New Attractions: Dinos, Dragons And Grunion, Oh My!

By Michael Berick

los angeles attractions

You can encounter a Stegosaurus at the L.A. Zoo. PHOTO COURTESY BILLINGS PRODUCTIONS

Some interesting creatures are appearing around Southern California beginning this May – dinosaurs in Griffith Park and sea dragons in Long Beach.

Visitors will do double takes when they spot a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus and a Citipati at the L.A. Zoo (5333 Zoo Dr., L.A.; www.lazoo.org/dinos). But these aren’t real, live prehistoric creatures. They’re amazing, life-size animatronic creations that are part of the “Dinosaurs: Unextinct At The L.A. Zoo” exhibit running April 15 through Oct. 31. You can walk through a special habitat to view a magnificent array of mechanized dinosaurs, make a Stegosaurus robot move, climb a Pachyrhinosaurus and go on a fossil dig. It should make for a dynamic dino adventure. The zoo is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and exhibit entrance is $5 plus admission: $20 adults, $15 ages 2-12.

A pair of intriguing exhibits running May 27-March 31, 2017 at the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach; www.aquariumofpacific.org) will let families explore the mysterious worlds of some unusual marine inhabitants. The “Horses and Dragons” exhibit will introduce a variety of seahorses and sea dragons. These colorful members of the Syngnathid family have been around for millions of years but are imperiled by today’s environmental threats. Sea creatures such as the speckled dace, pygmy corydoras and cardinal tetra, found in the concurrent “Vanishing Animals” exhibit, also find themselves battling extinction, and you can learn about ways to help prevent these animals from vanishing from our planet. Admission to the aquarium, which is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., is $29.95 adults, $17.95 ages 3-11.

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.com), meanwhile, will go ga-ga for grunion at its annual Fish-tival from 7 p.m.-midnight May 23. At this big celebration for the tiny fish, you can create grunion origami, test your grunion IQ, hatch grunion eggs and spend the night observing these cute fish out on the beach. Warm clothes are recommended for this outdoor event, and you can get a special gift if you wear an aluminum grunion-watching hat. Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children.

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