Go back to where it all began with these amazing dinosaur-themed vacations in the United States for families! From Connecticut to Colorado, there are a ton of fantastic dinosaur parks, museums, and other attractions across the country. Visiting one of these places with your little dinosaur will be exciting and educational as well, as they can learn more about prehistoric times through tailored exhibits. Not to mention chances for hands-on engagement, from digging to gem mining and even thrilling rides. Kids will love visiting destinations reminiscent of classic movies like Jurassic World and Jurassic Park, and they’ll learn a lot too! So, next time you’re looking for a fun and learning-filled vacation for your family, consider our parent-approved advice. Keep reading for our list of the Best Dinosaur-Themed Vacations In The United States For Families!
Best Dinosaur-Themed Vacations in the Mountain States for Families
From Colorado to Utah and Wyoming, the Mountain States boast natural beauty and many places to see dinosaurs! Next time you’re planning a dinosaur-themed vacation in the United States for families, check out these options.
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Dinosaur National Monument
Get up close and personal with huge remains at Dinosaur National Monument! Located near Jensen on the border between Colorado and Utah, this national park welcomes dinosaur lovers from far and wide. Here, you can see over 1,500 bones encased in rock at the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. Before you arrive, remember to pick up a Junior Ranger guidebook for your kids. They can complete the tasks in the booklet and submit them to the Visitor Center. Then, they’ll be officially sworn in as Junior Ranger and receive badges for free! Depending on which season you visit, you’ll also find other activities for families.
Go hiking on one of the kid-friendly trails like the Hog Canyon Trail (1.5 miles round trip), the Gates of Lodore Nature Trail (1.5 miles round trip), and the Harpers Corner Trail (2 miles round trip). If you visit in the summer, you can also go whitewater rafting. Certainly, this is one of the best dinosaur-themed trips in Utah for families!
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Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Get ready for a roaring time at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center! Showcasing fossils from the hills outside Thermopolis, this family-friendly dinosaur-themed attraction in Wyoming lets guests see some of the most remarkable fossils ever (and where they came from!). Start your visit with a walk through the museum, where you’ll learn more about the fossils and see some life-sized dinosaurs. To get a closer look at the dinosaurs, the center even lets you do a “Dig For A Day,” and a Kids’ Dig. Ideal for kids between seven and twelve, this fun excursion teaches little ones the ins and outs of fossil preservation. Then, they’ll visit the nearby excavation sites with a guide as they search for fossils! This is a wonderful way to get kids engaged in the subject matter and contribute to science at a young age.
Check out Colorado’s prehistoric past when you visit Dinosaur Ridge. With more than 300 dinosaur tracks and a collection of Jurassic bones, this family-friendly destination in Morrison is a must for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages. Here, you’ll find an educational Visitor Center, plus two interpretive trails to explore. Start your visit at the Main Visitor Center, where you can pick up maps for hiking and see the exhibits. Try your hand at Sluice Mining, say hi to the dinosaur replicas, and more!
Then, you can head outside to one (or both!) of the trails. The Triceratops Trail is a little shorter (around 1.5 miles), with lots of chances to see dinosaur tracks. Meanwhile, the Dinosaur Ridge Trail is a little longer at around 2 miles, but features more chances to see tracks and fossils. Kids can even see fossils up close and touch them at the dig areas! No wonder this is one of the best dinosaur-themed trips in Colorado for families!
Best Dinosaur-Themed Vacations on the East Coast for Families
The East Coast has some great dinosaur-themed vacations for families! With quaint destinations like Connecticut, you can enjoy a low-key vacation and learn a lot too. Keep reading to learn more!
Dinosaur State Park
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
See one of the largest dinosaur tracks in North America when you visit Dinosaur State Park. Nestled on over 80 scenic acres in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, this indoor/outdoor destination provides an educational and fun excursion. First, you can start your visit with a brief overview of the museum, which has hands-on exhibits like a Dig Pit and activities for kids to complete. Afterward, you can head outside to explore over 2 miles of nature trails through the property. Don’t forget about the Arboretum, which features over 200 varieties of common and unusual flora and fauna. In the spring, the state park also offers gem and fossil mining every weekend. From May to October, kids can even participate in track casting, where they’ll get to make their very own dinosaur tracks. No wonder this is one of the best dinosaur-themed vacations in the United States for families!
Note: The exhibit center will be closed from March 1st through August 1st for maintenance. However, the outdoor areas, including the track casting and mining trails, will remain open. Plus, they will have additional activities and shows outside this summer, including live fossil and mineral shows, as well as live animal demonstrations.
