Dinosaur Study Field Trip

January 18, 2011

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During our kindergarten dinosaur study, I began searching the web for dinosaur field trips and museums. When I planned our long-distance dinosaur exploration weekend, I was not prepared to be personally amazed!

Although we made a number of dinosaur stops during our weekend, I’m only going to highlight the ones that were really a big hit with the kids. The Dino Pit is an outdoor paleontology exhibit, built for permanent display at the Austin Nature and Science Center located in Zilker Park. The Dino Pit features a large area that acts as an educational dig site for finding fossil casts, dinosaur trackways, a field collection display (highlighting fossils found at the 301 Congress Avenue construction site several years ago), and an observation deck.

The next day we headed out to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose Texas. Wow! All I can say is Wow! Okay I’ll add thrilling, amazing, awesome, unbelievable . . . Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. At the first site you can easily view numerous three-toed tracks on the rock ledge.

At Track Site # 2 we clearly observed numerous three-toed carnosaurs (meat-eating dinosaurs) and saucer-like sauropod (apatosaurus-like dinosaurs) tracks.

This is where you can also see an obvious chase sequence. So cool! Our photos cannot do this adventure justice. Observation conditions are much better during dry weather as the riverbed is much more visible. It’s a good idea to visit the park website before going to check on the visibility of the tracks.

How thrilling for a little boy obsessed with dinosaurs to touch an actual track made by a real dinosaur! Heck, it was thrilling for his mother and father as well.

If you ever have the opportunity to take such a field trip, GO!

Through the years we’ve been to many dinosaur exhibits and events. Some much more memorable than others. Some of the highlights include appearances by Dinosaur George. If you’ve never heard of Dinosaur George you are missing-out on a wealth of prehistoric knowledge for children. Dinosaur George knows his audience and delivers a very entertaining and informative presentation.

MacGyver was also treated to Walking with Dinosaurs Live. This arena show includes 15 life-sized dinosaurs that walk, roar and fight for survival. This was a special outing for just Daddy and MacGyver. Both returned from the show equally impressed.

What dinosaur learning opportunities do you have in your area? Please share! We might just make a trip to investigate.

In our “at school” section we are GIVING AWAY the awesome Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins and sharing some out-of-the-box dinosaur theme study projects.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb January 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

That is SO COOL!

We have several dinosaur-y things in Colorado. The Museum of Wester Colorado offers actual Dino-Dig vacations, where you can go camp out at an actual dig site with Paleontologists and everything. How cool is that?


Last summer we went to the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver and saw Dr. Scott the Paleontologist give a talk. It was so fun – like a rock concert, except instead of screeching 18 year olds, it was screeching 5 year olds.

Debi January 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Wow – this place looks awesome! We have some dinos on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, but no actual tracks. The La Brea Tar Pits are also a great place to learn about life in our area before man arrived.

Tricia at Mom is the Only Girl January 19, 2011 at 6:05 am

What an awesome experience! We don’t have anything like that nearby, but had a great traveling exhibit come through the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and this summer are planning a trip to Buffalo, NY to see some science exhibits at museums there, but nothing close to comparing to what you have there naturally!

Deb, that sounds like an awesome camping trip!

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