Whether you’re into dinosaurs or not, you must admit, the idea of them is pretty bizarre and neat. It’s probably difficultly to imagine life with these mammals towering over us as we make our daily commute to work, but for dinosaur-obsessed kids, it’s not hard at all. Below, we’ve listed a few dinosaur destinations for your dino-obsessed kids and a few that we hope you like too!
Big Brook Reserve- New Jersey
Some of the first dinosaur fossils were found in New Jersey, who areas were mostly wetlands about 145 million years ago. At Big Brook Reserve in Colt’s Neck, families can become fossil hunters themselves and dig for fossils. Or check out the Dinosaur Den at the Morris Museum where you can touch a real dinosaur egg, follow dinosaur tracks, make a dinosaur track rubbing and hear a sound similar to what a honking Hadrosaur would’ve made. On top of having some pretty neat dinosaur museums, the state yielded some of the earliest fossils in the world, including a baby mastadon and the Hadrosaur.
Wyoming Dinosaur Center-Wyoming
Did you know Wyoming had a state dinosaur? We didn’t either! At the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in the town of Thermopolis, you’ll find Triceratops for show. The center has 30 other mounted specimens including the only Archaeopteryx in North America and a massive eye-catching Supersaurus. Jimbo, the Supersaurus, is a whopping 106-feet-long and is the most complete specimen ever found. If you’re tagging kids along with you, you’ll definitely have to get hands-on. Here, you can go on a dig site tour, or join the “Dig for a Day” or “Kids Dig” programs. Don’t be shy to get your hands dirty, too!
American Museum of Natural History
This place is probably an obvious destination for kid dinosaur connoisseurs, but it’s most definitely a must-see. An assistant curator for New York’s American Museum of Natural History came across the first almost complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the turn of the 20th century. Today, the Central Park landmark has two dinosaur halls filled to the brim with close to 100 fossils and cast specimens. You’ll also find Apatosaurus, who has been on display since 1905, Velociraptor, a duck-billed dinosaur “mummy” that let us see a bit of dino skin, and, of course, the T. Rex that chased Ben Stiller around in the film “Night at the Museum.”
Dinosaur Ridge- Colorado
Bring your hiking shoes along if you decide to visit the Dinosaur Ridge, located in Morrison, Colorado. The ridge offers walking trails and exhibits in an outdoor setting. Set off on a two-mile Dinosaur Ridge Trail, which has hundreds of dinosaur tracks and tons of dinosaur bones, while the Triceratops Trail winds between walls of sandstone and into clay pits. Here, you’ll see footprints from four different kinds of dinosaurs.
Dinosaur State Park- Connecticut
Rocky Hill, Connecticut, only eight miles south of Hartford, is sort of a surprising setting for one of the biggest dinosaur tracks in North America. It was discovered back in 1966 when the area was excavated. Five hundred of the tracks are now enclosed inside the Exhibit Center’s geodesic dome, including Jurassic footprints made at least 200 million years ago. This awesome park also offer guided walks. They also have scavenger hunts and dinosaur-themed arts and crafts for kids.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis- Indiana
This museum is most famous for its rare specimens, including a Gorgosaur with a brain tumor and the Dracorex hogwartsia, which resembles a dragon. The name means “Dragon King of Hogwarts” and is a newly discovered species. Right now, it has one of only four mummified dinosaurs in the world. It won’t be on display forever, though, so catch it while you can. The museum also leads dinosaur digs in Faith, South Dakota every year. Faith is home to one of the world’s biggest fossil beds of duckbill dinosaurs.
Dinosaur National Monument- Colorado and Utah
What’s cool about this place is that tourists can view dinosaur fossils that are still embedded in rock. Located on the border of Colorado and Utah (another neat characteristic) the Quarry Exhibit Hall shows 1,500 dinosaur bones, including Stegosaurus and Diplodocus. After you’ve taken a look at all the dinosaurs, head outside to one of the hiking trails. Or do some white water rafting or take a leisurely, scenic drive. The Utah side of the area us where you’ll find the fossils while the Colorado side offers access to the canyons. Keep in mind that Utah and Colorado and covered with dinosaur related sites. The Brigham Young University Museum of Paleontology and the Natural History Museum of Utah are just a few other sites your kiddos would love to see!
The National Museum of Natural History- Washington, D.C.
April is a great time to visit Washington, D.C. to see the cherry trees in bloom, but for dinosaur lovers, it’s a great time for another significant event: the arrival of a new T. Rex. Scheduled to open in 2019, the new 31,000-square-foot exhibit will feature the T.Rex. Though the dinosaur halls are closed, tourists can still see dinosaur fossils in other areas of the museum. The museum boasts one of the largest displays in the country, but it barely touches the 46 million fossils it has in its collection.
The Chicago Children’s Museum- Illinois
The Chicago Children’s Museum is filled with tons of fun activities for kids, but they’ll probably love the Dinosaur Exhibition the best. Here, they can spend as much time as they want digging for dinosaur bones at the excavation site, checking out dinosaur fossils and learning more about the life of real archaeologists. Crafty kids might enjoy the Kraft Artabounds Studio. Paint, markers, paper and supplies are available so they can create a masterpiece. For kids who love water, an exhibit called WaterWays is where they’ll want to stay. It allows them to play in water while learning about the essential components of the resource.