The region transforms into a land of the lost as dinosaur shows and wildlife hikes take over the Valley.
TIMES UNION CENTER Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular June 17-21: Fossils, these bad boys ain’t. The stars of this stage show are more akin to the robo-dinos from Jurassic Park — life-size, mobile re-creations that will leave audience members swearing they’ve traveled back to the Cretaceous period. (The adult brachiosaurus, for example, stands 36 feet tall, weighs 1.6 tons, and moves around on the power of six hydraulic motors.) The creatures do stomp and roar, but the production is designed to educate, not frighten: A narrator explains how dinosaurs lived, evolved, and generally got along. The 96-minute adventure is based on the 1999 BBC special of the same name. Eight shows play over five days; call or visit Web site for times. $21.50-$71.50. u 51 S. Pearl St., Albany. 518-487-2000.
THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Discovering Dinosaurs June 13: The “Walking with Dinosaurs” show is undoubtedly stunning in its stagecraft, but close-up seats will cost parents a pretty penny. This program, which includes hands-on measuring and temperature-gauging activities, allows kids to get their dino fix at a fraction of the price. Ages 8 and up. 1 p.m. Backyard Fossils June 14: Staff members teach participants how fossils form and which fossils they can find in the backyard. Kids then make fossils to take home. Ages 4 and up. 1 p.m. Dig a Dino June 17: Cast your own fossil and meet a modern-day descendant of the dinosaur. Ages 4-7. 1:30 p.m. All activities $2, plus $5 general admission. Pre-registration required. u 250 Jordan Rd., Troy. 518-235-2120.
MOHONK PRESERVE Family Night Hike June 6: Shed some light on bats, owls, and other nighttime creatures on this kid-friendly one-mile stroll. The group listens for the calls of nocturnal wildlife while a guide describes how the animals scrounge around and find food in the dark. Participants should bring a small flashlight. Recommended for ages 7 and up; registration required, and children must be accompanied by an adult. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $10, under 12 free. u Rte. 44/55, Gardiner. 845-255-0919.
HUDSON HIGHLANDS NATURE MUSEUM Turtles in Trouble June 6: Turtles encounter threats from predators, disease, and destruction of habitat on a daily basis. This program, hosted by the staff at the museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center, shows kids how they can help the shellbacks. Toad-ally Awesome Hike! June 14: The dude-tastic name says it all: A guide teaches participants the essential facts about toads, then leads a walk in search of these not-so-royal creatures. (Don’t believe the rumors: A kiss won’t turn this amphibian into a prince.) Dazzling Dragonflies! June 20: Learn the basic biology behind the fascinating dragonfly and try to spot one on a hike through the wild. Recommended for ages 5 and up. 10 a.m. $5. u 20 Kenridge Farm Dr., Cornwall. 845-534-5506.
STORM KING ART CENTER Family Tour with Wally McGuire June 20: Kids (and, let’s face it, most adults) have a hard time deciphering what the big fuss over art is about; to many, there’s more action in the opening credits of a SpongeBob SquarePants episode. Take a tour of the outdoor Storm King art museum with local artist Wally McGuire, however, and youngsters’ attitudes toward the aesthetic may change. The energetic educator translates an artwork’s scale, texture, color, form, and use of materials into language that should make the piece come alive in children’s (and parents’) eyes. 3-4:30 p.m. $10, $7 students K-12, under 5 free. u Old Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville. 845-534-3115.
Caption: Wild life: T-Rex comes calling at the Times Union Center (above); get up close and personal with turtles, toads, and dragonflies in Cornwall