Dino Safari Brings Larger Than Life Prehistoric Animals to Quincy Market (4.5 Stars)
Last fall dinosaurs roamed Massachusetts in Foxboro at Jurassic Quest (5 stars). Now, in a different experience, the giants of our prehistoric past invade the city of Boston as they take up residence at Quincy Market. We love dinosaurs in New England, which is known for its dinosaur bones and footprints, for example at Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut and the free museum at Amherst College.
Dino Safari is a walk-through exhibit with dozens of life-sized dinosaur exhibits. Even before you enter Dino Safari at Quincy Market, you’ll see a massive Spinosaurus, a two legged dinosaur with a great spinal plate on its back. You get a bit of show even before you buy a ticket. It is impossible to miss and makes you want to see more.
The event is geared towards families, though has enough facts and fossils to intrigue even a veteran archeologist. Almost all of the dinos make noise and have some movement, with ferocious teeth and moving jaws. It might be too much for very small children, but it’s not frightening. The dinosaur movements are slow and deliberate, and the noise is not overpowering. It is truly a show for all ages, and most kids will be fascinated by the giant creatures come to life right in front of them.
When you enter, you are given a passport into “the continent of Pangea”, the world that the dinosaurs roamed when all of Earth’s continents were merged into one. Once inside, you get a short cartoon movie introducing you to the world of dinosaurs, a brief introduction to the many beasts that you are about to meet face to face. Then you cross a curtain to see the life-sized dinos of the exhibit.
The creatures look both ferocious and friendly. They roar and move and make for great photo ops. Pose for a selfie with your favorite dinosaur, which is perfect for social media. Whereas the competing event Jurassic Quest occurred at the height of the pandemic and placed dinosaurs outdoors in a parking lot, Dino Safari is indoors, where lighting and backdrops add to the feeling of really being there. Dinos are displayed in prehistoric jungle settings, perched upon rocks and in trees. The lighting is more staccato as if viewing the creatures in a forest as light filters down through leaves. The result is a great environment for which to experience the dinosaurs. It feels more natural which adds to the lifelike appearance of the exhibits.
If you know only a little about dinosaurs, you will see the familiar species that you expect to see. And lesser known species are shown, so there is something for everyone to learn . If you are a fan of Carnotaurus, one of the largest predators to ever roam the Earth, or the mighty T-Rex, the most famous of the big beasts, you will get your chance to say hello. A Triceratops, Velociraptors and Brontosaurus are featured. One that might surprise you is the Neovenator – which literally means the “New Hunter.” This is a lesser known but still fascinating dinosaur that you may not know about.
Interestingly, some of the dinosaurs displayed have feathers and fur. This is because some scientists speculate that dinosaurs had feathers, fur, and multicolored skin. Kids are even given crayons and encouraged to draw pictures of their own dinosaurs with whatever color they choose. It’s a nice touch that illustrates that our knowledge of dinosaurs is ever changing and that science can change over time.
Although most of the dinosaurs are behind ropes, so you can’t join them in their exhibits, a number of kids did reach out and pet the dinos as if they were kittens. This made the experience more interactive. Touch, sights and sound combine to create an immersive experience.
Comparing Dino Safari to the Jurassic Quest event that we reviewed last year, there were far more dinos at Jurassic Quest because they had a massive parking lot to display them in. There was more variety at Jurassic Quest as well, which featured aquatic and land animals.
Dino Safari was a more intimate show, where the draw is being able to get up close and personal with the exhibits, with the lighting and backdrops creating a much more realistic feel. Dino Safari also had some fossils, bones and skulls that those looking for more scientific artifacts. One aspect I liked at Jurassic Quest was the audio that you could play while seeing the exhibits. Dino Safari had brief written descriptions of each animal, but lacked a deep dive that adults would appreciate. At Dino Safari you could listen to roaring and snarling from the dinos. Each exhibit was worth a visit. For dinosaur fans, you can never get enough!
Dino Safari is open now and will be on exhibit until January 22, 2022. It’s fun for kids, adults, and educational too. It takes about an hour to walk through the whole exhibit
For more information, see Dino Safari.
And see our video review!