Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show and the PANDAs Movie are at the National Zoo All Summer Long – And a MEGA Giveaway

If you are raising a family in the DC area you are no doubt already familiar with the National Zoo.  You probably already know where to find the elephants, pandas, and lions.  But, you may not know that this summer the zoo is being transformed and has declared the summer of 2019 Dino Summer!

Now through August 31st you won’t be able to walk along the zoo’s main path without running into a huge, larger-than-life, moving dinosaur.  This summer only the zoo is being invaded by animatronic dinosaurs that look and move like real dinosaurs – including one that squirts water at unsuspecting visitors.

Seeing the animatronic dinosaurs is completely free, but there is also a Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show that is well worth the admission fee.  In the live show, audience members come face-to-face with dinosaurs ranging from new hatchlings to a full-size T. Rex.  The dinosaurs in the live shows are puppets, but they are handled so masterfully that some children (including mine!) will believe wholeheartedly that they are real, living dinosaurs.

This show is designed for kids and is highly interactive with plenty of opportunities for kids to be invited up to the stage to pet the dinos – and even place their head in a T. Rex’s mouth.  Dinosaurs also venture into the audience so that that everyone can get an up-close look at the ancient creatures.  There are no photos allowed during the Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show but tickets can be purchased for $10.00 per family for an interactive baby dinosaur petting experience and photo op.   This was a fun add-on for my kids who were allowed to take their time holding and interacting with the baby dinosaurs.

Another way to up your zoo game this summer is to check out the adorable and very touching PANDAS movie.  The movie, narrated by Kirsten Bell, follows the journey of one special giant panda cub as she is born in a panda conservation center in China and goes through the long process of being released into the wild with the help of two very dedicated caregivers.  Once released, the story is not over as the two scientists who raised her track her progress and overcome incredible obstacles to find her when she needs help the most.   Anyone who goes to the zoo to see the giant pandas should see this beautiful film to learn about what it takes to ensure these majestic creatures are able to thrive.


Good to know:

  • Tickets for Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show for adults (ages 13+) are $10 and children’s tickets are $8. Children under 3 are fee and there is a discount for members.  The show is an hour long.
  • Ticket for the PANDAS movie are $9.00 for adults and $7.50 for children. Children under 3 are fee and there is a discount for members. The movie is 45 minutes long.
  • Both Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show and the Pandas movie are in the air-conditioned Visitor Center with comfortable seats so a visit to one or both makes for a nice break from the heat.
  • The zoo has introduced a new membership options this year, Premier Plus, which gives unlimited free rides on the carousel as well as other perks like free parking.
  • Parking at the zoo is $25 a day but is free for members at the Premier level and above. Most families who visit the zoo even a couple of times a year find a membership well worth the cost.
  • There is also street parking available around the zoo, but these spots are mostly two-hour meters and can be hard to find. The Woodley Park and Cleveland Park metros are also close to the zoo.
  • Both Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show and the PANDAS movie are in the Visitor Center near the front entrance of the zoo. We recommend parking in Lot A if there is space but there is also a shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes from the bottom of the zoo to the Visitor Center.

To celebrate Dinos everything this summer we have partnered with the zoo and Melissa & Doug to give one lucky dino-fanatic a mega prize pack.  To enter, look for our Facebook post and follow the instructions.

We are giving away two tickets to the Erth’s Dinosaur Live Show and all of the below toys from Melissa & Doug. 

T-Rex Giant Stuffed Animal:  This dino is adorable and makes a great centerpiece for a bedroom or playroom.

Reusable Sticker Pad – Prehistoric:  What’s better than stickers that can be used over and over again?  Nothing.  Take this reusable sticker pad out or use at home.  Kids can create and re-create prehistoric scenes to their heart’s content with this reusable sticker pad.

Wooden Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzle:  Learn about dinos while solving a puzzle!  This high-quality wooden jigsaw puzzle is sure to please and young paleontologist.

Created by Me! Dinosaur Figurine Kit: Combine a love of dinosaurs with art with this kit, which includes dinosaurs and paint. Kids can let their imaginations run wild imagining what dinos looked like.

Prehistoric Playground Dinosaur Rug and Dinosaurs: This rug and dino set will keep kids busy for hours.  Set up the rug with a complete prehistoric scene, unwrap the included dinosaurs and watch your child disappear into the Jurassic period.