Do you have kids that love dinosaurs? Have you been curious about Field Station Dinosaurs in Leonia, New Jersey? Have you wondered what toddlers and preschoolers can do at Field Station Dinosaurs? Allow us to help you decide if Field Station Dinosaurs is appropriate for little kids.
From the age of one, my daughter has loved dinosaurs. Her third birthday was triceratops themed and her fourth birthday was T-Rex themed. She is now four and knows more about dinosaurs than I do. She is currently debating if her next birthday should be brachiosaurus or coelophysis themed.
With the advent of the pandemic, I was on the search for more outdoor places in New Jersey for her to see dinosaurs again. I was overjoyed to find that there was actually a dinosaur park in New Jersey that was full of dinosaurs.
Field Station Dinosaurs provided us complimentary tickets in return for sharing details about this NJ dinosaur attraction with our readers. A friend of mine helped out a lot by taking half of the pictures in this article for me.
For my husband and me, it is a dream come true to go to a real-life Jurassic Park. We have voraciously watched Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Land Before Time movies. In the past, we have ventured to many places to find dinosaurs with our kids including the Hadrosaurus sculpture in Haddonfield, Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Dinosaurium at the Garden State Discovery Museum.
We have also been to dinosaur-themed events such as Dinosaur Adventure and Jurassic Quest. Our family was curious to see what new thrills Field Station Dinosaurs held for us. We discovered that the park was chock full of dinosaurs, activities, and shows.
What can you expect at Field Station Dinosaurs?
Field Station is back and better than ever with its grand reopening on June 19th, 2021. Last year it was scheduled to open for a shortened season in August. Unfortunately, this had to be pushed to this year due to damage to many of its dinosaurs from Hurricane Isaias.
Now the dinosaurs are back in action. There are new dinosaurs, new trails and other new things to be found such as The Great Dinosaur Whodunit show, the Hollywood tent museum exhibit, and the Jurassic Jump. In total Field Station Dinosaurs has 32 Dinosaurs for toddlers and preschoolers to see.
What is Field Station Dinosaurs?
It is part amusement park, part sculpture garden and part outdoor museum. Before I arrived I was just expecting to find some hiking trails with large dinosaurs. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Field Station Dinosaurs offers a whole lot more as listed below in this article. It is completely outdoors aside from the bathrooms and the gift shop.
What kind of dinosaurs can you see at Field Station Dinosaurs?
My daughter’s favorite dinosaurs to see were the Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and the Pachycephalosaurus. For T-rex fans in the family, there are three that can be seen at the park as well as a T-rex Feeding Frenzy show.
The two new dinosaurs I had not heard of before going were the Baryonyx and the Quetzalcoatlus. Others that can be seen in the park included the Oryctodromeus, Dimetrodon, Parasaurolophus, Hadrosaurus, Dryptosaurus, Pteranodon, Spinosaurus, Compsognathus, and the Velociraptors.
Are the Field Station Dinosaurs real?
The dinosaurs here are not real but they look very realistic. There are many different types. Some are standing structures that are large and realistic dinosaur sculptures. There are others that look similar to real dinosaurs but are animatronic.
The animatronic dinosaurs at Field Station Dinosaurs did different things such as move their arms, blink or move their tails.
Most of the baby dinosaurs we saw were puppets. Many young children may think they are real since they look so convincing.
Do the dinosaurs move?
Yes, there are over thirty life-size animatronic dinosaurs. There are some dinosaurs that do not move including the Parasaurolophus, Hadrosaurus, Pteranodon, and the Dilophosaurus. Most of the other dinosaurs made some sort of movement. The movements are small so they are not alarming to young children.
Do the Field Station Dinosaurs make sounds?
Yes, some of the dinosaurs make sounds such as the Triceratops. Not all of them do so and the ones that do do not have an alarming decibel level for young children to be startled. Once you are there for a while their noises just become a part of the background.
Most kids seemed to enjoy the Compsognathus dinosaurs and their sounds the most. These dinosaurs were located along one of the pathways under a canopy.
How big are the dinosaurs?
