America's Best Dinosaur Exhibits
Jurassic World and Jurassic Park have revived our interest in life on Earth 65 million years ago. And today, adults and children marvel at magnificent dinosaur exhibits that give us an inkling of what life was like when these giants ruled the world. Behold the beauty of ancient bones and even get your hands dirty on a dig at these great dinosaur exhibits.
There's plenty of room for the wild things at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, which has 12,000 square feet of exhibit space. The museum's central hall features 30 full-size skeletons. Outside the museum, visitors can tour some of the 80 dig sites on the 500-acre Warm Springs Ranch to see how scientists search for and extract dinosaur bones. For a more intense experience, sign up for the Dig for a Day program, which lets you join paleo technicians on an active dig site.
- 110 Carter Ranch Rd
- Thermopolis, WY 82443 US
The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center near Colorado Springs, CO, houses more than 30 life-size prehistoric specimens. Impressive displays include the carnivorous Albertosaurus libratus (a close but older relative of T. rex) and the bambiraptor, one of the most complete raptors discovered in North America. Visitors can take a peek inside the Paleontology Lab to see scientists restoring, casting and assembling fossils. At the Children's Resource Center, little ones can use art supplies to create their own dino species.
- 201 S Fairview St
- Woodland Park, CO 80863 US
The American Museum of Natural History in New York is a must-see stop on any great dinosaur tour around the country. The main attraction is the barosaurus that towers over spectators in the main entrance. This 5-story beauty is the highest freestanding dinosaur display in the world. In addition, the museum features several fossil halls, among them 2 that are dedicated to the major types of dinosaurs.
- Central Park W and 79th St
- New York, NY 10024 US
People are so familiar with the Field Museum's resident T. rex that it is known to most simply as Sue. This famous lady in Chicago is more than 67 million years old and is the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil in the world. Children and adults alike stand agape at the surprisingly delicate and birdlike feet of the 13-foot-tall, 42-foot-long beauty and marvel at her razor-sharp teeth and massive legs. Despite her girlish moniker, scientists actually don't know if Sue was male or female, so she bears the name of the fossil hunter who discovered the skeleton, Sue Hendrickson. You’ll also want to stop by the “Evolving Planet” exhibit, which features examples from every major dinosaur group.
- 1400 South Lake Shore Drive
- Chicago, IL 60605 US
You can do more than ogle the dinosaur bones at Colorado's Dinosaur Journey Museum, a hands-on, interactive museum that celebrates paleontology. The authentic fossils and cast skeletons, including those of a velociraptor and a stegosaurus, are impressive, but kids will be equally enthralled with the robotic creations that show how dinosaurs moved. After touring the exhibits, let the little ones chill out with some good dino books in the reading room, and then head to the kids' quarry to make some dinosaur tracks and hunt for Jurassic bones.
- 550 Jurassic Ct
- Fruita, CO 81521 US
The Hall of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, is a study of the history of life on Earth, dating back nearly 3.5 billion years. The museum added its first fossils in 1859, and since then, scientists have led expeditions around the world to bring back the goods for this world-renowned collection. Among the highlights: a tall, long-necked diplodocus and an armored stegosaurus. The hall is closed for major renovations until 2019, but the museum has put some of its dinosaur specimens on display elsewhere in the building.
- 10th St and Constutution Ave., NW
- Washington, DC 20560 US