by Julie S
Roar! Stomp! Our children love to pretend to be dinosaurs, to discover them, and they learn how to say the long names of them often before they can say a complete sentence. If you have a dinosaur lover in the house, or maybe you are one yourself, there are so many opportunities both near and far to learn and discover these fascinating reptiles!
You’ll want to mark your calendar for some great dinosaur events and activities around Kalamazoo and also note that there are a ton of opportunities to see more in Ann Arbor, Chicago, and even further from home. You’ll want to make the trip to see one of these great events!
Plus, for we have a great listing of the top places to see dinosaurs around the country. Mark this for your ultimate dinosaur bucketlist!
DON’T MISS THESE LIMITED-TIME EVENTS:
KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM
ANIMOTION FESTIVAL – DINOSAURS!
June 2 from 5:30-8:00pm
June 3 from 12:00-4:00pm
This year, fun will focus on DINOSAURS! Kalamazoo Valley Community College students will show their original animated shorts on Friday night, and on Saturday at 2:00pm, a paleontologist from the University of Chicago will speak. Create your own stop-motion Claymation with dinosaurs of your own design!
RETURN OF THE DINOSAUR ACTIVITIES
Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00pm
June 28: Dino Souvenirs
Dinosaurs are all the rage! Create your own dinosaur flag, cup, flyer, and so much more.
July 5: Dino Dig
Dig for dinosaurs, put the bones together, and create your own fossils.
July 12: Dino School
Design and create a wide variety of dinosaurs, learning what made each of them unique.
July 19: Dino Games
Dinosaur games, puzzles, and brainteasers galore.
July 26: Dino Science
Use arts and crafts to explore the many aspects of the lives of dinosaurs.
August 2: Dino Land
Design habitats and environmental features common to the eras of dinosaurs.
August 9: Dino Celebrities
Create and explore dinosaurs from your favorite books and movies.
Dinosaurs at Dusk
June 17 – September 10
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00pm
Take to the skies and discover the origins of flight as your travel back in time to meet the ancestors of modern-day birds and explore the last days of the dinosaurs.
Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs?
June 17 – September 10
Monday-Friday at 11:00 am
Saturday at 1:00pm
Sunday at 2:00pm
Did a space rock six miles wide slam into the Earth 66 million years ago and wipe out 75 percent of all species, including the dinosaurs? Learn about Earth’s largest extinction events and celestial objects that periodically hit the Earth.
June 28 – August 30 from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Dinosaur environments, puzzles, toys, puppets, and music! Children’s five and under are encouraged to play and explore in three rooms of interactive exhibits and playful environments.
LEILA ARBORETUM – Kaleidoscope Garden (Formerly Children’s Garden)
Battle Creek, MI
Saturday, June 10 from 10:00am-12:00pm *with live animal demonstration*
Wednesday, June 14 from 11:00am-2:00pm
Join us in the garden to take a closer look at the fossils of dinosaurs big and small. See if you have what it takes to discover dinosaurs.
GRAND RAPIDS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Grand Rapids, MI
Now through June 25th
Dig up fossils, examine dinosaur habitats, put on a dinosaur puppet show and make T.rex sounds.
ALLEN COUNTY WAR MUSEUM COLISEUM
Ft Wayne, IN
Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20
Over 80 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, fossil digs, bouncehouses, face painting, dino crafts and even the opportunity to ride the dinosaurs. Different types of tickets can be purchased online or at the door, with some offering unlimited rides. A few activities are extra.
The Field Museum will be hosting Jurassic World: The Exhibition, created with close collaboration with Jack Horner, a renowned paleontologist. Visitors will be able to imagine what it would have felt like to walk with the dinosaurs through towering dinosaurs and tons of interactive exhibits.
CONSIDER A DAY TRIP TO SEE ONE OF THESE:
St. Joseph, MI
One of the exhibits at this fun museum near Lake Michigan is Geo Kids. Climb on the volcano and slide down the other side of it, but watch out for the next eruption! Assemble a kid-sized triceratops, and test your memory with the Match-A-Saurus game.
