Sink Your Teeth into Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park this Fall

September 19, 2012

Dino Discovery in Golden Gate ParkThis fall, families can sink their teeth into prehistoric fun in Golden Gate Park, where dinosaurs and ancient plants spring to life at three unique destinations: the California Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. As part of “Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park," each attraction will offer a variety of dinosaur-themed programs and events, all of which are within easy walking distance of one another.

At the California Academy of Sciences, visitors can travel through time and learn about the fascinating animals that once roamed the earth during a series of Jurassic in the Park programs from through November 15, 2012. This new series of events focuses on the evolution of dinosaurs, sharks, birds, and living fossils that still call this planet home and features the 3D show, Dinosaurs Alive! All programs are free with Academy admission (unless otherwise noted).

At the Conservatory of Flowers, you can step back in time—way back in time—on a journey through a real life land of the lost in its newest exhibition Plantosaurus Rex, open through October 21, 2012. It’s a prehistoric paradise of plants from the time of the dinosaurs when giant ferns, spiky horsetails, and primitive cycads grew in lush abundance and fed many of the monstrous reptiles that roamed the earth millions of years ago. You can read about our visit to Plantasaurus Rex here.

At the San Francisco Botanical Garden, visit the Ancient Plant Garden, which features plants from the Devonian through Eocene Periods. Docent-led walks, themed crafts, and prehistoric story times will help you travel back through time.

Dino Discovery family programs include:

  • Dinosaurs Alive! 3D Show
    at the California Academy of Sciences
    Shows daily
    See the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous brought to life in the 3D show Dinosaurs Alive! The show plays daily in the Forum Theater and follows renowned paleontologists as they discover new fossils and uncover evidence that dinosaur descendants are still among us. It features realistic and scientifically-accurate computer-generated dinosaurs. Seats are limited and show passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the Forum Theater to pick up 3D show passes.
  • Sharks to Dinosaurs: A Walk through Time
    at the California Academy of Sciences
    Daily at noon
    Uncover the earth’s ancient history and learn about the sharks, tortoises, and dinosaurs that first appeared millions of years ago as you explore the Academy’s exhibits. Step back in time and discover the unique adaptations these amazing species developed for thriving and surviving on a planet that was very different from our modern world.
  • Saturday Safari
    at the California Academy of Sciences
    Saturdays at 11 am
    All ages are invited to African Hall for an imaginary expedition around the corner or around the world. Navigate with maps to chart your exploration and use props, specimens, storytelling, and songs to set the scene for your travels. A special children’s book will be read each week.
  • Youth Dino Terrariums and Dino Print/Ancient Plant Rubbins
    at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Saturday, October 13 at 1:30 pm
    Come to the Botanical Garden for hands-on fun with plants and great take-home creations for kids ages 3–10.
  • Storytime and Family Walk
    at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Sunday, October 7 and Sunday, October 21 at 10:30 am
    Looking for a fun, free, and easy-to-coordinate activity? Join the San Francisco Botanical Garden in their cozy children’s book nook with comfy kid-sized cushions, a bevy of stuffed animals, and live storytellers. In October, story time travels back to the time of the dinosaurs and gets a visit from a dinosaur relative. Afterwards, families can enjoy a special docent-led children’s tour of the Ancient Plant Garden, following dino footprints on a walk through the history of plant evolution and looking at dino topiaries. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This event is suitable for children ages 4-8. Story time lasts about 30 minutes, and the tour departs from the library at 11 am. The library houses an excellent collection of books for children on plants, natural history, general sciences, and nature-related myths and stories.
  • KQED Dinosaur Train
    at the California Academy of Sciences
    Sunday, October 14 from 11 am–4 pm
    On Sunday, October 14, celebrate a day of discovery at the Academy with KQED and Buddy the T-Rex from Dinosaur Train! Bring a camera and a curious spirit and join Buddy as he explores the museum and greets visitors. Take the Nature Trackers Challenge and become a member of the Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers Club, a community of young children, families, and educators committed to learning about nature and protecting the environment.

All three attractions are located in and around the Music Concourse area of Golden Gate Park. To get there, take Highway 101 south across the Golden Gate Bridge, and take the Highway 1/19th Avenue exit onto Park Presidio Avenue. Follow Park Presidio and turn right on Balboa Street, left on 14th Avenue, and left again onto Cabrillo Street. Follow Cabrillo and turn right on 10th Avenue to enter the Music Concourse Garage, or continue to turn right onto 8th Avenue to enter into Golden Gate Park.

Limited four-hour street parking is available in the park; paid parking is in the park's Music Concourse Garage. Please note that on Sundays throughout the year and Saturdays from April through September many of the roads in Golden Gate Park are closed to vehicular traffic.