Places to See Dinosaurs: Museums, Attractions, and Events to Delight Your Dino-Loving Kids

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T. rex, Stegasaurus, and Triceratops… in my home, these dinosaurs are celebrities! I love places to see dinosaurs and learn more with my kids, because there are so many activities and connections to make. From playing with dinosaur figurines to digging into dino eggs to teaching about the difference between omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores, we have a blast exploring with these prehistoric creatures.

Chicagoland has many unique places to discover if you’re looking for ways to bring these extinct animals back to life!

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier (Chicago)

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier
700 E Grand Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 527-1000

The Dinosaur Expedition Exhibit at the Chicago Children’s Museum includes a life-size suchomimus skeleton and gives kids a chance to dig for bones in an excavation pit that recreates a Saharan desert expedition. Tickets are $21 for ages 1 and up. The museum is open every day except Tuesday.

The Field Museum (Chicago)

The Field Museum
1400 S Dusable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-9410

The Field Museum hosts many dinosaur fossils! A 46-foot long spinosaurus cast named Sobek greets visitors from its suspended swimming pose, while the titanosaur Maximo impresses guests as the biggest dinosaur that ever lived. Within the Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, you can check out SUE, the famous T. rex fossil skeleton; the exhibit also includes sensory stations, where you can experience how SUE sounded, felt, and how its breath smelled (eek!).

Ticket prices vary; note that every Wednesday in 2024 is a free admission day for Illinois residents, and there are special offers listed on their website. The Field Museum is open daily. Rachel enjoyed visiting the Field Museum with her kids last summer!

Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County (Libertyville)

Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County
1899 W Winchester Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 968-3400

Within the Prehistoric Lake County exhibit, you’ll explore fossils that are up to 420 million years old, get up close with their dryptosaurus skeleton, and help excavate an ice age dig site.

Ticket prices range from $3-10, depending on age and residency; kids ages 3 and under are free. The Dunn Museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Dino Outbreak (Lockport)

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms
17250 S Weber Road
Lockport, IL 60441
(815) 741-2693

Transport yourself to the primordial age of dinosaurs at Siegel’s this summer, where you will have the chance to see 20 animatronic dinos. You can explore the Dino Barn, enjoy unlimited rides and attractions, dig for fossils, and mine for gems.

The Dino Outbreak will be held Saturdays and Sundays from July 20 – August 11, 2024. Tickets are $24.95; kids 2 and under are free.

Kuiper’s Dino Farm Adventure (Maple Park)

Kuiper’s Dino Farm Adventure
1N290 Watson Road
Maple Park, IL 60151
(815) 827-5200

This dino farm adventure will feature over 20 life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The farm will have conservationists and dino experts on-site to answer questions as you visit with the dinosaurs and enjoy FarmFun attractions and food options.

Dino Farm Adventure is open from May 25 – June 16, 2024. Tickets range from $20-24, with discounts for military personnel and seniors. Kids 2 and under are free.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Oak Brook)

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
1220 Kensington Road
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
(630) 833-1616

This museum features 20 dioramas of miniature wildlife, including dinosaurs! Each figure was carved from gems in Germany, while the backgrounds were handpainted by an Elmhurst native.

Tickets to the museum are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 7-12, $8 for seniors, and free for ages 6 and under; Wednesdays are free days. The museum is open every day except Monday. Check our our article on taking kids to the Lizzadro Museum for more info.

Burpee Museum of Natural History (Rockford)

Burpee Museum of Natural History
737 N Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103
(815) 965-3433

Come to the Burpee Museum of Natural History to view 21-foot-long Jane, the world’s most complete juvenile T. rex skeleton. The museum also showcases fossils that have been unearthed over the past 13 years by paleontologists in Hanksville, Utah. (If you’ve ever wanted to dig for dinos, they also offer weekly expeditions from May 13 – June 21, 2024 to the Badlands of Montana and Utah, where you can learn how to excavate and protect fossils. How cool is that!?)

Tickets to the museum are $13 for ages 13+, $10 for ages 4-12, and free for kids 3 and under. It is open daily.

Jurassic Gardens (Volo)

Jurassic Gardens at VoloFun
27582 Volo Village Road
Volo, IL 60073
(815) 390-4853

Jurassic Gardens is a safari with animatronic dinos housed within a 15,000 square-foot space. In addition to all the life-like dinos you’ll see, your kids can also pan for dinosaur fossils, unearth dino skeletons, play games in an arcade, and learn facts in a dino-lab theater. Jurassic Gardens also features a huge themed playground and a new 9-hole mini golf course with snacks and drinks.

Admission to Jurassic Gardens is $16.95; children 4 and under are free. It is a part of the VoloFun campus, so if you are looking to extend your visit, there are many other activities to keep you busy there. It is open daily. Check out Katie’s review of Jurassic Gardens at the Volo Auto Museum for more tips.

I Dig Dinos (Griffith, IN)

I Dig Dinos
100 S Broad Street
Griffith, IN 46319
(219) 595-5498

This gift shop is fully immersive and interactive. It offers gem mining, fossil and skeleton digs, a sand table, crack-a-geode, an animatronic T. rex ride, plushie stuffing, and plenty of photo ops. Some areas are free for open-play, including coloring murals, play tables, a dino ranch, and a specimen lab.

You can purchase activity packages or different activities individually. I Dig Dinos is open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum (Kenosha, WI)

Dinosaur Discovery Museum
5608 10th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 653-4450

At the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, check out fossils of dinosaurs and learn about the link between dinos and birds. Visitors can also read a story and meet Little Clint, a 3-year-old T. rex. In an interactive exhibit geared towards kids ages 3-10, visitors complete puzzles, activities, and and a dino dig related to Little Clint.

The museum is free to visit, with a suggested donation of $5. It is open daily, excluding Wednesdays and holidays.

Other Dino Events

Libraries are a great spot to enjoy dinosaur events; they often offer dinosaur bingo, dino digs, special storytimes, and visits with paleontologists. You can also check out books to learn more about these extinct creatures.

Some dinosaur-themed events have recently passed, but may be back next year!

Are your kids train-lovers, too? Check out these train destinations! If you’re looking for more places to see animals, our Museums and Zoos guide is here to help.

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