Do Dinosaurs live in your house? Is your floor littered with dinosaur toys? Do you find dinosaurs in your children’s beds? If so, you may want to consider taking your children for a dinosaur hunt around the Twin Cities! We have two places that can always be counted on to entertain your young paleontologists and traveling shows nearly every year.
Permanent Dinosaurs Exhibits in the Twin Cities
Science Museum of Minnesota
The obvious place to visit to learn about dinosaurs is the Science Museum of Minnesota. Where else can you find full-size dinosaur skeletons, dinosaur books, dinosaur toys? I’ve spent entire visits in this section of the museum alone. While many museum dinosaurs are reproductions, the Science Museum’s Triceratops is one of only four real skeletons, as well as the largest specimen, on display in the world.
Budget Idea: If you have a pint-sized dinosaur lover and you don’t want to pay SMM admission for what could be a very short visit, you can still visit the T-Rex in the lobby and touch its tooth for FREE. Then walk over to George Latimer Library to read about Dinosaurs together in the cozy children’s section.
While the Bell doesn’t have any actual dinosaurs, they do have an Ice Age Exhibit in their Tree of Life Gallery. Mammoths are pretty cool, too. I list this museum because, In the Bell’s updated Touch and See lab, kids can pretend to be real paleontologists with identification guides, magnifying glasses, and other scientific tools.
Cool Fact: Did you know that many of the Dinosaur reproductions seen in museums all around the country are made right here in the Twin Cities by, Blue Rhino Studios in Eagan? See their work at the Bell Museum’s Ice Age exhibit.
Dinosaurs Alive! at ValleyFair features over 30 life-sized and scientifically accurate animatronic dinosaur figures. The exhibit presents scenes and stories based on real fossil evidence and the latest paleontological knowledge. You can even download an educational guide to add to your visit.
Dinosaur Fossil Hunting Road-Trip
Did you know that there have been only three dinosaur bones found in Minnesota – ever? One of them was found in a Hill Annex mine. Here is Joy’s story of the Peters family dinosaur-inspired fossil hunt: Fossil Hunting at Hill Annex State Park.
For some fun home study to go with your hunt, you can learn more about what prehistoric creatures lived in Minnesota here.
Dinosaurs Around the Country
Some friends of ours have gathered similar lists for their own backyards. When traveling, check out these great Dinosaur venues.
- Find dozens of life-size dinosaurs in Atlanta, Georgia’s Fernbank Museum: Why Fernbank Museum Is The Best Museum In Atlanta For Kids
- New Jersey has a lot of options for learning about dinosaurs: 10 Places to See Dinos in New Jersey
- Rockford, Illinois has Burpee Natural History Museum