What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? Southwest Ohio has lots of family-friendly places where kids can get a hands-on lesson in all things Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. From world-renowned children’s museums to fossil parks, Cincinnati is a great place to be a dino-loving kid!
Check out these 6 Attractions for Kids with Dinosaur Fever:
The Cincinnati Museum Center’s 7,000-square-foot exhibit offers face-to-face encounters with dinosaurs you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The Dinosaur Hall features six massive dinosaur specimens ranging from the Jurassic Period to the Cretaceous Period, including five on display to the public for the first time. The Dinosaur Gallery put Cincinnati on the map for cutting-edge research, as the rarity of the gallery’s dinosaurs makes them especially important for research. CMC’s paleontologists will study these specimens in the new Paleontology Lab, where visitors will be able to engage with paleontologists and volunteers working to learn more about these prehistoric creatures.
Trammel Fossil Park is located in an industrial area of Sharonville. From the road, this “park” looks like any other hilly, undeveloped area off the interstate. It’s 10 acres of rocky, rugged terrain, exposed to the elements, and rich with remnants from the past. The park is unique because it’s one of the only places to dig for fossils in the Cincinnati area that’s safe and accessible. Since the plot of Trammel Fossil Park has never been disturbed, there’s an abundance of fossils available at the tip of your fingers (or shovel). Plus: admission is free — and you can take whatever fossils you find!
Get an up-close lesson in evolution at the Cincinnati Zoo. From the newly updated Bird House to the Reptile House to the Dragons exhibit, kids can compare these modern-day creatures to their prehistoric ancestors.
Worth the Drive
While not in Southwest Ohio, these options are an easy one-tank trip!
This exhibit is awesome, period. Highlights include a 6-foot-long mechanical T. rex model that walks in place; an 8-foot tall Titanosaur femur; a huge, threehorned Triceratops cast; and a 100-year-old piece of fossilized amber preserving an ancient feather. Your kids will absolutely love it.
The Sunburst Atrium and other areas in the museum will come alive with interactive dinosaur programming! Be sure to check the calendar for times. Big Dino Fun Make observations and hear about fossil traits that allow us to imagine how a T. rex moved. Then, get up, move, and roar like a T. rex! Who Am I? SUE or Bucky Trivia Discover stories, facts, and record-breaking stats while showing off your own T. rex knowledge.
Dino Tales Experience ground-breaking moments in dinosaur discoveries! Hear a tale of a pioneer in paleontology, to experience the thrill of discovering real-life fossils!
Cave City, KY
About three hours south of Cincinnati is Cave City, the home of Dinosaur World. Think Jurassic Park: there is a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex standing guard over the amusement park, welcoming visitors with its sharp teeth and tiny arms. But don’t worry — Dinosaur World is not the least bit scary! Dinosaur World in Cave City, Kentucky is a fun, educational day trip for Cincinnati Parents. Dinosaur World offers self-guided tours, where you can travel through the woods to spot some dinosaurs. You’ll see life-sized dinosaurs all around, from packs of Stegosaurus to Woolly Mammoth babies.