Dino Don's Dinosaurium to Go Extinct at Mall
Granite Run Mall's Dinosaurium will close on Jan. 1.
The Dinosaurium was to just run through the spring when it first opened, but the prehistoric giants stayed longer than expected.
The Dinosaurium is curated by "Dino" Don Lessem—the jolly champion of prehistoria who's best known by the public as an adviser on Jurassic Park. The Granite Run Mall exhibit helped spread the gospel of dino to a new generation.
According to Lessem, his dinosaurs are now headed for the road, to exhibitions across the country, and many of the dinosaurs will be sold to amusement parks in China.
About 40,000 dinosaur lovers walked through the mall exhibit during its 16 months of existence, he said, and the Dinosaurium donated $25,000 to area schools.
"We loved our time in the mall and seeing so many happy kids and families enjoying dinosaurs. It was always a dream of mine to turn what we had kept locked in boxes into something people could enjoy, and it was incredibly generous of the mall operators to let us do that," Lessem said.
The Dinosaurium offered a dinosaur dig pit, educational exhibits, life size skeletons, fossils, videos, and interactive opportunities, like Nerf guns and motion sensor-activated dinosaur poop which smells when you walk by.
"It's been a great 16 months but as you know, dinosaurs inevitably go extinct," Lessem said.
Lessem also thanked Granite Run Mall representatives Bill Leppert and Aubrey Proud for helping to create and promote the Dinosaurium.
"They are more responsible for there being a Dinosaurium than me or my staff," he said.
Hurry to the Dinosaurium one last time before they go extinct on Jan. 1.