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'A feeling of awe': Jurassic Quest puts you face-to-face with life-sized dinosaurs

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Life-sized giants from over 65 million years ago were on display this weekend at Prairieland Park, entertaining families with interactive exhibits, play areas and animatronic dinosaurs.

Dino trainer Carolyn Barker says the event also aims to educate kids while they’re having fun.

“Kids, and big kids like us, have a feeling of awe when we come face to face with a life-sized dinosaur,” said Barker. “Or when we see big teeth and horns like this Carnotaurus behind me. So at Jurassic Quest, we’re creating an interactive experience where you feel like you’re walking among the dinosaurs.”

Using technology like QR codes where kids can scan their favourite dinosaurs to learn more online, Barker says it helps keep returning families entertained while reaching all audiences.

“I think all ages, there’s something that strikes you about the dinosaurs that makes you reflect a little bit on the earth and our life on earth,” Barker told CTV News. “How we’re changing and evolving, so it’s beautiful to see that.”

With opportunities to see real fossils and prints as well as bouncy castles and rides, kids had plenty of activities to pick favourites.

“Playing on the bouncy house,” said Kase, a young visitor who also got to pet baby dinosaurs. “Triceratops and Brontosaurus.”

While others liked seeing the giant footprints left behind by ancient beasts.

“Oh yes, the footprint fossil, a T-Rex,” said Linkyn, who added which dinosaur is his favourite. “The Spinosaurus is my favourite one of all.”

Meanwhile, Barker, a teacher by trade, is excited to visit Regina in a few weeks to wrap up the Canadian leg of the tour. She’s eager to see the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil in the world, discovered in 1991 near Eastend.

“You guys are lucky here to live in a place that has dinosaur fossils,” she said. “I heard yesterday that a T-Rex was discovered in Saskatchewan, and I’m excited to go visit the T-Rex in Regina.”

Jurassic Quest will make stops in Winnipeg and Regina over the next two weekends.

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