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Drive-through safari brings 70 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs to Long Island

Jurassic Quest, a drive-through dinosaur experience, is coming to Point Lookout Beach Oct. 14 through Oct. 18. It features more than 70 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs accompanied by an audio show. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca

Due to popular demand, the Jurassic Quest drive-through dinosaur safari will remain on Long Island through Oct. 18.

The prehistoric tour at Point Lookout Beach features more than 70 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs accompanied by an audio show.

"You can imagine yourself driving in the Jeep in ‘Jurassic Park,’ seeing the dinosaurs all around you," says Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, who adds his 7-year-old son is eager to go. "The show is normally done indoors, but because of COVID-19, it’s been re-imagined." The creators pivoted from a walk-through event held in convention centers nationwide to an outdoor version.

The exhibit takes about an hour to drive through and costs $49 per carload. "You’ll be greeted by baby dinosaurs and our dinosaur trainers," says Dustin Baker, one of the trainers. "They’ll say hello to you through your car window." Families then pass by dinosaurs in scenes that mimic their natural habitats.

There is a T-Rex, triceratops, stegosaurus, apatosaurus, velociraptor, spinosaurus and even a sharklike megalodon. "They roar, they move, their mouths open," Baker says. Their yellow eyes blink.

Baker’s favorite is the velociraptor. "They’re actually covered with feathers and they’re about the size of a turkey. They’re just cool. I like their claws that they use to get their food and their prey. And they’re very smart for their size."

The educational and entertaining audio tour can be played through a smartphone. "It’s a fun little cheeky way of giving the information to the adults and the kids," Baker says. "We work with leading paleontologists who give us the information and to see that these dinosaurs are as accurate as possible."

Jurassic Quest's drive-through experience began traveling nationwide in July and has sold out at almost every hour time slot in the eight cities where it’s been so far, including Boston, Cincinnati and Atlanta. While in the metropolitan area, it also sold out its original schedule of Oct. 2 through Oct. 11 on Long Island and at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Time slots have been added for Oct. 14 through Oct. 18.

Tickets are for timed arrivals; in the evenings, the displays will be lit up. People must stay inside their cars. Bathrooms are available and masks must be worn if using them. Prepackaged merchandise is available for purchase online and will be distributed at the end of the show.

WHEN | WHERE Point Lookout Beach is at 1300 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach. Remaining tickets are for 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Oct. 14 to 18. No trailers or truck bed riders. To purchase tickets, visit jurassicquest.com.

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