Want to see a dinosaur in NJ? We’ve rounded up a bunch of cool spots in the state that offer a wide variety of dino experiences. From animatronics to artistic dino sculptures to playgrounds to fossils and much more.
Six Flags Great Adventure’s Xpedition Dino is a drive-through and walk-through experience in which visitors can see 30 life-size dinosaurs, such as a Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Megalosaurus, Utahraptor, and a Iguanodon amongst others. Xpedition Dino is available as a drive-through adventure during the day, as an addition to the theme park’s Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure. Visitors can either drive past the dinosaurs or walk on a wooden path amidst them. The walk-through adventure is available after the safari closes, during which visitors can read information about each dinosaur and take photos. Xpedition Dino launched May 28 and will run through September 7.
Details: Xpedition Dino is an additional $5 to memberships, season passes and daily tickets. You can purchase access to Xpedition Dino when you buy your tickets, membership or season pass, in the “add-ons” section. The walk-through tickets are also offered at the Safari Outpost shop, a gift shop near the Xpedition Dino. You can also reserve tickets in advance on the Six Flags website.
SUE: The T-Rex Experience
The Liberty Science Center’s newly-opened hands-on exhibition features an exact replica of SUE the T.rex’s skeleton. According to LSC, SUE is named after Sue Hendrickson, the paleontologist who discovered the T.rex. SUE’s well-preserved bones help scientists discover new information about the T.rex. In the exhibition, the 40 foot-long and 13 feet tall skeleton is pitted against a replica of one of the T.rex’s enemies, a Triceratops. Visitors will experience the sights, sounds and smells of the prehistoric world with high-tech simulations, as well as a multimedia show. Get more information about the exhibit here.
Details: Tickets cost $27.99 for adults, $22.99 for children and $26.99 for seniors, in addition to the general admission fee for Liberty Science Center. Tickets can be purchased at LSC.org.
Prehistoric Playground at the Turtle Back Zoo
The Turtle Back Zoo’s prehistoric playground is a fun alternative to your local park. The playground has oversized dinosaurs and climbing structures in the form of dinosaur bones. It’s a great break from the zoo’s exhibitions, while still offering a unique and educational element to entertainment for your children.
Details: Admission to the zoo for adults (13 and up) is $17, admission for children (2-12) and seniors (62 and up) is $14.
Dino Hike at Allaire State Park
Allaire State Park offers the perfect opportunity for exercise and fun with artist Robin R’s dinosaur sculptures. These sculptures began in 2019 with Robin R’s creation of a T-Rex sculpture made out of tree branches, according to exlporingallaire.com. In addition to the T-Rex, there is now a Triceratops, Pterodactyl and Stegosaurus. Parking is located along the Squankum-Allenwood Rd. near the group campground’s main entrance, 4001 Squankum-Allenwood Rd, Allenwood, NJ. The hike is an easy trek about a mile long- perfect for all ages. If you wish to extend your hike, you can continue on the group campground path.
Details: Admission is free
Hadrosaurus Foulkii Discovery Site
You and your family can learn about New Jersey’s dinosaur, the Hadrosaurus Foulkii, at its discovery site on Maple Avenue in Haddonfield. According to hadrosaurus.com, the Hadrosaurus Foulkii’s skeleton was found at the site in 1858. Kids can exercise their paleontology skills with the Hadrosaurus Run, a small stream which passes through a deep ravine containing artifacts such as fossilized remains and shark teeth. After a storm, kids can dig in search of objects or search for items left behind by previous visitors with the Geocaching app. Bring your own toy dinosaurs or purchase them at Happy Hippo, the Haddonfield toy store. These dinos are left on a bench and moved around by children at the site. If you’re interested in also seeing the actual Hadrosaurus Foulkii skeleton, it’s on display at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. Want more to do while you are in Haddonfield? Here are our day trip ideas.
