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Jurassic Gardens | The Immersive Dinosaur Experience

Posted on 2021-07-08

The Volo Auto Museum has some exciting new neighbors, and they’re over 65 million years old. Jurassic Gardens is a brand-new, state-of-the-art museum experience that opened to tremendous success in May 2021. With an indoor exhibit that includes over 40 animatronic dinosaurs, a fossil dig, mining sluice, arcade and more attractions, the Jurassic Gardens experience is fun for the whole family.

Your Experience at the Jurassic Gardens Exhibit

When you walk into the Jurassic Gardens experience at Volo Auto Museum, you see a towering T-Rex that overlooks the entryway and greets visitors. Because Jurassic Gardens is a year-round indoor attraction, we can make permanent displays that create a greater, more realistic experience for our guests.

Unlike traveling dinosaur shows that are set up and torn down quickly, our attraction is permanent and immerses visitors in a prehistoric atmosphere. With special lighting, background sound effects, foliage and more ambient details, you'll feel like you’re walking through a jungle in a natural habitat.

Jurassic Gardens grew from an idea that began when the Volo Auto Museum closed its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners Greg and Myra Gram envisioned the new museum as an immersive experience designed to pull visitors back into prehistoric lands and imagine themselves roaming near dinosaurs. Crews gutted an old, 13,000-square-foot mall and carefully crafted the animatronic experience with greenery, realistic pathways, a theater-quality sound system, science labs and playgrounds. 

The goal of the experience, as Volo Auto Museum and Jurassic Gardens director Brian Grams says, is to create a dream come true for kids.

Over 40 Animatronic Dinosaurs

Are you interested in visiting our resident dinosaurs at Jurassic Gardens? We have over 40 animatronic dinosaur displays that are unlike any other, with high-quality, lifelike movements. Our dinos' heads, tails and arms move. What's more, we've employed the technology to create even smaller motions. Watch for the tiniest details, such as a moving belly that simulates breathing and realistic blinking glass eyes.

Additionally, our state-of-the-art theater sound systems broadcast realistic dinosaur sound effects, so you'll feel like you're walking through the heart of a prehistoric jungle. Since we've created a detailed indoor space, it feels like a natural environment. 

Hands-On and Interactive Activities

One of the best and most exciting ways for children to learn is through hands-on activities. That’s why the Jurassic Gardens experience provides a number of exciting interactive opportunities for kids to explore. These activities include:

  • Dino-Dig: Become a fossil expert and discover dinosaur skeletons carefully crafted to look millions of years old. Your kids can brush away topsoil made of rubber mulch to find the dinosaur artifacts that lay beneath.
  • Dino-themed playground: Will your family need a break while walking through our exciting Jurassic experience? Visitors can relax in our lush outdoor park while watching their kids burn off energy in our riveting, dinosaur-themed playground.
  • Mining for fossils and gems: Adventure awaits over at our built-in water sluice. Your children can use the fossil and gem sandbags available for purchase at our dino gift shop at the sluice to pan for incredible treasures.
  • Dino-Lab: Encouraging curiosity makes kids want to learn. Budding scientists can explore fossils and eggs, learn about various discoveries and stand next to a dinosaur bone to compare their sizes in our kid-centric Dino-Lab. 

Additional Educational Activities

Just like the Volo Auto Museum, we designed Jurassic Gardens to educate while it entertains. We display each of our dinosaurs with an information board intended to showcase each species to visitors. Additionally, we show you the science behind the magic with several exhibits showcasing fossils and skeletons. Look out for displays that explain the paleontology of some of our dinosaur residents. 

At Jurassic Gardens, we aim to make the experience about more than just the dinosaurs. We've carefully designed our realistic indoor atmosphere to recreate the same plants, foliage and sound effects that one might have experienced in the real Jurassic era.

Numerous Photo Spots

For visitors who like to memorialize their visit with pictures, Jurassic Gardens provides numerous photo spots to help visitors take the perfect picture of their experience. Climb into the mouth of a T-Rex or inside a Pterodactyl egg to snap a memorable photo. 

Raptor Pen Arcade

Visitors who seek some competition will enjoy Jurassic Gardens’ Raptor Pen, a brand-new, state-of-the-art arcade. The Raptor Pen features 17 skill games, from cranes to cutting the rope, all with a chance to win prizes.

Gift Store

Are you looking for the perfect dinosaur-themed gift or souvenir? The Jurassic Garden gift shop features a unique selection of items ranging from dinosaur toys and water bottles to hats and shirts.

ShowBiz Pizza Place

Do you want to enjoy pizza and a show after your Jurassic Gardens experience? You can, right within the Volo Auto Museum. ShowBiz Pizza Place is a retro eating experience that pays homage to the pizza parlors of the ‘80s and ‘90s. With delicious food ranging from nachos to ice cream treats, ShowBiz has the snacks you need to recharge you after a long and exciting day with dinosaurs. 

Plan a Visit

At Jurassic Gardens, we pride ourselves on being a family-friendly and affordable experience. The Jurassic Gardens museum is open year-round and daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for select holidays. Admittance to the experience ends at 4 p.m. 

Our convenient location in the heart of Volo, Illinois, is only 10 miles west of I-94 and conveniently located near the Fox Lake Metra Station. 

Tickets are available both online and in person. Visitors who are interested in stopping by the Volo Auto Museum in addition to Jurassic Gardens can purchase a combo ticket and save on admission price. 

Jurassic Gardens is the perfect experience for an educational field trip. Advanced reservations are available and required for groups of 15 or more people.

Access more information about ticket pricing, parking, location and more.

Plan your family’s trip to Jurassic Gardens at the Volo Auto Museum today!