MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — The Dinosaur Place in Nature’s Art Village in Montville plans to reopen for the season on Friday with some COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Plenty of kids and even adults have been surprised by a roaring dinosaur in one of the caves at The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village. 

Last year though the pandemic shut it down before it could even open for the season. 

“It hurt to have to lay everybody off,” said owner Roger Phillips.

It then opened at half capacity in May. Phillips believes there is a pent up demand for places like this.

“I know we have season passes that we sold and they were sold out within two weeks,” said Phillips.

The mostly outdoor venue is set to open on Friday, March 26 with some of the same safety protocols in place.

“The people using the splash pad did not have to wear a mask but the people on the sidelines were required to,” said Phillips.

Those walking the dinosaur trails can also take their masks off as long as they are six feet away from other parties.

The Montville venue has three new attractions including peddle carts which are included with the price of admission.

“I would rather have reduced capacity and keep everybody safe than worry about trying to maximize the income,” said Phillips.

Governor Ned Lamont recently announced amusement parks can open on April 2.

“We’re just waiting to see what the final judgement is going to be as far as being able to have capacities here,” said Jeff Mullen, who owns Action Amusements & Vending Company which runs the arcade and amusement rides at Ocean Beach Park.

Last year the arcade remained closed all season while six of the sixteen amusement park rides and the water slide were open at half capacity.

“We sanitize everything like on the rides when the kids get done doing the rides we go out,” said Mullen.

The arcade and amusement park are expected to be open by Memorial Day. As for the beach itself – masks will be required while indoors.

“Different times very much so but hopefully we can move forward now,” said Mullen.

“I tell you this is an essential business right here,” said Phillips. “People need something to do with the family.”