Best Dinosaur-Themed Vacations in the Southern United States for Families
With warmer weather and great scenery, these dinosaur-themed vacations in the Southern United States make fantastic destinations for families. From Texas to Florida, you’ll love these options!
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Glen Rose, Texas
Dinosaur Valley State Park is an excellent destination for a family adventure. Located near Glen Rose, Texas, this gorgeous area is fossilized and rich in natural beauty. Everyone in your family can enjoy this park, even those who aren’t dinosaur enthusiasts! Whether you’re looking for gorgeous trails or to discover some dinosaur footprints, there’s much to do here. In fact, there are multiple trails throughout the park where you can uncover some cool dinosaur tracks, like the Limestone Ledge Trail (1.1 miles), the Paluxy River Trail (1.9 miles), or the Discovery Trail (0.1 miles) for smaller kids. Most of the main trails are across the river, so be careful.
In the summer, a lot of families use this river to swim, kayak, or canoe. Remember to also take advantage of the park’s Junior Ranger Program for your children to get the most out of their visit! With so much to do, families will quickly see why this is one of the best dinosaur-themed trips in Texas for kids.
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Cave City, KY
One of the best Dinosaur-themed vacations in the United States for families is Dinosaur World. Located in Cave City, Kentucky, this kid-friendly amusement center is also near Mammoth Cave National Park. Not only is this a terrific place for children to explore, but it also has many other exciting activities and dinosaur attractions to keep them engaged. Embark on a wonderful paved track through the forest on the Dinosaur Walk. Kids will love spotting all the “life-sized” dinosaurs along the route! On a rock, you’ll also find an explanation of each exhibit, but it won’t bog you down with too much scientific information.
Dinosaur World’s picnic grounds and dinosaur gardens add to the pleasure as well, so be sure to stop by once you’re finished. Then, the center even encourages guests to bring coolers with snacks and other foods, which makes it easy to turn this into a nice family outing! No wonder this is one of the best places for a dinosaur-themed trip in Kentucky.
Plant City, Florida
Looking for one of the best dinosaur-themed vacations in the United States for families? Head to Dinosaur World in Plant City, one of the best dinosaur-themed experiences in Florida with kids! This amazing theme park showcases hundreds of life-size dinosaur reproductions, interactive displays, playgrounds, and other activities for kids. Hands-on exhibits will capture your children’s imaginations and teach them more about dinosaurs. This includes puzzles, activities, and other fun games. Though it’s currently closed due to COVID-19, the park also offers gem and fossil mining for kids to participate in.
Currently, you can still wind through the paved trails for a refreshing walk. Or, head inside to the gift shop to browse cute trinkets. Aside from all the life-size displays, which will surely impress them, kids will also love burning energy on the dinosaur-themed playgrounds. During the time they play and run around, they won’t even realize how much they’re learning!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
There’s a prehistoric wonderland in Disney’s Animal Kingdom waiting for you to explore! Located in Orlando, Florida, this iconic park offers a one-of-a-kind combination of rides and shows. Plus, there are play spaces, animal attractions, and cultural exhibits for kids to enjoy. It’s no surprise this is one of the best dinosaur-themed vacations in the United States for families! Walk the Discovery Island Trails, where you’ll discover a variety of fascinating wildlife. Don’t forget to say hi to Dino-Sue, a famous T-Rex unearthed in South Dakota! Or, ride the DINOSAUR, an indoor ride that lets you travel back in time with spooky special effects. The TriceraTop Spin may be better for younger kids, as there’s no height requirement. Your children will also have a blast digging for Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils at the dig site. While digging into the past, they’ll find a plethora of dino-sized surprises!
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Other Dinosaur-Themed Vacations in the United States for Families (Including Museums)
If you want more dinosaur-themed trips to take with your family, check out these other options! In fact, you can learn more about dinosaurs and have fun doing so at a dinosaur-themed museum in the United States. Explore Yellowstone Country and the animals that roam the area at the Museum of the Rockies in Boseman, Montana. Don’t forget about Dee The Mammoth, a life-size display at the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming!
Kids can also check out all the interactive displays at the Field Museum in Chicago, or check out the Chicago Children’s Museum for a cool dinosaur exhibit. Los Angeles families can’t miss the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, since it has a huge collection of fossils. Of course, East Coasters shouldn’t hesitate to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York or the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in DC!
We hope you liked this list of the Best Dinosaur-Themed Vacations In The United States For Families! Regardless of where you live in the country, you’ll love these fun and educational destinations. Have an amazing vacation with your family!
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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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