For over a century people from our local community and around the world have studied and been inspired by the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Dinosaurs are just some of the fossils that make up the museums’ paleontology collections of over 12 million specimens, the largest on the west coast. Celebrate this rich history of exploration and join us for programming celebrating dinosaurs, their prehistoric past, and the science that brings their world back to life. Meet world-renowned paleontologists from the museum's Dinosaur Institute and beyond, take home hands-on activities, celebrate the 10th anniversary of our famous Dinosaur Hall with the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series, and so much more!
We are working hard to create a fun and safe Dino Fest experience for all and look forward to welcoming you back to our Museum. Get prepared to have a RAWRing good time during Dino Fest 2021!
Capacity will be limited. Advance tickets required!
Schedule of Events
9:30am-4pm | Fossil and Collection Displays
Enjoy a closer look at the collection displays from NHM’s Research and Collections, USC Paleosciences, and the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.
9:30am-5pm | Jurassic Park Motor Pool
Social Club dedicated to the replication and preservation of Jurassic Park Franchise vehicles.
10am-12pm & 1-4pm | Activity Table (while supplies last)
- Dino Hall Scavenger Hunt
- Trace Fossil Take Home Activity
Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D Film featuring Q&A with Dr. Nathan Smith, Paleontologist
Enjoy a screening of the film Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D and get an exclusive Q&A session with paleontologist, Dr. Nathan Smith.
Must purchase a ticket for the following showtimes:
- 10am Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D
- 11am Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D [Members only showing]
- 2pm Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D
Digging Deeper Dino Discussions
- 11:30am | Paleontology, Science, Museums and Art: The Unexpected, but Critical Role of Museums and Science in Building Animated Films and Movie Visual Effects: Stuart Sumida will discuss the intersections of science and paleontology with Animated films and visual effects.
- 1pm | Dinosaur Hall - 10th Anniversary!: Join Dr. Luis Chiappe, Curator of the Dinosaur Institute, and Chris Weisbart, Director of Exhibition Production, as they talk about the making of the Dinosaur Hall and the amazing fossils on display.
- 3pm | Fantastic Dinos and Where to Find Them: Fossil Storylines from the Late Cretaceous of Eastern Africa and Madagascar: Exploration: We are not quite done yet...as scientists are only scratching the surface for understanding the deep-time history of the planet. Why, who, where, and how should we continue to explore the Earth?
Dr. Nathan Smith - Curator of the Dinosaur Institute at NHMLA
Dr. Nathan Smith supervises the Dinosaur Institute staff and conducts research in support of NHM programs. He holds a B.A. from Augustana College, M.S. from the University of Iowa, and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Nate was a professor at Howard University before joining NHM in 2015. Fieldwork has taken Nate to Antarctica, Argentina, China, and the western USA. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, and focuses on the evolution of Triassic–Jurassic dinosaurs and the application of comparative methods to broad questions in paleontology. Nate's Antarctic field program is featured in the 3-D IMAX® movie, Dinosaurs of Antarctica.
Stuart Sumida - Paleontologist and Professor of Biology, CSUSB
Stuart Sumida is a paleontologist and professor of Biology at California State University San Bernardino. He studies the origins of amniotes – the vertebrates that completed the final steps of the water-to-land transition, and was the California state-wide leader contributing to the preparation of “Sue” the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus specimen ever discovered. Additionally, Sumida is one of the most sought-after animal anatomists in Hollywood, having provided anatomical consultation on over sixty motion pictures, including: The Lion King, Tarzan, Mulan, the How to Train Your Dragon films, Life of Pi, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Zootopia, and more recently Jumanji, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, the television shows Camp Cretaceous and His Dark Materials, and the video game Horizon Zero Dawn.
Luis M. Chiappe - Senior VP, Research & Collections and Gretchen Augustyn Director, Dinosaur Institute at NHMLA
Dr. Chiappe oversees the research programs of more than 25 PhD scientists and the vast collections of NHMLAC. A vertebrate paleontologist and the Gretchen Augustyn Director of the Dinosaur Institute, he has conducted extensive research on the evolution of dinosaurs, particularly on their evolutionary connection with birds. Dr. Chiappe’s research has been published in nearly 200 scholarly articles, he’s also the author of Walking on Eggs, Glorified Dinosaurs, and Birds of Stone. He is a J. S. Guggenheim Fellow, a Humboldt Awardee, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Adjunct Professor at USC.
Chris Weisbart - Director of Exhibition Production at NHMLA
Chris Weisbart is the Director of Exhibit Production at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where he leads the teams responsible for the design, fabrication, and installation of the Museum's exhibitions and displays. He has had a decades-long career creating immersive exhibitions as both a technical lead and designer, and at the experiential entertainment firm Two Bit Circus, where he was the Director of Design and Fabrication.
In 2011, Chris was the exhibitions team lead responsible for coordinating the fabrication and installation of the Dinosaur Hall at NHMLAC. He worked closely with Dr. Luis Chiappe to bring together the multimedia, lighting, and fabrication teams needed to create this spectacular hall.
Patrick O'Connor - Paleontologist and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University
Patrick O’Connor is a paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer who searches for fossils in Madagascar, Tanzania, and Antarctica, with discoveries of animals we would never have imagined just a few years ago. He completed his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, followed by his PhD at Stony Brook University in New York. He has been a professor at Ohio University since 2003 and is currently on sabbatical as a Visiting Distinguished Researcher at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Pat works with students and others from around the globe to understand ecosystems just before the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
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Programs on Nature Gardens Stage
- 10:30am | Dinos on Stage!: Stomp on over and get in the Dino Fest spirit by meeting the stars of our dinosaur puppet shows.
- 11:30am & 1:30pm | Plaster Jacketing Fossil Demo: See how the Dino Institute staff bring back fossils from the field.
- 12:30pm & 2:30pm* | Paleo Chat: Drop in and chat with someone who worked in the field and hear their excavation stories. *2:30pm Paleo Chat will be in Spanish