The dinosaurs are life-size. This was the best part about the park. It is hard to grasp with your imagination how big dinosaurs truly were even with books and movies. Seeing the Field Station Dinosaurs in real life really shows you their dimensions. I was most impressed by the large Apatosaurus near the entrance.
Are the Field Station Dinosaurs scary for little kids?
Scariness may depend on how exposed to dinosaurs your kids have already been in the past. It did not seem scary for my four and two year olds, but they have been to other places with dinosaurs beforehand. They have also learned about dinosaurs, read books about them, and played with dinosaur toys a lot already.
While at the park we did not see any kids that seemed to be overly scared by them. Read in our FAQ section about ways to excite your kids about seeing them before arriving at the park. Start by showing them this cute baby Triceratops that moves in the tent where pictures are taken of families in front of their green screen. It is right next to the entrance.
Where do I see the dinosaurs?
The dinosaurs are located all around Field Station Dinosaurs. Most of the larger ones are located towards the middle and are out in the sun. Most of the medium/smaller sized dinosaurs are located on the shaded trails. Check out the map to make sure that you see all of the dinosaurs at Field Station Dinosaurs.
What are the dinosaur credentials?
This was one of my preschooler’s favorite aspects of Field Station Dinosaurs. Upon admission to the park, all kids are given these little booklets that look like mini passport books. These are included with the cost of admission. When visiting different tents or shows they can be presented to staff members to receive a stamp. If your child fills it up with six stamps everyone claps for them and they receive a Super Paleontologist sticker.
The Field Station Dinosaurs credential book is a great memento to take home from your day at the park. Plan to spend a good portion of your day at the park so that your child can earn all of the stamps.
Field Station Dinosaurs Play Areas for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toddlers and preschoolers should definitely visit the Fossil Dig Site and the Velociraptor Maze during their visit to Field Station Dinosaurs. Both are good ways for little ones to burn off some energy out and have free playtime.
Fossil Dig Site
- This Field Station Dinosaurs exhibit is outdoors and underneath a netted canopy providing some shade.
- The exhibit is located adjacent to the Paleo Laboratory.
- Admission to the dig site is included with admission
About the Field Station Dinosaurs Fossil Dig Site
This is a large sandy area with fake fossils that kids can unearth.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do in the Fossil Dig Site?
- They can use sand toys to discover fossils. There are four sets of fossils scattered throughout the dinosaur dig site.
- Staff members also come by and regale the kids with interesting dinosaur facts. The fossils are recovered again after each kid finds them.
- There are multiple benches along the sides that are shaded.
- This Field Station Dinosaurs exhibit is outdoors.
- The exhibit is located in between the Paleontologists’ Laboratory and the Jurassic Jump.
- Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.
About the Raptor Trap
This is a maze where there are multiple velociraptors located throughout.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do in the Raptor Trap?
- Toddlers and preschoolers can run through the maze and encounter velociraptors along the way.
- There are a few good spots for a photo-op with a velociraptor.
- The maze is not too tall. A taller parent may be able to see over the maze to see where their kid is located. It is similar to a corn maze.
- It is not too long so it is a good size for a toddler or preschooler to walk through without getting bored.
Field Station Dinosaurs Workshops and Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Field Station Dinosaurs has various workshops scattered throughout the grounds under different tents. These are great since they are very interactive and really add to the enjoyment of a trip to Field Station Dinosaurs with toddlers and preschoolers.
- This exhibit is outdoors.
- The exhibit is located at the Family Tent.
- Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.
About Paleo Picasso
This is an art lesson teaching kids how to draw dinosaurs. It is done using simple shapes which make it easy for young children to follow along.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do during Paleo Picasso?
- Toddlers may find it difficult to follow along. They may still enjoy coloring on the sheet of paper while their older siblings follow along.
- This is best suited for preschoolers to age seven. Kids will enjoy learning a way to draw their own dinosaur. They will be able to follow the steps to make their own drawing to take home or leave there for the tent decor.
- This Field Station Dinosaurs exhibit is outdoors and underneath a tent.
- The exhibit is located adjacent to the Fossil Dig Site toward the center of the park.
- Admission to this exhibit requires an extra ticket. Pay for it at the entrance. It is a separate ticket that costs $5.
