The Top 5 Dinosaur Museums
5 Best Dine with Dinos
At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, you can dine with the dinosaurs. Every couple of months, the museum hosts a family-oriented breakfast among the dino displays. After the plates are cleared, there are fun hands-on exhibits, such as making your own imprint in wet sand or clay with fossils. If you want your children to enjoy the interactive fun of dinosaurs, but don’t think they’re ready for a hardy hiking trip, this could be the perfect solution. The popular experience sells out, so plan in advance.
4 Best Outdoor Display
The Dinosaur National Monument spans 210,000 acres through both Utah and Colorado. Take a hiking trip along mountains that have been carefully excavated to reveal the dinosaur bones lodged inside. Check out the 1,500 species on display in the Carnegie Quarry. Add even more excitement to your vacation by rafting down rapids through mountain passes in the same area dinosaurs roamed millions of years ago. Children can complete activities to be sworn in as a Dinosaur National Monument Junior Park Ranger, which includes an official badge.
3 Best Active Display
At the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, in Thermopolis, Wyoming, visitors can interact with bona fide paleontologists. Twenty full-sized skeletons are on display, and the exhibits are arranged to take the visitor through the evolutionary chronology of the dinosaurs. Best of all, kids can ask working paleontologists questions and even go on a dig at an active site. Legitimate finds have been uncovered during these guided digs, with unearthed bones from eight species. Be a paleontologist for the day at this incredible museum and you just might find the next missing link.
2 Best Herbivore Display
If you prefer size over menace, then the Museum fur Naturkunde in Berlin will be well worth the trip. The 41-foot Brachiosaurus is the largest assembled dinosaur skeleton in the world. Nerds-in-the-know will revel in the field-revolutionizing Archaeopteryx fossil that first showed the link between dinosaurs and birds. Several guided tours, each under an hour, highlight enthralling topics ranging from evolution to extinction.
1 Best Carnivore Display
The largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton—fondly named Sue—resides within the Field Museum in Chicago. If you want to see just how big her teeth and gaping maw are, stand at her feet at the entrance to this museum. This incredible specimen makes the age of dinosaurs visceral for even the most jaded tourist. A phenomenal museum, this location also boasts a 3-D movie about Sue’s story. After visiting her in person, you can keep up with Sue via her Twitter: @SUEtheTrex.