Staying Power with the Philadelphia Zoo

Travel through time to witness the incredible evolutionary power of life on Earth! From larger-than-life insects, to awe inspiring animatronic dinosaurs – Philadelphia Zoo's new “Stay Power: Be Distinct or Go Extinct” experience has it all. Starting this April, guests can explore and engage with 25 lifelike creatures from our prehistoric past. Tickets are already available for you journey back in time!

staying power-Philadelphia Zoo Peacock Jumping Spider
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Photo Credit: Philadelphia Zoo

Ready for a prehistoric adventure unlike any other? Beginning on April 1st, take a journey through time and witness the incredible adaptations that have allowed creatures to survive on earth for millions of years. From the 60-foot-long roaring Giganotosaurus to the 15-foot-tall peacock jumping spider showing off its remarkable mating dance, there's something to fascinate visitors of all ages. And perhaps most importantly, Be Distinct or Go Extinct reminds us of our own power as stewards of the planet, and how we can work to make positive changes that benefit both ourselves and the world around us. So don't miss out on this fascinating exhibit – get ready to be transported back in time and see the world as it once was!

staying power Philadelphia Zoo  Parasaurolophus
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Photo Credit: Philadelphia Zoo

As guests step into the world of Staying Power, they'll be transported through an incredible Earth-themed portal. They'll find themselves walking along Dinosaur Trail, winding through the prehistoric creatures that greet them with roars, tail swishes, and even direct eye contact. But the journey doesn't stop there. Halfway through, guests will pass through a giant magnifying glass and be transported into the world of insects. Giant creatures hiss, buzz, click, and wave their antennae as they move their legs in the Insect Garden. Visitors can also witness the life of monarch butterflies and learn about the dangers they face. And, they'll see giant honeybees hard at work, learning about their essential role and discovering simple changes to make to support insect survival in their own habitats.

Related: Things to do in Philly

Did you know that insects make up a whopping 75-80% of all animals on Earth? With around 5.5 million species, they have some of the coolest adaptations, like strong exoskeletons, the ability to fly, and camouflage abilities. But here's the not-so-great news: due to reasons like habitat destruction, intense agriculture practices, and pesticide use, insect populations are rapidly declining. This is extremely concerning because these little critters have a big impact on the survival of all other living things. Unfortunately, there aren't enough human experts studying insects to know exactly how serious this problem is. However, there are ways that all of us can help prevent this potential crisis from getting worse.

The world is full of incredible creatures and intricate plant life, each of which possesses a special quality that has allowed them to thrive in their unique ecosystems. This quality is known as Staying Power, and it enables them to endure even the harshest conditions. It's amazing to think that every individual on this planet has the power to shape the future of all living beings by taking action. Whether we choose to mindfully protect our environment or recklessly destroy it, our actions have real consequences. That's where our greatest superpower comes in – the ability to make a positive difference for all life on Earth. The exhibit encourages us to channel this power for good and make a difference in the world. Let's use our Staying Power to help sustain the world's incredible biodiversity for generations to come.

staying power Philadelphia zoo screaming woman with dinosaur
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Photo Credit: TomikaTalks

Highlights of Staying Power will include: 


* The entry is through an Earth-themed portal with an overarching asteroid entering the atmosphere— visitors see what dealt the dinosaurs their extinction and why!

* The first dinosaur encountered is Giganotosaurus—the biggest known meat-eater among the dinosaurs.

* Further on visitors find a group of Velociraptors—6-foot long, highly intelligent hunters with giant claws!

* A Parasaurolophus rises above the vegetation it feasts upon — a giant of vegetarian efficiency! It even grinds up twigs and pine needles with its hundreds of flat teeth.

* An aquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus, was amazingly buoyant for weighing 13-22 tons (more than two to three male African elephants!)

* A bird-like dinosaur, Gallimimus, has similarities to (really big) ostriches and emus.

* No dinosaur trail is complete without T-rex on a tear!


* From the land of the dinosaurs, visitors “shrink” and pass through a giant magnifying glass into a garden of macro views of insects that live among the world today.