About the Paleontologists’ Laboratory
Pretend to be a paleontologist in real life. When you enter the laboratory there are some fossils to examine. Then you are able to get your credentials stamped and directed to a station where you are given real fossils to find with some tools, brush, and all. There are then places where you can identify your fossils and a pouch for your souvenirs.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do in the Paleontologists’ Laboratory?
- This is pretty challenging for a toddler to do but they still may enjoy trying. Be aware that there is a lot of dust from this so make sure to have a change of clothes handy in the car later on.
- This is doable for a preschooler if they have help from an adult or older sibling. Adults seemed to enjoy doing this activity.
- This add-on is well worth the additional price since it is an activity as well as an awesome souvenir to take home.
- This exhibit is outdoors.
- The exhibit is located at the Family Tent at the south edge of the park.
- Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.
About the DinosOrigami
Learn paleo paper folding here with a staff member and take home your creation.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do in DinosOrigami?
- This is best for an older preschooler and they will need parental help. As an independent activity it is best for a child that is older than preschool age.
- This exhibit is outdoors.
- The exhibit is located near the gift shop at the exit.
- Admission to the exhibit is not included with admission. It is a separate $10 add-on ticket. Instead of the Day Pass the Explorers Pass could be purchased which includes admission for the Jurassic Jump.
About Jurassic Jump
Guests weighing from 30 to 220 pounds are welcome to jump on a trampoline while harnessed. The bungee relay system helps them jump from 5 to 25 feet in the air. This puts them as high as the head of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While this Field Station Dinosaurs activity is geared towards kids those who are within the weight limit are welcome to jump as well. I tried it and it was my favorite part of the visit. I used the harness in the front and that faced the entire park so it gave me a great vantage point while jumping. Be aware that it takes a lot of upper body strength so you may be sore the next day.
What can toddlers and preschoolers do during Jurassic Jump?
- Toddlers would probably not be interested in this. There is a tent with a bench where parents can wait with younger siblings.
- Preschoolers or older kids will love doing the Jurassic Jump. It is worth the extra admission to do this. If they use the jump system on the left hand side they can best see how high they jump in regards to the T-rex nearby. If jumping in the harness that faces the front they will get some great views of the park when jumping.
Field Station Dinosaurs Shows for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Field Station Dinosaurs has an amphitheater that has some great shows for toddlers and preschoolers. The amphitheater is located at the back right of the park. Announcements are made before shows start.
There are some shows that are put on at the Geologist Tent. This is located at the northwest corner of the park across the trail from the Ankylosaurus.
All of the shows are approximately 20 minutes long. This is a great length for young kids as it stays within their attention span.
T-rex Feeding Frenzy
- The T-rex Feeding Frenzy is at the amphitheater.
- This show occurs four times a day.
About the T-rex Feeding Frenzy
This is a funny musical show that surrounds the T-rex Dinosaur. It explores his carnivorous appetite so it may not be the best for your youngest children but it is great for any kid who is a T-rex lover. There is a T-rex that walks around in this show.
Dinosaur Dance Party
- The Dinosaur Dance Party is at the amphitheater.
- This was not on the Expedition Schedule the day we visited the park.
About Dinosaur Dance Party
The best way to get a dinosaur-loving kid’s energy out is with a dinosaur dance party! If your child wants to continue the party at home this is a great playlist full of dinosaur songs that my kids enjoy https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1XCsgDtTY8i7csrwutqiv9.
- Dinosaur DayCare is located at the amphitheater.
- This show occurs twice a day.
- This show was 17 minutes long.
About the Dinosaur Day Care
Dinosaur Daycare staff will prepare for the new baby dinosaurs with the help of the audience. This is the best show for your youngest kids to attend as kids love being able to interact with the baby dinosaurs and think that they are real.
At the one we attended we witnessed three baby dinosaurs hatch out of eggs and there was a baby hadrosaurus that went around to interact with the audience members.
Field Station Challenge
- The Field Station Challenge is located at the amphitheater.
- This show happens twice a day.
About the Field Station Challenge
This is great for any person who has ever wanted to be on a dinosaur-themed game show. This challenge is full of puzzles, quizzes, and games based on luck.
