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“Battle of the Dinosaurs” Exhibit Opens at Sands Point

An exhibit of dinosaurs that features life-like robotic replicas of the creatures, as well as educational displays and plenty of hands-on activities for children, is being presented at Castlegould in the magnificent Sands Point Preserve.

The exhibit, “Battle of the Dinosaurs,” opened during Memorial Day weekend and was originally scheduled to be on display through November 4. However, due to popular demand, the exhibit has been extended through January 14, 2007. It is being presented by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, in cooperation with the Center for Science, Teaching & Learning (CSTL).

“This is another excellent example of the success of our public-private partnership initiative,” says Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi. “By combining the educational expertise of the Center for Science, Teaching and Learning with the skills of our experienced museum curators, and placement in the grand venue of Castlegould, Nassau County is presenting visitors and residents with an enjoyable and educational experience.”

Adds Parks Commissioner Jose L. Lopez, “The Parks Department is delighted to welcome the dinosaurs to Sands Point, to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.” 

As visitors enter the exhibit hall, they are greeted by an introductory video and a giant winged Pteranodon that soars over the entrance. In a main hall filled with robotic dinosaurs, a friendly mother Maiasaura guards her nest of hatchlings as last year’s youngsters look on, while a giant Apatosaurus swings its long neck. Nearby, a Triceratops protects her babies as it keeps a watchful eye on a fierce Albertosaurus who is attacking an armored Euoplocephalous.

A Tenontosaurus is shown under attack by four vicious Deinonychus, whose sharp teeth and sickle-shaped claws overpower the large but defenseless herbivore. Conflicts continue with two bone-headed Pachycephalosauruses butting heads in a battle for dominance. The animated creatures are enhanced by dramatic murals that represent the Jurassic and Cretaceous landscapes inhabited by the dinosaurs.

Visitors also have the opportunity to control a skinless robotic dinosaur to see how it operates, an exciting exhibit that is joined by many other interactive displays, computer and video games, dinosaur fossils and replicas, as well as live reptiles. In addition, there is a playroom especially designed for tiny tots. Before leaving, children can have their photos taken on a Triceratops while being menaced by a toothy T. Rex. 

A dinosaur gift shop offers the latest in toys, games, books, and models, and food and drinks are available in vending machines and from food service vehicles on the grounds.

Picnic tables in groves of trees on Sands Point’s “Great Lawn” are provided, with sweeping views of both Castlegould and Hempstead House. Visitors are also free to explore the preserve’s six beautiful nature trails, including a “Dino-tracks” trail and a shoreline trail on the Long Island Sound.

The exhibit is open seven days a week through September 4 (Labor Day) and six days a week (closed Mondays) from September 5 to November 5. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tickets sold at 4:30,) and the preserve is open in the summer until 6:30 p.m.

Admission to the exhibit is $8 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12) and seniors (60 and over); group rates are also available. On weekends and holidays, there is an additional $2 per person (age 13 and over) preserve admission fee.

Sands Point Preserve is operated by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and is located at 127 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point, two miles north of  the Port Washington post office and six miles north of the Long Island Expressway (Exit 36, Searingtown Road). Call 516-571-7900 for directions and other recorded information and 516-571-7901 for group reservations.