SUElebration! Chicago’s favorite dinosaur is all grown up

This isn’t a typical birthday party for a 10-year-old—especially when it includes a 3D movie, robots, tattoos and a live auction.

Before you think the parents went a little overboard, keep in mind that the birthday girl is SUE—the most complete and best-preserved T. rex fossil in the world.

On Saturday, May 22, from 5:30–9 p.m., Chicago’s Field Museum will host a fundraiser to honor SUE’s 10th year on display. The proceeds from the kid-friendly event, to which over 650 tickets have already been sold, benefit the Museum’s Education Department.

SUElebration will include:

  • The premiere of a 3-D film about SUE
  • A preview of a new exhibit featuring a robotic replica of SUE
  • Entertainment for kids including a live performance by the Dreamtree Shakers, a children’s band that sings about the forest, a dinosaur puppet show, dino origami demonstrations and airbrushed tattoos
  • Cocktails, dinner and a SUE themed birthday cake
  • A Sotheby’s auction that includes 50 items donated by the Museum and its supporters including a private sleepover at the Museum, a SUE birthday party, and a private tour of the museum.

The movie, “Waking the T. rex 3-D: The Story of SUE,” chronicles SUE’s discovery and arrival at the museum, along with updates on what researchers have learned about her. In 1990, amateur fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson stumbled upon the dino in South Dakota (the bones were later nicknamed SUE in honor of her discoverer).

The Field Museum bought SUE for $8.4 million—the most money ever paid for a fossil. It took 11 paleontologists two years to clean and assemble SUE before she went on display in 2000. Since then, over 16 million people have seen SUE, who is estimated to have weighed seven tons when she roamed the earth over 70 million years ago.

SUE’s party will also be the first time visitors can experience “RoboSUE: The T.rex Experience.” The new exhibit, which opens to the public on May 26, features a robotic SUE who responds to humans by looking directly at them and reacting to their movements.

“This generation of kids wants to learn in interactive ways like through robots and 3D movies,” says Winnetka resident John Mangel III, Chairman of the SUElebration Committee. “These new robots and the movie are as cool as it gets.”

If you want to be join in the fun, tickets can be purchased online at The cost per ticket is $250 for adults and $100 for children.