Battling dinosaur exhibitions this weekend in San Diego

Colorful animatronic dinosaurs on display behind a fence
Animatronic dinosaurs in the “Jurassic Quest” exhibit running Friday through Sunday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
(Courtesy of Jurassic Quest)

‘Jurassic Quest’ runs this weekend only at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, while ‘Jurassic World: The Exhibition’ continues in Mission Valley


Dinosaur fans in San Diego have two exhibitions to choose from this weekend where they can interact with dozens of life-size animatronic dinosaurs. This weekend only, “Jurassic Quest” returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, while “Jurassic World: The Exhibition” continues its extended run at the Mission Valley mall. Here’s a look at both exhibits and how they’re unique.

‘Jurassic Quest’

One of the country’s longest-running dino attractions, the 10-year-old “Jurassic Quest” features dozens of colorful motorized dinosaurs grouped together in pens where visitors can get up close. Geared for families with children ages 2 and up, “Jurassic Quest” allows children to learn from “dinosaur trainers,” meet baby dinos (hand puppets), ride on a dino’s back, dig for fossils, do dino crafts and climb in a bounce house. There are also walk-around puppets (with humans inside) roaming the exhibition floor. The “Ancient Oceans” exhibit re-creates prehistoric sea creatures, like a 50-foot megalodon. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Jan. 20-22 at Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $22 standard admission for adults and kids; $36 for unlimited activities for kids ages 2 to 10.

Crowds watch a Tyrannosaurus rex at Jurassic World: The Exhibition on Oct. 28 in San Diego.
Crowds watch and video tape an animated/moving/roaring Tyrannosaurus rex at “Jurassic World: The Exhibition” in San Diego.
(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

‘Jurassic World: The Exhibition’

Launched in Australia in 2016, this fully immersive exhibit re-creates the sights, sounds and scares of the “Jurassic Park” films. In a 20,000-square-foot tented structure in the Mission Valley mall parking lot, visitors “ride” a ferry to Isla Nublar where they’ll meet velociraptors, a massive brachiosaurus and a roaring T. Rex on the loose. Because of the slight scare factor, it’s best suited for ages 8 and up. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 pm. Mondays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays. Through April 16. Westfield Mission Valley mall parking lot, 1640 Camino del Rio N., San Diego. $29.50 adults; $19.50 children ages 3 to 15; $5 more on weekends.