Dino Discovery in New Jersey
Long before New Jersey was the Garden State, it was the wild home of its very first inhabitants: Dinosaurs. Today, the state boasts a wide offering of dino-themed attractions that kids, history buffs, and science lovers are sure to enjoy. Dig in to our prehistoric past with these delightful dino adventures.
- Field Station: Dinosaurs
Named one of the world’s best spots for dinosaur lovers by Fodor’s, this family-friendly theme park in Leonia has it all: exciting shows, interactive games, the Jurassic Jump Bungee Trampoline, and, yes, even baby dinosaurs. Plus, the park is full of life-size dino sculptures that appear to come alive before your eyes, thanks to some crafty engineering.
- The Haddonfield Hadrosaurus
In the center of downtown Haddonfield, you’ll find a sculpture of the Hadrosaurus foulkii. Although lesser known than the T-Rex or the Stegosaurus, this dino helped spark our nation’s fascination with the reptilian giants that once roamed here. An epic Haddonfield discovery revealed the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton ever found – a Hadrosaurus that provided irrefutable evidence that dinosaurs existed.
- Morris Museum
The Digging Dinosaurs collection at the Morris Museum in Morristown sends you back in time 65 million years. You can check out fossils, footprints, and dinosaur teeth and even touch a real dinosaur egg. Stick around for more to discover, like their acclaimed geological collection and Native People exhibits.
- Bud the Bayville Dinosaur
At nearly 100 years old, this local Bayville landmark is one of the oldest dinosaur statues in the country. It has changed owners, locations, and even heads over the years. Thanks to continual modifications by Bayville residents, it lives on to attract roadside tourists and dinosaur lovers to this day.
- Rutgers Geology Museum
Rutgers Geology Museum in New Brunswick offers guided tours, hands-on activities, and playful scavenger hunts that allow you to explore the world of paleontology. Bring the kiddos for the Dinosaur Story Time tour, which includes a scavenger hunt and a reading from a dino-themed storybook.
- Allaire Dinosaurs
Connect with your inner trailblazer and discover the dinosaurs at Allaire Group Campground in Allentown. Local artist Robin Ruggiero created this magical woodland adventure, which features towering twig and branch sculptures of dinosaurs along a mile-long hike.
- Fossil Site at Big Brook Park
For a family day of fossil hunting, head to Big Brook Park in Colts Neck. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet and sift through the mud; you might just find some Hadrosaur teeth or other fossils from the Cretaceous period.
- Liberty Science Center
Experience your own paleontological dig at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. The Dino Dig Adventure features three outdoor dig pits where kids can uncover replica dinosaur fossils buried in more than 60 tons of sand. Continue the adventure after your dig by exploring the museum’s other exhibits, which cover natural wonders from mammoths to microbes.
- New Jersey State Museum
For a lesson in geology and evolution, stop by the Written in the Rocks exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. See a reconstructed display of the world’s first known carnivorous dinosaur, the Dryptosaurus, and the 50-foot-long Mosasaurus maximus, which was discovered in southern New Jersey.
- Turtle Back Zoo
When it comes to wildlife, there’s so much to learn at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. While this attraction draws crowds for its extensive collection of live animals like sea lions and kangaroos, it also has a space dedicated to the creatures of the past. Visit the Prehistoric Playground, where kids can climb, slide, and roam among the dinosaurs. The playground is closed during the winter and inclement weather.
Check out even more amusements and family fun waiting for you in New Jersey.