DinoFest Dinosaur Festival | Adelaide Botanic Gardens | Review

dinosaur festival

DinoFest Dinosaur Festival | Adelaide Botanic Gardens | Review

By Claire Davill

Dinofest is jam-packed with dinosaur interaction, kid-friendly activities, and a wonderful trail to explore through the gardens, delighting kids and adults alike.

Each 90 minute session includes a 45 minute encounter, followed by activities and the dinosaur trail.

The encounter occurs in an arena located on the Plane Tree Lawn. The arena is fenced off and everyone is invited to spread out around the edges. Each dinosaur is introduced with some interesting facts, and walks around the arena, with plenty of time for every kid to touch and pat them. The larger walking  carnivores let out roars and at one point the crowd is invited to participate in a roar-off! The DinoFest rangers provide information about each dinosaur and are wonderful at keeping kids engaged while they are waiting for each dinosaur to pass by them. 

Baby dinosaurs are carried by expert puppeteers and all the dinosaurs interact with kids, blinking their eyes, eating offered leaves and sniffing everyone. It’s a wonderfully interactive, sensory experience.

The dinosaur trail features over 30 dinosaurs hidden in amongst the Australian Forest section of the garden. This is the perfect location, with a dark, jungle-like feel with new dinosaurs to spot around every corner. There are photo opportunities galore along the trail, including some dinosaurs that can be hugged! It was great to see many “less popular” dinosaurs along the trail – there were a lot of dinosaurs that we had never heard of before. All dinosaurs along the trail have an information sign nearby. The trail is as educational as it is photogenic.

Other activities include pencil rubbings of dinosaur fossils, a dig site complete with brushes and fossils buried in sand, and the opportunity to measure yourself against a dinosaur bone. There are more dinosaur statues and fossils here for even more photo opportunities.

dinofest dinosaur festival

The dinosaur puppets (and their handlers) remain in the arena for more interaction and photo opportunities until the end of the session. There’s plenty of opportunity to get up-close and personal with all the dinosaurs, and to talk to and learn from the DinoFest rangers.

DinoFest is a really unique experience and packs a lot into each session. It’s a lot of fun and is suitable for kids of all ages, and all interests (although dino-mad kids will really get a kick out of it!).

Check out the dinosaurs in action below:


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A post shared by Play & Go for Families in SA (@playandgoadelaide)




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Play & Go for Families in SA (@playandgoadelaide)


Things to consider:

  • Arrive early if you want to choose your spot around the “arena” for the encounter session. Remember that all kids will be able to see and touch the dinosaurs regardless of where you are standing – there’s plenty of room for everyone.
  • The encounter is not designed to be scary, but some very young children did find the large walking dinosaurs a little overwhelming, particularly when they roared. Consider how your children might react. There’s plenty of space to step back if things get too much.
  • The crowd is split in to two groups after the encounter and one group is invited to walk the trail while the other group enjoys the activities and photo opportunities with the dinosaur puppets. This spreads everyone out and allows for easier photo opportunities in the arena and on the trail. It doesn’t matter which group you are in, there’s plenty of time to complete all the activities.
  • We found the crowd thinned out considerably towards the end of the session, and this is a great time for photo opportunities with the puppets if you want to take your time.
  • Be aware there is a merchandise stall at the entrance with very enticing plush dinosaur toys. We found the prices quite reasonable for these.
  • This event is ideal for families with children under the age of eight years old.


There will be 3 sessions each day, each one 90 minutes long: 10:30am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

Duration: 90 minutes


  • Adult: $24
  • Child (under 18): $22
  • Senior: $20
  • Family/Group ticketing also available

Free entry for children under 2 years of age.

Tickets include a 45-minute ‘Dinosaur Encounter’, dino-themed activities for kids and a DinoTrail featuring 30+ dinosaurs including a life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Follow DinoFest on Facebook for updates



things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the DinoFest website

What:   DinoFest Dinosaur Festival

When:  Friday 7 April – Thursday 30 April 2023 (10:30am, 1pm & 3pm)

Where:  Plane Tree Lawn, Adelaide Botanic Garden (D8 on the map) Enter via the Friends’ Gate on Plane Tree Drive (off Hackney Road). Walk up the path and the arena is over on the left.

Who:  All Ages (especially kids under 8)

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

This is not a sponsored post and all opinions and words are the writer’s own, however, we were kindly invited to visit and received free entry.

Image Source: Play & Go Adelaide


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