Ever since YouTube featured Jurassic World ads before the unboxing videos, my four-year-old has been obsessed with all things dinosaur. But we all know that dinosaurs are more than just a fad! Here’s a list of places and ways to indulge your child’s dino obsession:
Discover the Dinosaurs (Freeman Expo Hall, 3201 E. Houston St., San Antonio, Texas 78219 | (210) 226-1177)—For a limited time, August 7–9, kids can enjoy this amazing dinosaur-themed attraction here in SA. Discover the Dinosaurs! is completely indoors and features more than moving dinosaurs, as well as unlimited dinosaur rides, mini-golf, and inflatables. For an additional cost, children can participate in the dino dig, dino den, dino theater, dino coloring station, a scavenger hunt, and gem and fossil painting. Tickets start at $16.
Visit Sinclair Littlefoot (500 Cloverleaf Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78209)—Located in Terrell Heights, Sinclair Littlefoot is perfect for the youngest dino aficionados. Follow him on Instagram to see his latest and greatest costumes!
San Antonio Aquarium (6320 Bandera Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78238 | (210) 310-3210)—You might not expect to find dinosaurs at an aquarium, but the first floor of the San Antonio Aquarium has a handful of animatronic dinosaurs along with a sitting area to watch dinosaur videos. During hot weather, there is also a small splash pad at the entrance. Note: While the aquarium does include inflatables, the Iguana-Jump costs extra.
The DoSeum (2800 Broadway St., San Antonio, Texas 78209 | (210) 212-4453)—The DoSeum lives up to its name; it’s one of the few places “kids learn by doing, creating, and tinkering—instead of just looking and listening.” Plus, they can direct dinosaurs on a big screen virtual puppet stage!
Government Canyon (12861 Galm Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78254 | (210) 688-9055)—I desperately wanted to take my kids on a hike to see one of San Antonio’s newest claims to fame: our recently discovered dinosaur tracks! In the dead heat of summer, however, this activity is best reserved for experienced hikers or cooler weather. Seeing the dino tracks requires a 2.5-mile hike each way, so before you get your kids excited to go, learn more details about the trek here.
(Heads up: If you search for local dinosaur exhibits, you may run across the Dinosaur Quest, which was located in the River Center Mall. It is now permanently closed.)
Recommended Day Trip
Dinosaur Park (893 Union Chapel Rd., Cedar Creek, Texas 78612 | (512) 321-6262)—Initially a consolation prize for not going to Government Canyon, Dinosaur Park is about an hour-and-a-half north of San Antonio, but it is so worth the trip! Dinosaur Park has a gift shop with every dino toy imaginable, an indoor coloring station/small play area, a water-misted outdoor playscape, and a free scavenger hunt. Make sure to bring swimsuits so your kids can cool off at the new and FREE Fischer Park on the way back to San Antonio.
Texas Dinosaur Attractions
Prehistoric Texas Trail—starting in Florence, Texas, this Texas trail hits all the prehistoric highlights going north toward Dallas.
Big Bend National Park (1 Panther Dr., Big Bend National Park, Texas 79834 | (915) 477-2251)—Known to be a geologic goldmine, kids can “enjoy viewing fossils and exhibits about dinosaurs at the Panther Junction Visitor Center.” It is 406 miles from San Antonio, so if you can’t make the trip, your kids can become a National Park WebRanger!
Bryan Cooney Hall of Paleontology (400 College Blvd., Clute, Texas 77531 | (979) 265-7661)—Part of the Brazosport Center for the Arts & Sciences and an hour south of Houston, the Bryan Cooney Hall of Paleontology features an Allosaurus skeleton and a large shell and fossil collection.
Dinosaur World (1058 Park Rd. 59, Glen Rose, Texas 76043 | (254) 898-1526)—Dinosaur World is pet-friendly and conveniently located immediately prior to the entrance to Dinosaur Valley State Park. General Admission includes access to over 150 life-size dinosaurs, an interactive boneyard, a giant skeletal playground, and a prehistoric museum. Active duty military members receive FREE admission and dependents receive $1 off with a valid active duty ID. Dinosaur World is also wheelchair accessible.
Dinosaur Valley State Park (1629 Park Rd. 59, Glen Rose, Texas 76043 | (254) 897-4588)—Located in Glen Rose, the Dinosaur Capital of Texas, you can find dinosaur tracks, camp, picnic, hike, mountain bike, swim and fish in the river, watch for wildlife, look for a geocache, ride your horse, or visit the interpretive center. Make sure you check the river conditions prior to visiting!
Fort Worth Museum of Science & History (1501 Montgomery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107 | (817) 255-9300)—Get in free with your Witte Museum membership! “DinoLabs and DinoDig bring the fascinating story of dinosaurs discovered in North Texas to life with full articulations of dinosaur skeletons native to the region and a dig site replicating a local paleontological field site.”
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary (1 Nature Place, McKinney, Texas 75069 | (972) 562-5566)—This exhibit is currently closed; however, it will reopen from September 19, 2015–February 21, 2016.
Houston Museum of Natural Science (5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, Texas 77030 | (713) 639-4629)—Visit the Morian Hall of Paleontology, which is “packed with prehistoric beasts, and does not have the same stagnant displays of ancient skeletons standing in a row that many visitors are accustomed to seeing.”
Perot Museum of Nature and Science (2201 N. Field St., Dallas, Texas 75201 | (214) 428-5555)—Check out the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall and the Moody Family Children’s Museum, where the “hands-on dinosaur dig is inspired by real fossil digs from the Big Bend area of Texas.” Kids can dress up like paleontologists and dig for replica fossils in the shaded outdoor dig area.
Texas Memorial Museum (2400 Trinity St., Austin, Texas 78705 | (512) 471-1604)—Exhibit features more than 500 dinosaur and fossil specimens in the Hall of Geology and Paleontology. Paleontologists and interns answer questions from visitors while preparing fossils for display, research, and education at the Paleo Lab.
Find Dinosaurs anywhere in America by checking out the Dino Database!
Stuck in the house? Check out these dinosaur videos, games, and apps!
Some of our favorite dinosaur songs: