With three kids, it can be a little difficult and overwhelming to get out of the house sometimes. That’s why one of our family goals this year is to get out for some awesome adventures at least once a month. Our first trip: Discover the Dinosaurs. It’s no secret that our family loves dinosaurs (we even celebrate Dinovember), so this was right up our alley.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Discover the Dinosaurs is like a traveling dinosaur museum. But the dinosaurs look real. And they move! They travel from city to city around the country, and the exhibit typically stays open for the whole weekend.
We went on a Sunday morning right after it opened. We got up a little early, packed up the kids and grandparents, and enjoyed our two-plus hour road trip. We wanted to get there before it got too crowded, and it was a good thing we did. Monster was apprehensive at first, but once he got used to the giant dinosaurs he was so excited. I think visiting the dinosaurs was a dream come true for him.
When you walk in the door you get an opportunity for a souvenir photo. I was all about this! Finally we had a chance for a nice family picture not taken selfie-style. We actually got a few nice pictures that day. You might think that the fact the dinosaurs are taking over the photos might bother me (finally a family photo and it’s filled with dinosaurs?!), but that makes me love them even more. Who wouldn’t love getting photobombed by a triceratops?
Walking through the dinosaur exhibit is kind of like walking through a forest at night. It’s dark, there’s plenty of plant life around, and there are dinosaurs everywhere. Each dinosaur has it’s own little area, and there’s a small monitor or plaque that tells you all the interesting facts about it. You get to know who each dinosaur is, and a little about them.
In the exhibit area there’s also two smaller dinosaurs the kids can sit on to get their photos taken. Monster loved this! He got to sit on a Triceratops and a T-Rex. There were also dinosaur rides, but he didn’t seem as interested in sitting on a dinosaur that moved around.
After the dinosaur exhibits, you walk through the gift shop area (we made sure to go there right before leaving) to get to the rest of the activities. There were bouncy inflatables and mini-golf. There was a small area for younger kids with four small dinosaur statues. Monster enjoyed climbing on those for more pictures, and I think he was happy to run for a few minutes to get out some energy.
This was also his first time in one of those huge inflatables. He was kinda shy about it at first, but then realized the true wonder that is a bounce house. We almost didn’t get him out of there to go eat.
The website said that there would be a concession stand on site, but it didn’t seem to have enough options to feed our family. It might be different in other cities. Fortunately, there was a diner across the street. The stamps on our hands allowed us back into the exhibits so we could go let the boy bounce some more.
One great thing about this event is that there is plenty of room for lots of people to walk around. It never felt too crowded. If you’ve ever pushed a giant stroller somewhere, you’ll understand why this is so wonderful. We ditched our large double stroller for the day and used two small umbrella strollers for the twins (we just passed them around between adults). They took everything in. I think they were just as excited to see everything, and they loved the colored lights. After lunch you could tell they were exhausted, and they put up a great fight to not nap. Who could blame them, I didn’t want to miss anything either. Eventually they gave in.
On our way out the door, with two snoozing girls and an exhausted boy, we hit up the gift shop area. There were dinosaur souvenirs galore! Stuffed animals of all sizes, vinyl dinosaurs, toys, statues, eggs, necklaces and keychains, you name it, it was there. We let Monster pick out whatever stuffed animal he wanted, so he immediately went for the biggest T-Rex he could find. Then he helped me pick out two smaller dinosaurs for his sisters.
If Discover the Dinosaurs comes to your area or anywhere near you, you really have to go. This event is definitely worth the road trip if it’s not close enough to you. I can’t tell you how much fun we had, and what a neat experience it was. There is so much to do, and there’s something for everyone. Check their website to see when they’ll be coming to you. Our son has already asked to go back about a hundred times, but we’ve told him that the dinosaurs had to go visit kids in other cities. When they come back to our area, we’ll definitely go again.