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I don’t remember when I fell in love with dinosaurs, but by the time “Jurassic Park” came out in 1993, I was 8 years old and already completely head over heels.I wanted to be a paleontologist, go to places like Montana, and dig up the fossils of my favorite animals. Even now, nearly 25 years later, I still get a thrill from reading about the latest discoveries, or really any movie with a dinosaur in it.I don’t think you really grow out of being awed by these ancient animals. That that makes the Front Range a perfect place to live. Between the constant discoveries at Dinosaur Ridge, and incredible finds like the Thornton triceratops, it’s a great time to be a dinosaur fan.And there are options all over town to indulge fossil fanatics like me.At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., visitors can check out the new Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit, which is on display through Jan. 15.“In contrast to our permanent exhibit, Prehistoric Journey, this exhibit focuses on the world’s Southern Hemisphere,” explained Dr. Joe Sertich, Curator of Dinosaurs at the museum. “Because of continental drift, these animals evolved in ways that might look bizarre to us because of the species we’re familiar with.”The exhibit focuses on dinosaurs from Africa, Madagascar and South America, and includes 17 fully articulated skeletons and dozens of fossils and casts, video projections and life-size murals, stations with projection microscopes, touchable specimens, puzzles, and games and Fossil Prep Lab activities to try out fossil preparation techniques on fossil casts and let children try firsthand the kind of activities that scientists like Sertich do in the field.Sertich actually worked in Madagascar, making some of the finds that are on display as part of the exhibit, which makes Ultimate Dinosaurs particularly personal.“It’s exciting, because there are still discoveries out there being made,” he said. “And there’s a reminder that through birds, we’re still living with dinosaurs.”There are also five days left to see the Denver Zoo’s Dinos event, which features scale madoels of 21 species spread throughout the zoo.Outside of being an extra that gets eaten in one of the Jurassic Park movies, the closest you can get to interacting with the prehistoric animals is Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live. The show, hosted at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the University of Denver’s Newman Center, 2344 E. Iliff Ave., brings ultra-realistic dinosaur puppets to the stage, where audiences can interact with them.“We have different puppets we use to reflect the dinosaurs that are native to the places we’re performing,” explained Miles Portek, the host of the show. “It’s a rare chance to get up close, and face to face with dinosaurs.”The show takes the same approach as Pixar animated films, Portek said, and offers something for all ages. He said the key is not to be condescending to children in the audience.“It really ignites the imagination for everyone, Portek said. “And who wouldn’t love meeting a dinosaur?’Go to www.newmancenterpresents.com/erths-dinosaur-zoo-live for tickets and more information.A regional premiere, the end of Halloween, and Wine FestStepping away from the Cretaceous era into the modern age, Denver’s Equinox Theatre Company is hosting the regional premiere of “Disaster!” at The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. The show starts on Nov. 10 and runs through Dec. 2 on Friday and Saturday nights.The musical features some classic 1970s songs, including “Knock on Wood,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Sky High,” “I Am Woman” and “Hot Stuff.” The show takes place in 1979 on a floating casino and discotheque, and its cast includes a nightclub singer and her twins, a disaster expert, reporter, an older couple, a nun with a gambling addiction and more.Tickets are available at www.EquinoxTheatreDenver.com.This is the last weekend before Halloween, and there’s still time to get in something creepy in thanks to the Parker Symphony Orchestra. On Oct. 27, the Parker Symphony Orchestra is hosting an evening of music made for the night in its “Sounds of the Deep,” featuring compositions by Strauss, Dvorak, Debussy, and selection of tunes from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera.”For tickets and more information, head out to www.parkerarts.org.Denver’s premiere wine and food festival is Nov. 1 through 3 at the Denver Marriott Westminster. The 13th annual festival is one of Fodor’s Travel’s 10 can’t-miss fall wine festivals, and features chefs pairing food with wines from all over the world.For tickets and information, go to www.denverwinefest.com.
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