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DISCOUNT: Enter ‘Jurassic World’ at the Franklin Institute

It's here, and it's big, fun, and thrilling.

The Franklin Institute, a partner and the host of this year’s Philadelphia Family and Main Line Parent School and Camp Fair, is offering our readers a special discount! Use the code JWGENER to get $5 off up to four adult daytime tickets to “Jurassic World: The Exhibition.” To buy your tickets, visit the institute’s website or call 215-448-1200. 


Get ready to set sail for Isla Nublar: Jurassic World: The Exhibition” is open at the Franklin Institute, the blockbuster exhibit’s first stop in North America.


Based on the massively popular movie, the exhibit takes a page from theme parks and tries to immerse visitors in the experience of standing beside dinosaurs brought back to life. They’re really robots, but they’re startlingly lifelike, with captivating eyes and smooth movements.


“It is the closest our visitors will ever come to living, breathing dinosaurs,” Larry Dubinski, the museum’s president and CEO, said during a press conference.


Jack Horner, the paleontologist who worked on Jurassic Park and all of its sequel movies (and is the inspiration for a main character in several of the movies), said Philadelphia is the perfect place to unveil the exhibition, because of its history. The first dinosaur skeleton was discovered in 1858 in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and placed on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences, now owned by Drexel University. (That museum, across the street from the Franklin, has its own robot dinosaur exhibit right now.)


Horner said it was that skeleton that helped spark his interest in juvenile dinosaurs, which became his life’s work.


“Philadelphia is the center of the world that becomes Jurassic Park,” he said.


And it’s that kind of inspiration that the Franklin wants to bring to children and other visitors to the “Jurassic World” exhibit, which offers plenty of hands-on learning, from a chance to touch dinosaur dung and bones to a touchscreen interface that lets you design your own dinosaur. It’s fun, and certainly thrilling, even for adults.


Ready to check it out? Here’s the scoop.

What You’re In For

The opening will feel familiar if you’ve ever been to a big theme park: you’re ushered in to a room that’s designed to feel like a boat to Isla Nublar, the fabled home of the fictional Jurassic World. The setup? You’re a VIP guest, headed for a special behind-the-scenes tour. Everything is perfectly safe, according to the reassuring ranger on your screen.


And, in fact, the exhibit starts with the more friendly dinosaurs. A placid Brachiosaurus towers over you, swaying gently, and a Parasaurolophus grazes nearby. A mother and baby are together in a petting zoo area. Then, visitors can get a glimpse at the Hammond Creation Lab, where they can learn about real-life DNA science.


Things get more intense in the Velociraptor paddock — and then, without ruining anything, it’s Tyrannosaurus rex time. It’s a massive, lumbering beast, and it’s a big thrill. There’s one final surprise, but you’re going to have to see it for yourself.



What You Want to Know

Is it too intense for small children? That depends on your child. Most of the areas with the dinosaurs are quite dark, so younger kids might be as unnerved by that as much as the moving, roaring dinos. Any kid who loves dinosaurs will probably like it, and none of the action is particularly intense or surprising. For example, it’s less scary than a Star Wars or Harry Potter movie.


How much does it cost? Tickets are for $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for kids ages 3-11 during that day, which includes admission to the museum. For a nighttime ticket that’s just for the exhibit, you’ll pay $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. Museum members pay $13.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids 18 and under. You’d be smart to buy in advance.


Is it worth it? That’s for you to decide. But if you’ve got a budding paleontologist who’s over the age of 5, this is probably going to be a top priority.


“Jurassic World” will be here through April 23, 2017. The Franklin Institute is at 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia.


Photographs by James Thomas and courtesy of the Franklin Institute.



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