5 Ways to See Dinosaurs in New York City and Beyond

5 Ways to See Dinosaurs in New York City and Beyond

If your kids are obsessed with dinosaurs, they'll love these five exhibits and activities.

Since the dawn of time, kids have loved dinosaurs–and they still do! Whether they’ve got an affinity for finding and studying fossils in the present day, or dream of traveling back to the Jurassic era to walk with the most famous of these colossal creatures, summer is the perfect time for pintsized paleontologists to explore exhibits of prehistoria all over the Tri-State area. From Jersey to Manhattan, there are plenty of options for all dino-obsessed kids, as well as dino activities you can do at home to bring a little prehistoric magic to your day.

 

1. Set Up an Egg Hunt

Why should Easter be the only time kids get to hunt for eggs? Make papeir-mâché dinosaur eggs and hide them around the house or use them as a server for treats at a party or play date. Cover a balloon with papeir-mâché (there are plenty of simple how-tos on YouTube), leave to dry, then “split” the egg—cut it in half or roughly split it to look like a broken egg shell. Paint the eggs with some Jurassic color choices—think muddy greens, browns, and yellows. Your kids will still be bragging about this adventure when school rolls around.

 

2. Make Play-Dough Fossils

Roll out a half-inch-thick, flat round of play dough, then have kids press their plastic toy dinosaurs into it to make a full-body impression or footprint ‘fossils.’

 

3. Roam Prehistoric New Jersey

field station dinosaur

Travel just 9 minutes from Manhattan to travel 90 million years back in time at Field Station: Dinosaurs in New Jersey. The park is home to more than 30 life sized dinosaurs, from the new Spinosaurus to the mighty T. rex to the 23-ton Apatosaurus. Situated on 20 acres of New Jersey Meadowlands at the base of a 150-year-old rock formation, the site boasts breathtaking views, live shows, games, workshops, a fossil dig site, and overnight activities. Approximately 9 miles from New York City, this park makes for an awesome family outing. The 2019 season begins May 25. At the door: $25; $20 seniors and children ages 3-12. In advance (online or via phone): $20; $17.50 seniors and children ages 3-12. Kids younger than 3 are always free. Overpeck County Park, Henry Hoebel Section,Fort Lee Road, Leonia, NJ. 855-999-9010. Find out more at nymetroparents.com/nj-dinos.

 

4. Pick Up a Paleo Page-Turner 

scaly spotted book cover

Why not make dinosaurs the theme for your next family reading day (see p. 40)? Pick up a copy of Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like? (ages 10-12; $9.99; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and read about how scientists and artists work together to posit what dinosaurs may have looked like. Did raptors have feathers? What did the skin of a T. rex really feel like? How do scientists take a bunch of bones and fill in the blanks? Find out through vivid illustrations and easy-to-understand explanations from real-life paleontologists.

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5. Spot Dinosaurs at the Zoo and Museum

 

Embark on an adventure like no other at the Bronx Zoo, where 40 new animatronic dinosaurs come to life on a Dinosaur Safari through the woods in the most realistic, biggest dinosaur ride in America. The dinos, which include a T. rex, an Omeisaurus, a Stegosaurus, and many more, interact with each other as safari-goers travel through different prehistoric eras. Your tour guide will connect these giant moving creatures to modern animals as you go, explaining how many behaviors, adaptations, and more from dinosaurs are still present in our current world. After the safari, kids can excavate fossils and take photos. April 19-Nov. 3. Weekdays 10am-5pm; weekends 10am-5:30pm. 

 

Head to the American Museum of Natural History to see the T. rex like you've never seen it before! Upon entering the T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator exhibit, you will be chilled by a silhouetted projection of a T. rex lurking beside you. This begins your journey from a model of a baby T. rex, which almost resembles a baby turkey, all the way to the most accurately depicted, full size T. rex model to date, complete with feathers! (Did you know the T. rex had feathers?) At the end of the exhibit, a 32-foot-long projection of a T. rex is presented in which T. rex hatchlings run around and a life-size T. rex follows your every movement. March 11-August 9. Timed entry only.

 

Looking for more dinosaur fun? Check out these great articles:

Rainy Day Dinosaur Fun

2 Dino-Mite DIY Preschool Products