productions team, which produces the show. “It’s transformed into something pretty special to all of us.”
Dornfeld said the Shoreview, Minn.-based production company started off doing consumer shows and events, and when the opportunity came to look at broadening their offerings, the creators went back in time.
“What’s cool about dinosaurs is that there is all sorts of research that continues even as of today,” Dornfeld said. “It’s something that’s engaging but yet there’s a mystery about it that leaves some of it up to our imaginations.That’s the cool part of what we are doing.”
To give imaginations a boost, the producers of “Discover the Dinosaurs” created a sprawling exhibit with up to 10 dino-related scenes.
The scenes vary in size and dinosaur, but each is designed with a backdrop, plants, nets, and colors to reflect the natural environment of the giant reptiles.
“Kids are fascinated by dinosaurs,” Dornfeld said. “And you run across some 7- and 8-year-olds who are pretty darn good fact checkers.”
The exhibits also differ in how visitors can interact with them.
“The walk-through exhibits, some are customer controlled dinosaurs,” Dornfeld said. “You can push a button and make their tail move, or push a button and make them roar. That part is pretty cool. Kids like that.”
If the dinosaurs aren’t enough, the event also offers mini-golf and giant inflatables for children to help burn off the extra sugar from those Christmas cookies. But for all the extra activities, said Dornfeld, the hope is that people “come away with something they might not know about before.”
What: Discover the Dinosaurs
When: Dec. 20-21
Where: DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE
Ticket prices vary but are available at the door.
For more information visit www.discoverthedinosaurs.com
Photos courtesy of Discover the Dinosaurs