An immersive exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, their Dinosphere exhibit is a huge hit with kids and adults alike. There are dinosaur skeletons, places to dig for dinosaur bones, a huge collection of juvenile dinosaur fossils, and an opportunity to touch a T.rex bone.
Ann Arbor, MI
Their Hall of Evolution houses Michigan’s largest display of prehistoric life, including dinosaurs, prehistoric whales and mastodons. And not a dinosaur, but on display until the end of 2017 is the Bristle Mammoth remains which were found last fall in Chelsea. During the weekend the museum offers free dinosaur tours at 2:00pm for the first 15 people to sign up. There are also family scavenger hunts to print out and do for prehistoric life.
East Lansing, MI
The Habitat Hall displays life-sized dioramas of the different habitats of North America, and includes complete skeletons of two Jurassic period dinosaurs, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus, as well as many smaller displays related to dinosaurs. Their Hall of Evolution also contains a large amount of prehistoric fossils. The museum also sponsors a race in early October called the Dinosaur Dash, which offers three smaller races for kids and at completion a Dinosaur Dash medal.
Just a few hours from Kalamazoo, Chicago’s Field Museum houses Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in the world. The display has her actual bones, except for a cast skull which is too heavy for the frame, but the actual skull is displayed on another floor. They currently have a dinosaur 3D movie, and Evolving Planet, which is an expanded dinosaur hall.
Walk among life-sized replicas of dinosaurs in their natural habitat on their own or by guided tour. They also have putt-putt golf, a miners sluice, fossil dig, frozen yogurt, and a gift shop.
PERFECT FOR A FAMILY VACATION (4+ HOURS AWAY)
An additional fee of under $5 gets you into Dinosaurs Alive!, an animatronic dinosaur park in the middle of Kings Island. You can visit more than 65 moving dinosaurs, including several you control, or be a paleontologist at their dig site.
Take your family on an actual dinosaur dig where scientists are conducting real dinosaur research! You can take a three hour site tour which will teach the basics of fossil identification, surface mapping, and the local history, or choose to do a full day program with the family which will teach the same as the site dig but then head out in the afternoon to participate in an actual dinosaur dig.
Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall where visitors can see over 1500 dinosaur fossils exposed on the cliff face. Also take a tour, earn a Junior Ranger badge, go horseback riding, see petroglyphs, or camp within the park.
Cave City, KY
Walk among hundreds of life-sized dinosaurs in a natural setting, view interactive exhibits, and let your kids play on the dinosaur themed playground. You can even bring a dog on a leash! They also have a dinosaur and prehistoric themed gift shop.
Glen Rose, TX
This park has two fiberglass dinosaurs built for the World’s Fair in 1964. But if those aren’t impressive enough, this park’s real draw is this park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, including dinosaur tracks surrounding a swimming hole that you can swim in! There are also campsites, hiking trails, and an interpretative center.
Rocky Hill, CT
One of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Explore the tracks under their geodesic dome, hike along their nature trails, and visit their arboretum which contains more than 250 species and living representatives of plant families that appeared in the Age of Dinosaurs.
This center has the only Archaeopteryx in North America, and Jimbo, a 106-foot long Supersaurus, one of the longest dinosaurs in the world, and the largest and most complete specimen ever found. There are over 30 mounted skeletons here, and their dig site is just down the street. You can also join their Dig for a Day program, which is okay for young children all the way up to senior citizens. If kids find a bone, it’s logged in the logbook and remains there as the child’s contribution to science!
A new exhibit, The Last American Dinosaurs, is currently on display on their second floor while The National Fossil Hall is being renovated (and will open to the public in 2019). In 2013, a team from the Smithsonian traveled to Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota to collect and excavate fossils. These fossils have been studied and are now on display.
AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK HERE FOR DINOSAUR RELATED CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES!
Our own KzooKids staff member has put together a Pinterest board with all things dinosaur!
If we’ve forgotten one of your favorite dinosaur hangouts, please let us know and we would love to share with the rest of our readers!
PIN THIS FOR LATER