What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? Cincinnati 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 Cincy Kids with Dinosaur Fever:
Cincinnati Museum Center – Dinosaur Hall (pictured)
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. Reserve your CMC tickets online today!
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. Right now, due to COVID-19, you’ll need to reserve a spot before you go to ensure the Zoo meets social distancing/safety protocol.
Worth the Drive
While not in Cincinnati, these options are an easy one-tank trip!
Dinosaur Gallery at COSI – virtual
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. Due to COVID-19, COSI remains closed, but you can explore the Dino Hall in its entirety – for free! – via COSI Connects.
Dinosphere isn’t your average dinosaur exhibit (and that’s a Tyrannosaurus-sized understatement). Dinosphere spans two levels and literally puts you there. As you walk down a ramp, the sky changes color… and then you enter the land of dinosaurs. Kids will get up close with Tyrannosaurs, Triceratops, Maiasauras and more. These full-sized skeletons are awesome, and everywhere you turn, there’s more to take in! Advanced tickets for all visitors are required.
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. Read their COVID-19 policies here.
Mark your calendars: Jurassic Quest
Jurassic Quest has transformed into a drive-thru event this year, running Aug. 21-30 at Coney Island. The exhibit includes an online audio tour that will take guests throughout the exhibit where they will encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth. Cincinnati guests will be among the first in the nation to go on a quest that will lead them throughout the thrilling dinosaur safari. Get your tickets here.