Dinosaurs in the Desert – Phoenix Zoo

Traveling Exhibit | The Comeback Tour!

We decided to visit the Phoenix Zoo to see Zoolights on its last night of the season. While there we took advantage of an opportunity to see a new exhibit: Dinosaurs in the Desert. We had heard several ads on the radio along with a few on TV so we were a bit curious about it.

Phoenix Zoolights – A Nice Way to Wrap Up the Holiday Day Season

It was the last night of Phoenix Zoolights and a fitting way to spend time together as a family before returning to the post-holiday business-as-usual routine. We arrived at the zoo, just after dark and started our journey at the Lake Light Show, where we watched a stunning display of music, light, and imagery on a 50-foot LED tree floating on the water.

Next, we headed to Polar Park, where we enjoyed some interactive glowing swings, s’mores stations, and hot beverages. After that, we made our way to the Africa Trail, where we encountered over 50 animal lanterns that lit up the path. We saw lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, and more.

What to Expect During The Dinosaurs in the Desert Self Guided Tour

Ancient Beasts Dominate #My Family’s Dino-mite Adventure at the Phoenix Zoo

The Dinosaurs in Desert exhibit features more than two dozen animatronic dinosaurs that move and make sounds as if they were alive. They are spread out along the Desert Lives Trail, which is a scenic walk through the zoo’s desert habitats.

We started our journey by meeting a Kentrosaurus, a spiky lizard-like dinosaur that stood 6 feet tall. Next, we encountered a Troodon, which is a small but smart dinosaur with big eyes and sharp teeth. The hissing sound effects added a touch of realism to the display of creatures partially hidden behind the rocks and bushes.

As we continued our walk, we saw many more amazing dinosaurs of different shapes and sizes. Some of them were familiar to us, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Allosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Giant Bear. Others were new to us, like the Gigasaurus, which is one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs ever discovered; the Titanoboa, which is a giant snake-like creature; and the terror bird, a flightless bird with a powerful beak and the Sea Scorpion, which is part an extinct group of Arthropods related to the Horseshoe Crab.

We also learned a lot of interesting facts about each dinosaur from the information signs placed along the path. For example, we learned that:

  • The Megalania was an ancient lizard that could grow up to 23 feet long and weigh up to 1 ton.
  • The Smilodon was also known as the saber-toothed cat because of its long canine teeth that could measure up to 11 inches long.
  • The Deinonychus was a fast and agile dinosaur that had sharp claws on its feet that it used to slash its prey.
  • The Dimetrodon was not actually a dinosaur but an early mammal-like reptile that had a sail-like structure on its back.

There was also an interactive fossil dig site and a unique gift and souvenir shop filled with dino-themed merchandise. Overall, we spent about two hours exploring Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit before heading back to see a few of our other favorite parts of the zoo.

We had a great time and highly recommend visiting the Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo especially if you love dinosaurs or if you looking to have some family fun! It’s included with general zoo admission so you will not need to purchase extra tickets or make reservations. It’s definitely a worthwhile activity for the family. We had a blast seeing these colossal dinosaurs and other ancient beasts come back to life! Dinosaurs in the Desert is scheduled to be here through April 30, 2023.

For more information visit the Phoenix Zoo website or check the official ‘Come Back Tour’ event page.