* The hiss of a hissing cockroach greets visitors as they enter, with clues given right away about why this bug is so big!

* Visitors discover a stink bug whose humble appearance does not take away from its powerful skills—at stinking.

* A flower beetle reveals the truly spectacular ways in which insects hide in plain sight.

* A flame skimmer dragonfly showcases the amazing aerial abilities of this speedy insect.

* A screaming katydid takes visitors by surprise with its vocalizations!

* The final message of Staying Power is focused on the delicate Monarch Butterfly, that astounding traveler that migrates on the wing from all over North America to the mountain forests of Mexico every year. Visitors learn that they are disappearing but also that there are many things that can be done to help them hold onto their staying power.

staying power Philadelphia zoo dino key
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Photo Credit: TomikaTalks

The Key is Back!

Attention all dinosaur lovers! The legendary Zoo Key is making a comeback for the 2023 season at Staying Power. Get ready to unlock a whole new world of animal stories by using the Dino Zoo Key, whether it's a brand new one or an old favorite from your childhood. Go beyond the exhibits and dive into the daily lives of the animals, directly from the hardworking zookeepers who care for them. As you explore the 42-acre campus, you'll find Zoo Key Storybook Boxes packed with exciting tales about creatures such as sloth bear cubs, Ankole cattle, hippos, penguins, and flamingos. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to add a bit of magic to your zoo experience. Head to any retail location to purchase your very own Zoo Key today!

staying power Philadelphia zoo Dino themed food
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Photo credit: TomikaTalks

Dino Themed Goodies

While at the Zoo, visitors can also grab something to eat at the newly enhanced dining destination the Watering Hole – located right next to Staying Power. Dino-themed main dishes include the Bronto Burger (triple cheeseburger with Sriracha ketchup), Triceratops Trio (pulled chicken, pulled pork and BBQ beef slider trio), and the childhood-favorite Dino Nuggets. For dessert, visitors can indulge in a Chocolate “Dirt” Parfait (chocolate cake, whipped cream and gummy worms) or a dinosaur-themed cupcake. For snacking on the go, visitors can purchase a bag of Jurassic Trails (house-made trail mix with granola, mixed nuts, raisins and M&Ms) or Raptor Corn (cheese-flavored popcorn mixed with “dinosaur claws” and pretzel sticks).

Staying Power opens to the public Saturday, April 1 and to Philadelphia Zoo members Thursday, March 30.  Tickets are the cost of General Zoo Admission, $25 for ages 12+ and $20 for ages 2-11, children under 2 are free, plus entrance for Staying Power $6 (adults and children ages 2+).  Members enjoy free admission to the Zoo with advance reservation and save on STAYING POWER tickets. The Zoo is open daily 9:30am -5:00pm. Last entry to Staying Power is 4:00pm.

Staying Power was created in partnership with Dino Don Inc., the world's leading supplier of robotic insects and dinosaurs and the only maker of full-sized dinosaurs. The hand-made animatronics are uniquely created under direct scientific supervision. The company's founder, “Dino” Don Lessem is a world-renowned authority on dinosaurs and was the dinosaur advisor to Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park. He has also authored 40 books on the subject.


Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats, majestic primates and marvelous meerkats the opportunities to travel and explore. Visit our new Ankole cattle, western lowland gorillas, hippos, white rhino, zebras, red pandas, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo. Explore our 42-acre garden and enjoy award-winning exhibits like Big Cat Falls, PECO Primate Reserve, McNeil Avian Center, KidZooU, and African Plains, where you can come face to face with the world's tallest animal at our new Giraffe Encounter experience. Philadelphia Zoo is one of the region's foremost conservation organizations and home to nearly 1,900 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.  For more information, visit philadelphiazoo.org. Facebook: PhiladelphiaZoo; Instagram: @philadelphiazoo; Twitter: @phillyzoo.

Welcome to my home on the web... I’m Tomika, the thought leader behind Life in Pumps. I love all things fashion, fun & travel! I’m a wife and mother of two very active teenagers. I'm a social butterfly and passionate about advocating for breast cancer disparities and the benefits of organics. Follow along as I believe life is more fun when you actually live it!

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