BALLANTYNE, N.C. — There is a different travel option available this Thanksgiving season. 

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 60% of Americans likely won’t travel this holiday season. If you’re hesitant to travel around the country, you can spend the holiday traveling back in time for the Jurassic Encounter. 


What You Need to Know 

Ballantyne’s Backyard hosts the Jurassic Encounter this week 

Families, kids and animals are welcome to learn and earn badges during the walking tour 

The exhibit is open from Nov. 24 - 28


Dr. Jane Bonediggity is a paleontologist and dinosaur wrangler. Well, at least here she is. Her real name is Sheree, but here ... everything is real. 

“All of our dinosaurs are so nice, they’re like great big puppies. So we found them when they were babies, so we train them,” said Dr. Bonediggity. 

From Nov. 24 - 28, families can head out to Ballantyne to experience the Jurassic Encounter. 

Kids can learn and earn medals through an app, as they meet the more than 60 geo-located dinosaurs on site.

“You would read the info up in here, and it will give you the answer to the challenges,” she said. 

Bonediggity says there's no need to be concerned about the carnivores. Their diet doesn't include other dinosaurs ... or children. 

“All of them get along very well, no eating. There’s no blood or gore or anything like that. 

My meat eaters, they like chicken nuggets and their favorite is Chick-fil-a,” Bonediggity said.  

She says the Jurassic experience is all about learning through digging and exploring anything to help children and adults get in touch with their inner child. 

“If it’s dinosaurs, that’s what’s going to get you to laugh and dream that makes our life well worth it,” she said.  

Organizers say if your child is sensitive to sounds be sure to bring headphones or ear plugs. There will be a costume contest, a bounce house and outdoor activities. Tickets for the event can be purchased here