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The very first book I learned to read all on my own was called The Day of the Dinosaur. I remember bringing this book to my grade one class for show and tell and being so proud of being able to pronounce words like “Brontosaurus” and “Stegosaurus”. My six-year-old self was fascinated by the idea of these giant creatures that lived millions of years ago, and this hasn’t really changed. So when I learned that we would be taking the families to Jurassic Forest for one of our Friday Field Trips, I immediately volunteered to be one of the staff supervisors.

Now, having seen Jurassic Park enough times that I could likely recite it, my expectations for the day were quite high (well, as high as they could be knowing there wouldn’t be any “real” dinosaurs!). I have to say, Jurassic Forest did not disappoint.

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Upon arriving at the gates, we were greeted by our guide who immediately got the kids’ attention with some fun quick facts and safety tips, and then it was off into the wilderness! We had not ventured more than a few meters into the forest before we could hear groaning and had our first sighting. Now I’m not going to lie, I think the first one took me a bit by surprise as there were a few jumps and screams; it was pretty impressive to see the life-size, moving replicas!

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Our guide was wonderful and was able to mix fun with facts. My favorite was how she got us all to roar at the meat eating dinosaurs when we got to them. Although the kids needed a little persuasion at first, by the end of the tour, I like to think we could have scared away that T-Rex who was looking at us through the trees.

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The day was beautiful and the mosquitoes helped with the authenticity, although we did learn that there were giant dragonflies at the time of the Dinosaurs which probably would have helped! It was amazing to see how eager the kids got as we rounded each bend to face a new discovery. Although some of the names have changed since I was a kid (did you know that “Brontosaurus” actually turned out to be two different dinosaurs put together!) the excitement was the same and it was so great to see it in kids.

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After the tour we cooled down with some popsicles before climbing back on to the bus which was so kindly donated by Connelly and McKinley. A special thanks to them and to Gary and Anne for taking their time to dive us there and back. We rode home to the sounds of the kids giggling wildly in the back of the bus as the movie Dinosaurplayed on the TVs; a fitting end to a great day.

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