Watch as dinosaurs come to life! Our realistic T. rex and Triceratops large-scale puppets capture the imaginations of audiences in performances each week. Thanks to the expertise of NHM's paleontologists and puppeteers, you can experience how these prehistoric animals lived. Our team of performance artists will guide you back in time to better understand dinosaur anatomy, possible behavior and movement.
FREE with Museum Admission.
On weekends and holidays, we recommend you arrive early to this popular show. Most seating is on the floor and is first-come, first-served.
Presentations depict realistic dinosaurs and may be frightening for very small children.
See a Dinosaur Encounter Stage Show!
Level 2 in the North American Mammal Hall.
Thursdays: 10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12 pm
Saturdays-Sundays 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm
Times and dinosaur puppets subject to change. Please check the online Museum calendar or at the admissions desk upon arrival.
See the Dino Puppets Backstage!
See life-sized juvenile dinosaurs, Hunter the T. rex and Dakota the Triceratops, backstage!
On view everyday in the Discovery Center on the Level 2.
"Hunter" the T. rex
Hunter is a life-like full body puppet based on the juvenile specimen in the T. rex growth series on view in the new Dinosaur Hall.
Covering Hunter are proto-feathers. Dinosaurs and birds share a common ancestor, and it has been hypothesized that a juvenile T. rex may have had downy feathers to keep warm. As an apex predator, Hunter is always on the lookout for a good meal.
"Dakota" the Triceratops
Dakota is a realistic large-scale puppet of a juvenile triceratops specimen. She is named after the great state of South Dakota where Triceratops is the state fossil.
Appearances and Videos
Hunter the T. rex can be seen on the prowl throughout Los Angeles!
He has been spotted at NHM's First Fridays, the L.A. County Fair, the Grove, “Good Morning America," and on the field with the L.A. Galaxy.
Watch a behind-the-scenes video of how the Dinosaur Encounters program was created. The video features our Dinosaur Institute Director, Dr. Luis Chiappe, our Education staff, and the artists that bring our puppets to life.
Catch a few clips of him on NBC:
NBC News Channel 4
NBC LA Around Town
Check out Dinosaur Encounters on YouTube. Be sure to post your own encounter!
NHMLA YouTube Channel
National Endowment for the Arts
In recognition for innovative cross-disciplinary arts programing, our Museum was one of the featured organizations on the NEA's Facebook page for the 2011 National Arts and Humanties month.
American Association of Museums
Dinosaur Encounters was honored to be a part of the American Association of Museum’s 2009 EdCom’s Marketplace of Ideas for exemplifying what makes museum exhibits real, responsive, and reactive for the visitor. Watch how our innovated program was created here. The video features our Dinosaur Institute Director, Dr. Luis Chiappe, our Education staff, and the artists that bring our puppets to life.
Our interactive performing arts programs satisfy many of the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards for grades Pre-K through 2, using a combination of theater and kinesthetic lesson plans. Click here for details of how to make the most of your field trip to NHM by being sure to include a stop at Dinosaur Encounters presentation.