This post was sponsored by Field Station Dinosaurs who provided us with complimentary admission. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about New Jersey Day Trips we think your family may enjoy.
Are you ready to see dinosaurs up close?
Just off the NJ Turnpike, in the shadow of the NYC skyline, and behind the rock formation near exit 15X is a land that will let your imagination run wild! Spread out over 20 acres of the Meadowlands (but walkable from the Secaucus train station) you will find over 30 life size animatronic dinosaurs that will amaze and thrill all the junior (and senior) paleontologists out there! There’s educational and entertaining programs throughout the Field Station Dinosaurs park and throughout the day as well, and for an additional fee you can see the Dinosaurs Alive! 3D movie.
Our visit to Field Station: Dinosaurs came on one of those summer days with the heat advisories, HHH warnings, and the promise of afternoon thunderstorms. However, as many of you can understand when dealing with children, there was no rescheduling! No matter, Field Station: Dinosaurs gives ponchos to all guests if it rains, and there were some indoor activities as well. So off we went, a 4 year old boy, 6 year old boy and 8 year old girl. As it turned out, we were pleasantly surprised with how shady most of the park is! With only a few pit stops we were able to enjoy the whole park and plenty of presentations, so don’t let any unpleasant weather keep you away!
So what can you find at Field Station Dinosaurs?
Upon entering the park, after posing in front of a green screen for a group picture, each child gets “Credentials,” a sort of passport to be stamped at each activity/presentation. This is such a great way to keep the children engaged and wanting to visit more activities. We were given a detailed trail map, to guide us along our way and help us find all the great extras that Field Station: Dinosaurs offers.
Immediately you come upon what you’re there to see – a huge dinosaur! The first one on the trail is the Dilophosaurus. Each dinosaur has a display stand offering facts and trivia about the dinosaur using mixed media. They really caught the attention of our kids, with games/puzzles/books/photos inside. If your kids need more activity, don’t miss the Fossil Dig, a fully staffed sand pit where you can find some interesting items!
After meandering past our first 5 towering, breathing, roaring dinosaurs we came across the Field Station Dinosaur Amphitheater. Home to presentations and activities all day, at this show we were treated to the sounds of the Dinosaur Troubadour! The Amphitheater is just one spot where presentations happen. We first came across Dino Whodunit where we got to see the “living” T-Rex! Next was Found in New Jersey and Dino Mythbusters. If you have dinosaur lovers, they will excel at these challenges and if not, they’ll learn all about the dinosaurs found at Field Station: Dinosaurs and more! Most presentations and activities are listed in the Trail Map but each location has a sign with titles and times as well; not all shows are offered each day.
The hardest walk gets the best reward – the T Rex is at the top of The Lookout! The Commander’s Tent is also at the top of that hill and what a welcome respite it was. With air conditioning, furnishings by IKEA, books about dinosaurs and a view of the mighty T Rex it was just what we needed to recharge to finish out our visit. Admission to the Commander’s Tent is only given with the Commander’s Pass. Other dinosaurs are up that hill along with a view of the skyline – totally worth the walk.
One helpful policy at Field Station: Dinosaurs is that there is no restriction on food brought in. On a hot day like we had, it was great to bring a cooler with water bottles. There are some food stands throughout the park, and of course, at the movie tent there’s popcorn! Who can resist popcorn when you’re watching a movie?
Dinosaurs Alive! is an educational and exciting 20 minute 3D movie inside an air conditioned tent. Entrance to the movie costs extra, or is included in the Explorer’s or Commander’s Pass. While some scenes were intense, my children know the trick of taking the glasses off if it’s scary, so we had no problems. One scene that showed dirt being tossed was so realistic my son said multiple times that he had dirt in his eyes! The movie covers the process of finding fossils, and the reasons why fossils can be found where they are.
I was truly impressed by the staff at Field Station: Dinosaurs. Each person we encountered was approachable, helpful, and knowledgeable. At the Fossil Dig, Raptor Feud and along the trails, all the staff didn’t only address and welcome our kids, but offered them a dinosaur education. There seemed to always be someone available to help or inform, and with an easy going attitude.
We had a great time during the Raptor Feud game show in the Plateau Tent. My kids weren’t so knowledgeable but somehow managed to score 2 points. The staff were so entertaining and welcoming no one felt inadequate for being a little dinosaur inept!
Pathways throughout the park are gravel, so strollers get through easily. Be sure to wear sneakers or closed shoes if you can though, so you save having the sand/dirt in the toes!
As with most places, the exit is through the gift shop! Here we got to see our goofy picture we took on the way in where we are scared by a dinosaur, and of course, grab some dinosaur items to take home. We all had a great afternoon, some had more fun than expected, and all came home knowing a whole lot more about dinosaurs than before!
Want to Visit Field Station Dinosaurs?
Field Station Dinosaurs Admission prices
Admission prices start at $17.50/day. Check their website for the options and purchasing in advance. Parking is $10.
Field Station Dinosaurs Hours
- July 1-September 1: Tuesday- Sunday 10 am-6pm
- September 6-November 2: Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm (2014 schedule)
Field Station Dinosaurs Summer events
- Dinotrux Weekend, July 19 & 20
- Dozin With Dinos, August 2 & 23
- Puppetry Weekend, August 16 & 17
- Jurassic Park 2 Movie Showing, August 16
In the Fall be sure to check out Dinosaurs After Dark!
For more Field Station: Dinosaurs pictures, check out our Facebook album.