|Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
|USA: Great Lakes, Tracking Dinosaurs on Vacation.
Dino fanatics of all ages found their interest in the magnificent prehistoric reptiles rekindled with the ABC Mega Series of Dinotopia, based one of my favorite childhood books. Luckily nearly everyone in North America is within a short drive of ancient “lizards” and mammals.
From still active dig sites to cool hallways in which immense skeletons loom, to fascinating exhibits which display the most recent theories on lifestyle this list sums them all up. Coast to coast, from sunny California to Connecticut, the U.S. offers dinosaur lovers and their families a chance to get up close and personal with natural history. Only what we believe to be the best is featured on this list. Of course if you’ve visited a fantastic dinosaur site, let me know and I will add it. Have a great time tracking dinosaurs.
Illinois: Field Museum of Natural History.
Displays such ancient skeletons as a Brachiosaurus, remodeled to reflect exciting new theories. The theorized way of life for such dinosaurs as Albertosaurus, Lambeosaurus, and Apatosaurus are also on exhibit, as well as mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, ground sloths and other prehistoric animals. The Dino Zone. The “Zone” at The Field Museum is an exciting place in to see and learn more about dinosaurs and other fossils. Hands-on dinosaur-themed interpretive station makes hours pass quickly. Young visitors and their companions may try their skills by becoming paleontologists and examining touchable dinosaur teeth, claws, and bones. Bonus points: The McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Laboratory allows visitors to observe Field Museum staff preparing fossils from all over the world. The star of the Zone is Sue is the world's largest, most complete and most famous T. rex. More than 90% of the skeleton body of Sue is original not a replica. The head is displayed on the 3rd floor and a fake one is sitting on Sue. The reason, the head is to heavy for the frame to hold. Up until April 23, 2006, Sue’s friends from China will be here to visit. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605. 1 (312) 922-9410, www.fmnh.org
Indiana: Falls of the Ohio State Park.
The fossil beds at the Ohio State Park are said to be some of the oldest in the world. Most of the fossils add up to more than 350 million years old! There is also a 16,000 square foot interpretive center with exhibits. Fishing, hiking, fossil viewing, bird watching, and picnicking are other activities available for visitors to the park. (P.O. Box 1327, Jeffersonville, IN 47131.1 (812) 280-9970, www.indianaoutfitters.com/fallsohio.html
Minnesota: The Science Museum of Minnesota.
This museum features skeletons of such dinosaurs as Diplodocus, Allosaurus as well as several Camptosauruses. Dinosaur eggs and fossils of ancient crocodiles rare in Minnesota are also displayed. This is an amazing place, located along the river almost in downtown. The docents at this museum relate to all ages and though it has a cathedral like main hall once inside it is cozy and pleasant for small children. (120 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55102. 1 (612) 221-9444, 1 (612) 221-9488, www.sci.mus.mn.us
Ohio: McKinley Museum of History.
At the McKinely Museum of History, you will find the “Discover World” portion. “Discovery World” features a fine collection of dinosaur exhibits including a fully animated robotic model of an Allosaurus. You can also view a dig-site representation, which helps put the work archeologists do into perspective. (800 McKinley Monument Drive NW, Canton, OH 44708. 1 (330) 455-7043 or www.mckinleymuseum.org
Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
A Dunkleosteus, a Nanotyrannus, and a Haplocanthosaurus are all on display. An international team of scientists, including a former Museum curator, in 1974, discovered the partial skeleton of 3.2-million-year-old called “Lucy”. Formally known as Australopithecus afarensis, this entirely new species of human ancestor provides valuable clues as to when and why humans began to walk upright and evolve larger brains. The Museum possesses the only specimen of Nanotyrannus lancensis, a small tyrannosaur. This museum also offers opportunities for kids to dig dinosaurs, discover nature, and even attend the Museum's overnight sleepovers (called Museum Camp-ins). There are also classes for parents and kids to explore the wonders of nature together. (1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. 1 (216) 231-4600 or www.cmnh.org
Researched and compiled by Travel Communications. Copyright 2008.