Travel Back in Prehistoric Time with Dinosaur Park
Cover photo: Western Michigan University Facilities Management
Do you have a kid that digs dinos?
Western Michigan University’s Dinosaur Park has become a local favorite, starting with six prehistoric residents in 2021.
In June of 2022, the group of dinosaurs has grown to seven, courtesy of a massive, 15-foot Brachiosaurus.
These seven large-scale dinosaurs live on campus in the aptly named Dinosaur Park. If your family includes some future paleontologists, geologists or just animal fans in general, we recommend a trip to visit these prehistoric beasts near Rood Hall. One of our KZOO kids team members, Cassandra, stopped by and shared her experience:
“My boys (preschool and fourth grade) really enjoyed visiting the dinosaurs. While it’s not an activity that takes very long, it’s a unique attraction and so nice that it’s right here on Western’s campus.”
What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Dinosaurs
Before you head out on your dinosaur expedition, here are a few specifics to help:
Where is Dinosaur Park?
Dinosaur Park is located just east of Rood Hall on Western Michigan University’s campus. The dinosaurs are all outside and free to visit, all year round.
2101 Wilbur Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Is it Really Free to Visit?
Yes! There is no admission fee to visit the dinosaurs.
How Many Different Dinosaurs Can We See?
There are six different types of dinosaurs: Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Utahraptor and Parasaurolophus.
There are two Utahraptors, bringing the total statue count to seven.
How Big are the Dinosaurs?
Bigger than a breadbox- or a fourth-grader. These large sculptures are large enough to enjoy visiting, but not so large that kids find them scary. Cassandra’s preschooler was at ease around the large creatures.
Safety Note: The dinosaurs are definitely a “look but don’t touch” exhibit. There are signs posted to remind visitors not to touch or climb on the statues.
Can We Learn More About the Dinosaurs?
Each dinosaur includes a sign with facts about the animal including its speed, diet, and prehistoric time period.
Dinosaur Park is Still Evolving
Although dinosaurs are extinct, this park is still undergoing its own evolution.
While the pandemic slowed its momentum, Western Michigan’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is planning to expand Dinosaur Park.
This means more dinosaurs, more plant life, more lighting, and more geological installations. They have a donation page set up to support their efforts.
Make a Museum Stop
Since you’re next door to Rood Hall, stop by The Schmaltz Geology and Mineral Museum, located on the first floor of the building.
Museum Collections include the following:
- The Kelley Collection of fossil and modern shark teeth
- The James Duncan mineral and agate collection
- A Michigan copper boulder
- An ultraviolet fluorescent display
- Mastodon fossils from Van Buren County, MI
- World-class fossil and mineral specimens
- An interactive augmented reality sandbox
The museum is usually open to visitors Monday – Friday, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Classes are held throughout the day at Rood Hall, so visitors are asked to be mindful of that during their visit.
Where to Find Parking
Most parking lots are by permit only on Western’s campus, so be sure to follow all posted signs.
2022 WMU Summer Parking Update: From May 2 until August 26, 2022 there is free parking in Lot 61 for Dinosaur Park visitors. Please follow the posted signage, as there is limited access to Dinosaur Park due to construction on campus walkways over the summer.
For additional information, visit the Parking Services website.
Have you Visited Dinosaur Park?
Leave us a comment with your experience and let us know how it went!