If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Jurassic Park, it’s that life finds a way. Life certainly found its way to Leonia, where animatronic dinosaurs live freely amongst the plants and animals of Bergen County.
That’s right: A small town 20 minutes away from Yankee Stadium is now the home to Field Station: Dinosaurs, an outdoor family attraction that features 32 life-sized, lifelike dinos.
The dinosaurs on display are animatronics, aka robots computer programmed to move in a realistic way. And designed by artists to have lifelike features. Field Station even has paleontologists on staff who worked at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, to help bring these dinosaurs to life.
Field Station itself is an outdoor exhibit set in Bergen County, wedged on the banks of a creek and surrounded by woods. Visitors walk stroller-friendly trails reminiscent of local zoos, but instead of live animals behind a rope fence, there are life sized dinosaur attractions, including herbivores like the Stegosaurus, local dinos like the Hadrosaurus foulkii and crowd favorites like the iconic T. Rex.
Originally in Secaucus, this park moved to Leonia to make room for more live shows, activities and the newest addition to its gang of prehistoric characters—the Spinosaurus, famous for its cameo in Jurassic Park 3.
Visitors will also be able to participate in numerous activities, all included with the price of admission.
Interactive workshops, games and shows are a huge part of the Field Station experience. As soon as you enter the park, grab a schedule of events and check out the times for each activity. Here are a few your little explorer might enjoy:
Dinosaur Dance Party is sure to get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping. Boogie down to The Dimetrodon’s Dance, a Permian dance trend that still has people talking millions of years later.
Mesozoic Concentration is a 20-minute workshop explaining what it takes to be a paleontologist. Participants learn about the tools of the trade and can be found in their backyard or local library.
The Feeding Frenzy, a musical packed with audience participation opportunities, gives kids the chance to witness the feeding habits of the “famous cretaceous meat eater,” the T-Rex.
Take your paper folding skills to Dinosorigami, where one of the Field Station’s top researchers will lead your explorer in this ancient art. Take home your paper craft creations as souvenirs of dino-sized adventures.
The Fossil Dig Site is a hands-on experience perfect for lil’ scientists ages 3-9 wanting to blow off steam between workshops.
When It Rains
Even though the Field Station is an outdoor attraction, there’s plenty to do during a downpour, too, like exploring one of 40 live shows, dinosaur games and activities in one of the park’s tented pavilions. If you’re up for rainy day fun in the park, you’ll receive a free Field Station poncho for your troubles.
The park’s concession stand offers hamburgers, ice cream, wraps and everything in between. There are also designated picnic tables, so feel free to come in the morning and stay through the afternoon, fueling up in between.
Tickets are $16.75 per person at the box office. Tickets are $15.50 when bought online, plus an additional transaction fee. A visit to the Paleontologists’ Laboratory or admission to the blacklight puppet show, Dinosaur Daredevil, are available for additional costs. Parking and kids under 2 are free.
Season passes are available for purchase for dinosaur lovers over 2 years old. For $60, participants receive unlimited daytime access to the Field Station, 10% off the Tricera-shops, 10% of food available at the concession stand and more!
Field Station: Dinosaurs is located in Overpeck County Park at 40 Fort Lee Rd. in Leonia. For more information, call 855-999-9010.