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Dallas/Fort Worth Area – Where to Find Dinosaurs on Vacation.  Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose TexasNorth Texas was once home to dinosaurs so it is one of the best places to enjoy a dinosaur encounter. We are not talking Dinotopia but there is still the possibility for family fun and shared learning.
From dinosaur topiaries at the Museum of Natural history in Fort Worth to dinosaur treks in Glen Rose and seeing SUE at the Perot Museum there are oodles of possibilities for sharing, learning, and fun.  I am including some of the best spots.  Each offers a unique way to engage kids without boring them and that makes all of the difference.

Glen Rose: Dinosaur Valley State Park Follow the dino tracks. North Texas is home to some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. And the best location is Dinosaur Valley State Park. It offers a chance to hike along well marked trails to a in a riverbed where it is possible to view actual dinosaur footprints dating more than 112 million years ago. The location is meticulously laid out with the proper chronology, and supportive visuals to make sharing the past with kids more interesting and rewarding. Additional park activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area, river swimming, fishing, stargazing, and wildlife observation. Bonus Points: Unique ranger-led family events include World of Fossils – Dino Trek, Dinosaurs/Coral Reef Hike Park, and After Dark Night Hike. Wait for it! See also two fiberglass models, a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus rex commissioned by Sinclair Oil Company for New York World's Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 - 1965. (Dinosaur Valley State Somervell, TX 76043. (254) 897-4588 or Dinosaur Valley State Park)

Dallas: Perot Museum Remember the story of SUE? See the newest, action-packed 3D film called “Waking the T. Rex 3D: The Story of SUE” – a film that travels back 67 million years to the Cretaceous period and follows the life of SUE – the largest, most complete T. rex ever found. The imagery flows from nest to death using vivid scenery, vibrant colors and amazing sound to make learning about the discovery of T. rex SUE, and the field of paleontology, fun and compelling. The captivating science-adventure film chronicles the largest, most complete T. rex ever found. SUE was discovered in South Dakota but calls Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History home. Bonus Points: After the film, visitors can view a T. rex in person, along with hundreds of rare fossils featured in the Museum’s own T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall. Wait for it! To see the film trailer for Waking the T. rex 3D: The Story of SUE, go to (Perot Museum of Nature and Science 2201 N. Field Street, Dallas, TX 75201214.756.5732 or
Fort Worth: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (FWMSH) - Create your own dinosaur. DinoLabs at the museum is a 3,700-square-foot-gallery created to showcase the State Dinosaur of Texas - Paluxysaurus jonesi. Skeletons of Tenontosaurus dossi and an ornithopod dinosaur are also fully articulated in the exhibition. Guests have the opportunity to experiment with fossils, measure bones to determine dinosaur size and surrounding environment, and use microscopic discovery to compare dinosaur characteristics to those of present-day creatures. Bonus Points: The high point of the exhibition is an interactive imaging station where guests can begin to reconstruct their own dinosaur based on information they’ve gleaned from the exhibition. Wait for it!  The museum offers a chance to make discoveries in the sandy ground of DinoDig® and area populated with local fossils of shark teeth, clams, snails, sea biscuits, and ammonites. (FWMSH 1600 Gendy Street Fort Worth, Texas 76107 (817) 255-9300, toll-free 888-255-9300 or World Glen Rose Texas

Glen Rose: Dinosaur World – Count dinosaurs with your kids. Also in glen Rose this location provides dozens of giant life-sized dinosaur replicas including  Brachiosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Spinosaurus, Stygimoloch, and Triceratops. This is the place to let your imagination run wild. The life-like dinosaurs are arranged in groups in a variety of settings making them appear quite real. Name the dinosaurs or if you can’t then get the details from the helpful signage. Bonus Points: Included in admission, the Fossil Dig onsite allows children ages three to 12 to sift through sand for fossils as a memento of the adventure. Wait for it! Any family trip to Glen Rose must include a stop at the quirky Storiebook Café on Barnard Street. A great place for yummy soup, sandwiches, and wraps plus books about dinosaurs and sometimes a story time. (1058 Park Road 59 in Glen Rose near the entrance to Dinosaur Valley State Park.  (254) 898-1526 or

Great news from the Heard! I can’t resist mentioning that Dinosaurs Live! will return in the fall of 2014 to the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Encounter the 46-foot T. rex and eight new life-size animatronic, dinosaurs along the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature trails. (1 Nature Place, McKinney TX 75069. (972) 562-5566 or

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images by Family Travel Files and Perot Museum. Copyright updated 2017.

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A Texas Dinosaur Adventure for Three Generations.
Our most recent North Texas dinosaur adventure took place at Dinosaur World near Glen Rose. It was led by and energetic three-year-old with two of his more knowledgeable companions as aids.
Discover Dinos in the Desert.
It’s a dinosaur lovers alert. Phoenix Zoo will soon be home to 23 prehistoric creatures nestled along the Zoo’s Desert Lives Trail offering an extra special adventure for all ages.
DinoLabs Offers Immersive Fun for Young Dinosaur Lovers.
Imaginative, energizing, and loaded with automatic learning potential, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has made use of the latest immersive technology to ensure the new dinosaur gallery will delight all ages.
So Many LEGOS, So Little Time.
Not far from DFW Airport is a LEGO playtime capsule which provides hours of pure fun. LEGOLand in Grapevine is a most colorful and enticing place where imaginations run wild, things get built, things get destroyed, and immersive learning just happens.
Dinosaurs Live! at the Heard.
For the 12th consecutive year the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature trails will be populated with gigantic animatronic dinosaurs providing a great way to time travel with your kids.

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