Everything there is to explore at the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo
California Dinosaur Garden - New Exhibit Opening October 7th!
October 7, 2023, the new outdoor California Dinosaur Garden exhibit opens with a free special event from 10:30 a.m. until noon, inclusive of a ribbon cutting and walk-through tours of the exhibit. The museum and zoo will open for ticketed visitors starting at 12:30 p.m. on this day.
Located in a 4,160 square foot exterior courtyard, this new experience is built around an existing dawn redwood tree, a living fossil dating from the dinosaur age. It will include prehistoric plants within a garden setting, hands-on interpretive exhibits, a fossil dig, and eight life-sized dinosaur sculptures and other animal sculptures (including a climbable one!). This permanent exhibition will teach children about paleontology, the concepts of evolution and extinction, and the importance of biodiversity. Utilizing creative, sensory-rich exhibit techniques, California Dinosaur Garden will tell stories that help children experience the diversity of prehistoric life that existed. They will learn that plants and animals evolved over time, and that some went extinct. And they will understand that scientists use fossil and geologic evidence to inform our scientific understanding.
Outside in the Zoo
Within a netted aviary, animals roam freely and safely with visitors in a beautiful, natural, and whimsical setting. Featured exhibits include the Tree House, Meerkat Desert, Raccoon Creek, Cichlid Lake, Rabbit Meadow, Tortoise Savannah, and Wildlife Circle (where visitors can meet animals and talk with Zookeepers). Children can marvel at flamingos, macaws, ducks, and many unique birds. Adventures await as children can climb in a net above the zoo and explore an underwater tunnel and many nooks. Please note that due health risks posed by the bird flu, some birds are off exhibit until further notice. Good news! As of November 22, daily flamingo feedings have resumed at 11a.m. and 3 p.m.
Indoor science exhibits
We invite children to playfully explore natural phenomena like gravity, inertia, force, motion, balance, energy, states of matter, electricity, and magnetism. Kids can play with simple machines, make a time-lapsed movie, cooperate with other kids to move balls through a giant ball machine, or make a ball machine of their own. They can also explore objects in the Museum’s extensive natural history collection, and there is a special place just for babies.
Photos by Artem Nazarov.
Get a Closer Look at our Exhibits