Details: Hadrosaurus Foulkii Discovery Site: admission is free; Academy of Natural Sciences: general admission tickets are $22.00 for adults (age 13 and above) ($20.00 online), $18.00 for children (ages 2-12) ($16.00 online), free for members, children under the age of 2 and Drexel DragonCard holders, and $19.00 for seniors (age 65+) ($17.00 online).
Dinosaur Garden at the Camden Children’s Garden
Visit one of Camden Children’s Garden’s many attractions, the Dinosaur Garden. This cute garden features an Apatosaurus made out of recycled car parts standing in a pool of water next to a waterfall, as well as a baby Hadrosaur. Children can play amongst the dinosaurs and climb in a baby dinosaur egg. The garden is currently open on Friday from 10 AM-3 PM, as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM-4PM.
Details: General admission is $6 for all guests. Children under age 1 are free.
Field Station: Dinosaurs
Co-exist with dinosaurs for a day at this unique attraction with more than 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs. “Field Station: Dinosaurs” re-opens on June 19 with new dinosaurs, trails and even a live musical: “The Great Dinosaur Whodunit.” Field Station is an expedition in the scenic Overpeck Park in Bergen County. In addition to experiencing the life-size dinos, visitors can meet and learn from experts in the fields of Paleontology, Geology, and Earth Science among others, with the attraction’s “Super Stars of Science” segment on select Saturdays in July and August. With over 30 live shows, activities and games, your children will be occupied throughout the entire visit.
Details: Tickets can be purchased in advance at their website. A day pass for those aged two and over costs $16.95. All children under the age of two are given free admission. The Explorers Pass, which offers everything the day pass does plus access to a complete schedule of games, live shows and activities, costs $24.95. You can purchase the Paleontologists’ Laboratory add-on for $5.00 and the Jurassic Jump add-on for $10.00.
Fossil Halls at the American Museum of Natural History
Take a day trip to New York City and visit the Museum of Natural History’s numerous fossil halls. In the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs, you’ll find the skeleton of a Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Corythosaurus, amongst others. View an example of a dinosaur trackway in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, and fossils such as the T.rex and Apatosaurus. Your children will love seeing the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center’s 122-foot-long Titanosaur and sauropod pelvis, vertebra and femur fossils. Other permanent halls to visit include the Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals, the Hall of Primitive Mammals and the Hall of Vertebrate Origins.
Details: Admission to the museum must be reserved online and is by timed-entry. General admission tickets are $23 for adults, $13 for children, and $18 for seniors and students with ID. You can also contribute a donation and pay what you wish.
Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences
Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences’ Dinosaur Hall features over 30 species, containing both dinosaurs and other Mesozoic creatures. About half of these are full skeletons such as the Avaceratops, Chasmosaurus, Corythosaurus, Deinonychus, Pachycephalosaurus, Tenontosaurus, and Tylosaurus. The hall also contains footprints, dinosaur eggs, sculptures, murals, palentologist tools, and a life-size model of a Stegosaurus with its internal anatomy displayed. A fun interactive element of the hall is the green-screen video studio where visitors can project their images into a world of dinosaurs.
Details: General admission tickets are $22.00 for adults (age 13 and above) ($20.00 online), $18.00 for children (ages 2-12) ($16.00 online) free for members, children under the age of 2 and Drexel DragonCard holders, and $19.00 for seniors (age 65+) ($17.00 online).
This drive-thru experience features over 40 animatronic dinosaurs. Get up-close-and-personal with the T. rex and learn how dinosaurs evolved over time. But beware — earthquakes may erupt on this journey and you may even witness and dinosaur fight. So fasten your seatbelts for an extremely fun and COVID-safe prehistoric ride.
Details: Located in Paramus at Westfield Garden State Plaza, ticket prices start at $49.95 per vehicle (maximum occupancy 7) and $59.95 for large capacity vehicles. Dates are on sale from now until August 8 and hours are Wednesdays-Sundays 10am-9pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).