The dinosaurs are coming, and that can mean only one thing: The family travel season will soon be upon us. Starting around Memorial Day, motorists will start burning fossil fuels to go see fossils.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Field Museum in Chicago are among places that will debut dinosaur shows this month.
The highlight of the New York exhibit, which is to open Saturday, is expected to be a walk-through diorama of a 130-million-year-old forest that grew in what is now Liaoning, China, site of many key discoveries in the last decade.
About 100 life-size models of dinosaurs and other creatures, walking the Earth, "flying" overhead and poking their noses above water, will populate the environment, said Michael Walker, museum spokesman.
There will be original fossils and casts of fossils, including a wall full of dinosaur skulls and a dromaeosaur covered with downy fluff.
The entry fee for "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries," which includes museum admission, will be $19 for adults and $11 for children. The show will run through Jan. 8. Information: (212) 769-5100, vwww.amnh.org.
"Dinosaur Dynasty: Discoveries From China" is a traveling exhibit making its final U.S. stop at the Field Museum, home to Sue, said to be the world's largest, most complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex. That show is to open May 27 and run through April 23.
Through Sept. 5, the museum will offer "Sue Discovery Dig," an area where children can "unearth" dinosaur bones and learn how to prepare them for display.
Entry to either "Dinosaur Dynasty" or the children's area, including museum admission, is $19 for adults and $9 for ages 4 to 11. Or you can buy a combined ticket for $3 more for adults, $2 more for children.
Information: (312) 922-9410, vwww.fieldmuseum.org.
Our top 10 favorite places to be
The redwood forests of California ranked No. 8 in a list of national treasures that Americans would most like to visit, according to a survey of 2,681 adults done online by Harris Interactive for the Travel Industry Assn. of America.
The clear leader, chosen by 61% of respondents, was the Grand Canyon, followed by the Statue of Liberty (46%) and Yellowstone National Park (43%), said Andrea Stokes, TIA's director of marketing and international research.
Rounding out the top 10 were the White House and monuments of Washington, D.C.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Hawaii; Mt. Rushmore, S.D.; the glaciers and fiords of Alaska; and the Rocky Mountains.
Respondents were asked to choose from a list of 25 natural and historic sites, plus such places as the Las Vegas Strip and Hollywood, Stokes said. They could also write in their own choices.
Late opening at the Grand Canyon
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which was originally scheduled to open for the season on Tuesday, won't open until May 16, park officials said last week.
They said clearing of Arizona Highway 67, which leads to the area, has been delayed by cold temperatures and heavy late snows, totaling nearly 20 feet this season, the most in a decade. The canyon's South Rim stays open all year. For more information, visit vwww.nps.gov/grca.
-- Jane Engle