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Photo courtesy of EcoTariumWhat do you think was happening in your backyard during the Jurassic period? "DinoTracks," the newest exhibit at the EcoTarium in Worcester, is the next best thing to taking a step back in time to find the answer to that question. During your visit, you can walk over prehistoric footprints, hear and feel dinosaur footsteps, and finally come face-to-face with some of the dinosaurs that made them. Engage your inner paleontologist and uncover clues about dinosaur behavior -- and the dinosaurs themselves -- from the fossil footprints they left behind right here in New England. "DinoTracks" is presented in English, Spanish and French, and includes three life-sized dinosaurs (Dilophosaurus, Coelophysis, and Stegosaurus), as well as hands-on exploratory activities. You can practice tracking skills on a 15X20 foot photo reproduction of real track way discovered in Connecticut; walk over life-sized dinosaur prints and touch a real footprint found in a Holyoke backyard; hear and feel the footsteps of a dinosaur when you sit on the Jurassic Park Bench; run as fast -- or creep as slowly -- as the dinosaurs did; discover how to "read" the stories in fossil tracks to measure a dinosaur's speed, size and activity; put together a dinosaur puzzle and try to keep it balanced over its feet; find out how scientists today are using emus, turkeys and lizards to discover how dinosaurs really moved -- and more! In addition to the opening weekend celebration, Jan. 19 & 20, through Feb. 16 you can participate in Saurus Saturdays, with special interactive activities. Opening weekend, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Jan. 20, noon - 5 p.m. Exhibit is free with museum admission: adults, $14; ages 2-18, $8; seniors, $10; college students with ID, $10; under 2 and members, free. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. www.ecotarium.org
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a kindergartner and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.