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More than 100 animatronic dinosaurs and dragons on display in New Port Richey

The Dinos & Dragons exhibit is running through February as a fundraiser for a paleontology museum.
Charles Zidar gives a tour of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Charles Zidar gives a tour of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Dec. 6, 2022|Updated Dec. 14, 2022

Realistic-looking animatronic dinosaurs and dragons are stomping the grounds of a New Port Richey education center, and it’s all in the name of science.

“Dinos & Dragons,” a traveling exhibit of creatures, is in place at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in downtown New Port Richey from Dec. 9-Feb. 26. The exhibit is a fundraiser to build a permanent home for a collection of artifacts for the Museum of Archeology, Paleontology & Science, which is currently stored in the Wendell Krinn Technical High School in New Port Richey for Sunday-only tours.

A realistic-looking animatronic version of a five-headed dragon is part of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey.
A realistic-looking animatronic version of a five-headed dragon is part of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

The collection of more than 6,000 cultural and archaeological pieces, many of them centuries old, was assembled by the nonprofit’s CEO, Charles Zidar, who hopes to make the artifacts more readily available to the public.

Related: A museum in waiting: A Tarpons Springs man has amassed a collection for dinosaur fans

The exhibit of more than 100 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and dragons is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. In addition to the giant creatures, there are rides, a dino dig pit and other features encompassing the entire field surrounding the Schwettman Education Center. Visitors can also use virtual reality and dino technology, see a dino dissection lab and check out hands-on arts and science activities inside the buildings.

A realistic-looking animatronic version of a Tyrannosaurus rex is part of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey.
A realistic-looking animatronic version of a Tyrannosaurus rex is part of the "Dinos & Dragons" exhibit at the Harry Schwettman Education Center in New Port Richey. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Tickets are $20-$50 for the timed entry event at dinoanddragonsnpr.com. Buying tickets online is recommended.

There are some deal days. There’s a $3 discount on tickets on the following days:

  • First Responders Day: Dec. 17
  • New Port Richey Resident Day: Jan. 17
  • Cos Play Night: Jan. 19
  • Home School Day: Jan. 24 and Feb. 10, noon-4 p.m.
  • Senior Day: Jan. 25
  • Pasco County Schools: Jan. 28 and Feb. 11
  • Pasco County Employee Day: Jan. 31
  • Active Military/Veterans Day: Feb. 16
  • New Port Richey Employee Day: Feb. 23

If you go

Dinos & Dragons: A display of more than 100 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and dragons is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays Dec. 9-Feb. 26. There are also displays of robots, story times, a gift shop and a fairy garden. There is an extra charge for rides, a dino dig pit and other features. 5520 Grand Blvd.,  New Port Richey. 727-859-3152. Timed tickets are available at dinoanddragonsnpr.com.