Dinosaurs roam McGee Park Convention Center

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON — People of all ages had the chance to step millions of years back in time during an exhibit that brought dinosaurs to life at the McGee Park Convention Center.

Dasten Wiggins, 1, gets a close look at a  Triceratops during the Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed exhibit on Saturday at the McGee Park Convention Center.

The Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed event started today and will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

This is the second year Discover the Dinosaurs has come to McGee Park, but Chris White, the Discover the Dinosaurs company manager, said returning visitors will see a very different show this year. He said the exhibit has a lot of new features, including more activities for children.

White said the show's purpose is "for kids to be able to learn about dinosaurs and have fun."

It features animatronic dinosaurs that move their heads and tails, as well as a scavenger hunt for children and opportunities to ride on dinosaurs or dig for fossils. Signs inform families about the dinosaurs and where the fossils of each dinosaur had been found. Other signs invite families to take part in an activity, such as coming up with names for dinosaurs.

Sharay Fuller took her children, Dasten Wiggins, 1, and Serenity Wiggins, 3, to the event today.

"The kids have a major obsession with dinosaurs," she said, adding that they watch "Jurassic Park" on a daily basis.

The show provides visitors with information not only about dinosaurs but also about other animals that roamed the planet while dinosaurs were alive. A sign near the end of the animatronic dinosaur section of the traveling exhibit featured information about pterosaurs. Although the winged reptiles are not considered dinosaurs, the sign said the pterosaurs were relatives of dinosaurs and ranged in size from the sparrow-sized Nemicolopterus to the Quetzalcoatlus, which had a wing span of 40 feet.

Evan Mustill and Serenity Wiggins, 3, get their picture taken with a Tyrannosaurus Rex during the Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed exhibit on Saturday at the McGee Park Convention Center.

After leaving the display of dinosaurs, the visitors entered a section known as the Valley of the Bones, where the children could hunt for fossils.

Jeremy Goodnoh and his daughter, Jemma Rose, 3, searched for fossils in a water portion of the Valley of the Bones.

"She likes rocks and fossils, and I've liked them since I was a boy, too," Goodnoh said.

He said his daughter's favorite dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The popular dinosaur was also Caiden Bluehouse's favorite. The 3-year-old boy went to Discover the Dinosaurs with his cousin, Sapphire Bluehouse, 3, and his mother, Zoe Bluehouse, and uncle, Sutton Bluehouse.

Zoe Bluehouse said the cousins were a little scared when they saw the near-life-size dinosaurs moving and making noises.

After the initial shock, both Caiden and Sapphire enjoyed the display.

Families take in the Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed exhibit on Saturday at the McGee Park Convention Center.

"They both like dinosaurs," Zoe Bluehouse said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

If you go

What: Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: McGee Park Convention Center, 41 County Road 5568

Cost: $16 to $22 

More info: www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/