Animatronic dinosaurs coming to Duluth

Jurassic Quest, an edutainment experience boasting "the nation's largest herd of photorealistic dinosaurs," will be at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center July 1-3.

A large dinosaur exposes sharp teeth as a woman and young child smile and clutch one another beneath.
Jurassic Quest promises up-close experiences with lifelike animatronic dinosaurs.
Contributed / DECC
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DULUTH — Not to be at all confused with a certain popular movie franchise returning to theaters June 10, Jurassic Quest is coming July 1-3 to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

"The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos," according to a news release, "are displayed in realistic scenes with some that move and roar, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved."

For $22 each ($19 for seniors), kids and adults can enter Jurassic Quest to "meet dinos and prehistoric sea creatures, take a unique Dino Snap, search for fossils, watch a live Raptor Training Experience and more." Some rides and activities require additional activity tickets; a higher ticket price of $36 gets kids "all-you-can-ride access to dinosaur rides, inflatables and fossil dig."

A large Tyrannosaurus Rex model looms in the background as a smiling woman cradles a faux baby triceratops in the foreground.
Jurassic Quest employs "trainers" who interact with children while holding puppets of baby dinosaurs.
Contributed / DECC

According to Jurassic Quest producers, their experiences sold over 1 million tickets in 2019; during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jurassic Quest rolled out (so to speak) a drive-thru experience. With pedestrian dinosaur encounters once again available, the animatronic animals will land in Duluth over the bustling Independence Day weekend.

Parents who have reviewed the Jurassic Quest experience online have cautioned against potential crowding, encouraging attendees to purchase tickets in advance and consider scheduling their visits for the later hours in each day, when attendance often thins out.


A Sacramento mom who blogs as Gennifer Rose wrote: "The most impressive part of the Jurassic Quest experience is the huge scale of many of the dinosaurs which are true to life in size," adding, "the little kids seem to enjoy the inflatable slides and houses the most while the adults appreciate the displays and taking fun photos with the dinosaurs as keepsakes."

A Michigan mom who blogs as Mrs. Weber noted the long lines, but said the experience included a variety of activities that her kids enjoyed. At the end of the day she was a little frazzled, but the bottom line? "When I asked the kids if they had fun and they all said yes and that they would like to go again."

Meanwhile, there's a good chance "Jurassic World Dominion" will still be playing at the adjoining Marcus Duluth Cinema in early July, if you prefer your photorealistic dinosaurs to stay on the other side of a screen.

For information and tickets, see

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
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