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Summer of Dinos

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A small fabricated prehistoric creature made of natural materials.
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An ad for Summer of Dinos at the Morris Arboretum & Gardens.
May 25 — September 30, 2024
Free with general admission
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Visitors are invited to discover Plants in the Age of Dinosaursa self-guided exhibition featuring plants in our collection with roots that go back to prehistoric times. There is also a brand-new dinosaur exhibition in the Garden Railway, Garden Railway: Dinos! Plus, there will be a pop-up paleontologist’s cottage featuring hands-on “dig stations,” special family-friendly programming including Fossil Fridays, dino story time, and much more!  

If you were to travel back in time to the Mesozoic Era, which lasted from approximately 252 million years ago to 66 million years ago, you would find a world much different than our own. Not only was it a time of great geologic and biological transition, but the world had some of the hottest temperatures ever known. As the climate changed, plants changed, too! Flowering plants appeared and led the way to an era that supported greater numbers and variety of dinosaurs than any other. Meat-eating animals like the Tyrannosaurus rex got their energy by eating plant-eating dinosaurs like the Triceratops, which got their energy by eating plants and the plants got their energy from sunlight! Without these plants, the food chain would have been incomplete.

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Plants in the Age of Dinosaurs

In Plants in the Age of Dinosaurs—a new self-guided exhibition that runs from Saturday, May 25, 2024 through Monday, September 30, 2024—visitors will learn more about the plants in our collection with roots that go back to prehistoric times. Join Morris Arboretum & Gardens as we travel back to the Mesozoic era, a time 252 to 66 million years ago (MYA) that saw the dominance of reptiles and conifers, the rise of dinosaurs, and the emergence of flowering plants.  

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Garden Railway: Dinos!

This summer, we will unveil a brand new exhibition in our popular Garden Railway – Garden Railway: Dinos!  With more than 15 different rail lines running along a third of a mile of track, visitors will enjoy a spectacular display of dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Velociraptor all made out of natural materials such as bark, leaves, and twigs. As one of the largest outdoor miniature train displays in the United States, the Garden Railway will delight and amaze visitors of all ages. 

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Paleontologist’s Cottage

The Paleontologist’s Cottage features hands-on “dig stations,” special family-friendly programming including Fossil Fridays, dino story time, and much more!

Fossil Fridays • 11 am

Friday, June 7
Friday, July 5
Friday, August 2
Friday, September 7

Storytime • 10:30 am

Wednesday, July 17 
Wednesday, August 21

More info below.

Summer of Dinos Events