Animal lovers, aspiring paleontologists, and history buffs alike will love these dinosaur museums in the United States for families! From coast to coast, you’ll find some of the most educational and fun museums across the country. So, whether you’re visiting New York, DC, or even Chicago, there’s no reason not to visit some of these incredible institutions! See giant a T-Rex, Wooly Mammoths, and other life-size fossil displays when you visit one of these amazing museums. Kids can feel like they’ve entered a movie scene at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, for example. Or, you can venture off the beaten path to the Museum of the Rockies in Montana or even the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming. For your convenience, we’ve put together this list of dinosaur museums in the United States for families, divided by location. Keep reading to plan your next animal adventure!
Best Dinosaur Museums in the Mountain States for Families
With lots of open space and national parks, the Mountain States have a ton of dinosaur opportunities for families. If you’re looking for the best dinosaur museums in Wyoming, Montana, and more, keep reading!
Museum of the Rockies
Searching for the best dinosaur museums in the United States for families? You’ll love the Museum of the Rockies, the best dinosaur attraction in Montana! Located in Bozeman, this world-class research facility and museum is famous for its fossil collection. Alongside some rotating exhibitions, the museum’s permanent collection includes exhibits like Welcome To Yellowstone Country, where kids can learn more about the wildlife and history of Yellowstone. Then, they’ll also be able to see their favorite dinosaurs in Dinosaurs Under The Big Sky! On the second floor, you’ll also find the Martin Children’s Discovery Center, with an exhibit designed for kids eight and under. When the weather is nice, families can also visit the museum’s seasonal outdoor exhibit, Living History Farm, to find out more about life in Montana back in the day. There’s also a planetarium with daily shows, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Tate Geological Museum at Casper College
If you’re looking for one of the best dinosaur museums in the United States for families, try the Tate Geological Museum! Showcasing history and a ton of outdoor activities, this family-friendly museum is located in Casper, Wyoming. Kids will surely be captivated from the moment you walk through the door and see “Dee the Mammoth.” This life-size display is on view in the museum’s Pleistocene Exhibit, alongside other fascinating creatures! Children can study the difference between mammoths, mastodons, elephants, and more. Families can also check out The Dino Den, where they can study touchable fossil castings and try other interactive activities. Young kids will have a black with the dinosaur toys! While this museum is small, there’s a lot to do with kids. You could spend hours just learning about rocks and minerals! It’s surely one of the best museums in Wyoming with a dinosaur exhibit!
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Best Dinosaur Museums in the Midwest for Families
From Illinois to Wisconsin, the best dinosaur museums in the Midwest for families won’t be hard to find. Keep reading for our tips and suggestions!
Visit one of the biggest dinosaur museums in the world when you buy tickets to the Field Museum! Located in Chicago, Illinois, this natural history museum features a variety of permanent and timed exhibitions for families. Stroll through the Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, featuring a variety of fossils, animated videos, and other interactive displays. Here, kids can learn about many topics from around the world. In fact, they can even meet SUE, a 40-foot-long T-Rex! In fact, SUE is the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever discovered. Then, families can come face to face with the largest dinosaur that ever lived when you say hello to Maximo, the Titanosaur! Not to mention, kids are sure to adore the new exhibit featuring Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep! Finally, other exhibits include the Hall of Birds, a look inside ancient Egypt, and the Grainger Hall of Gems.
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Chicago Children’s Museum
Bring your little ones to the Chicago Children’s Museum to entertain and educate them! Housed on Chicago’s Navy Pier, it’s one of the best museums in Chicago with a dinosaur exhibit. Children can enjoy a variety of interactive exhibits to get them thinking, from math to science and arts and crafts. Venture through a fictitious forest at Treehouse Trails or learn something new at the Tinkering Lab. Kids can even dig for dinosaur bones at Dinosaur Expedition with archeologist tools! With special areas for younger kids, even toddlers can join in on the fun. In general, we recommend this museum for kids between four and eight years old. Plus, since the museum is located on Navy Pier, there’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy both before and after your visit. No wonder it’s one of the best dinosaur museums in the United States for families!
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Best Dinosaur Museums on the West Coast for Families
West Coast families won’t be left out of the fun, thanks to the best dinosaur museums in Los Angeles! Here’s our suggestion for where to see dinosaurs on the West Coast!
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA
Dinosaur lovers from far and wide flock to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best dinosaur museums in California (and the United States) for families! Save at least a few hours to explore this kid-friendly attraction in Exposition Park, since there’s so much to see here. From the towering dinosaur fossils in the Dino Hall to the hands-on activities in the Nature Lab, kids will jump at the chance to check out their favorite animals on display. They can even go on a dinosaur adventure in the Dinosaur Lab! Get an up-close look at what it’s like to work as a paleontologist during this interactive experience. Alongside a sizable permanent collection of artifacts, the museum has a few temporary exhibits too. Don’t forget to head outside to the Nature Gardens on a gorgeous sunny day!
Best Dinosaur Museums on the East Coast for Families
From museums that were once iconic movie backgrounds to free museums, the East Coast has some of the best dinosaur museums in the United States for families. Keep reading to learn more!
American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY
Kids will feel like they’ve stepped into a scene from Night at the Museum when you visit the iconic American Museum of Natural History! Located in New York City’s Upper West Side, families can see thousands of prehistoric artifacts from around the world, as this is one of the best museums in NYC with a dinosaur exhibit. Exhibitions are easily divided by locations like Asia, Africa, and America. Prepare for the look on your kids’ faces as you pass by life-sized dinosaurs, Alaskan brown bears, sea creatures, and other animals. Of course, don’t forget to say hello to the famous giant blue whale hovering over the main area! With the Hayden Planetarium, a Sea Lion movie, and special rotating exhibitions, you’ll be entertained for hours. In fact, many parents think one day isn’t enough, so come early. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents can even get free admission!
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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
As one of the best museums in DC for dinosaur lovers, The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History welcomes animal enthusiasts of all ages! Located on the National Mall, it’s easy to fit into any trip itinerary –– and it’s free. From the giant elephant that greets you in the atrium to tiny skeletons of flying fish, kids will find all kinds of animals here. Of course, ancient artifacts are also on display. When you visit, be sure to venture through the Hall of Fossils, where kids can travel back in time to witness the evolution of the earth and natural life. They’ll have the chance to see over 700 fossils in this newly renovated space! Aside from dinosaurs, the museum also showcases a variety of other exhibitions, like The Geology Hall with the Hope Diamond. Set aside at least an hour or two to see everything!
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We hope you loved this list of the Best Dinosaur Museums In The United States For Families! Whether you’re visiting the East Coast, Midwest, or elsewhere, dinosaur lovers of all ages will have a blast at these attractions. Enjoy exploring museums with your kids!
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*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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