Great Moments of Discovery Theater
- The Great Moments of Discovery Theater is located at the amphitheater.
- This show happens three times a day.
About the Great Moments of Discovery Theater
During this show, guests can actually meet scientists and learn about the links between dinosaurs and birds.
- Dinosaur Whodunit is located at the amphitheater.
- This show occurs twice a day.
About the Dinosaur Whodunit
This new Field Station Dinosaurs mystery show is musical and very entertaining. It delves into the mystery of what killed the dinosaurs and tells you a bit about their history.
- Alien Rocks is located at the geologist tent.
- This show occurs four times a day.
About Alien Rocks
This Field Station Dinosaurs show talks about the origins of various rocks. It takes viewers from beneath the surface of the Earth to beyond the orbit of Mars while discussing their origin stories.
More things Toddlers and Preschoolers can do at Field Station Dinosaurs
After reading everything above you may be surprised at all the things available at Field Station Dinosaurs for toddlers and preschoolers. Keep reading to find out even more things for them to see.
Any character meet and greets?
- During the Dinosaur Daycare show the baby hadrosaurus went out to meet the audience.
- During the T-rex Feeding Frenzy show there is a T-rex on the stage.
Pose for adorable pictures
The entire Field Station Dinosaurs is filled with photo ops. Before going through the park entrance there is a tent where you can get a green screen photo taken of your family with dinosaurs. Get your picture taken here before going into the park so that everyone is still clean and looking their best. They can be purchased at the Tricera-shops before you leave for $19.99. It is $7.99 to purchase additional prints.
Each dinosaur in the park is another opportunity for a photo. Our favorite poses near predators are ones where we are trying to fend them off, running away, or looking fearful. Next to the herbivores, a good pose could be stretching your neck like an apatosaurus. My daughter liked pretending to sleep next to the sleeping animatronic triceratops in the green screen photo tent.
Before going to the park be sure to gear up with some dinosaur apparel so that you are well prepared for photos. Look at our FAQ section for some ideas.
This small gift shop is a good way to get a break from the heat. This is the place to purchase the photo taken at the entrance of the park. Be aware that to leave the park everyone walks out through this gift shop. This is the cool Parasaurolophus kit my friends purchased for my daughter.
Things we did not get a chance to visit
On the map, there was a Wild Winds and a Dark Tent we did not get a chance to visit. The Hollywood Tent was not opening till the weekend after our visit. It sounded interesting since it showcases dinosaurs in various films.
Quiet spaces for Toddlers and Preschoolers at Field Station Dinosaurs
When we visited Field Station: Dinosaurs we were able to see a lot of the things there since we stayed for about five hours. If you are planning to spend a good portion of the day there, be sure to recognize that toddlers and preschoolers get tired and need breaks.
Pack plenty of snacks and drinks. It can get hot there since there is not always a lot of shade so scope out shady spots and be sure to visit them often. Another idea to give little kids a break from the outdoors is to take them into the Tricera-Shops for a few minutes.
Field Station Dinosaurs spots with benches
- Bench across from front entrance (in the sun)
- Bench in tent while waiting to take green screen photo near front entrance
- Multiple benches under awnings near the Fossil Dig Site
- Benches and trash cans on the River Trail
- Bench under an awning near the line for the Jurassic Jump
- Picnic benches under an awning across from Dino-Bites
Planning to see a few shows throughout the day is also a good way to rest your feet. Be aware that for any shows in the amphitheater, most of the seating does not have any shade, so arrive early to try and get a shady spot, bring umbrellas or bring a stroller or wagon with a canopy. Shows in the Family Tent have picnic benches for seating and are in the shade.
Dining with Toddlers and Preschoolers at Field Station Dinosaurs
Dining with young kids is incredibly easy at Field Station Dinosaurs. Our favorite part is that guests are allowed to bring in outside food. We brought along a small cooler lunch bag with us that we filled with water bottles and snacks. There are plenty of benches around the park to sit and eat.
- There is a Dino-Bites grab-n-go concession stand.
- It is located in the middle of the park across from the IKEA Birthday Tent.
- It is open from 10 am to 5 pm in the summer and 10 am to 4 pm in the fall.
- There are lots of picnic benches, under an awning, across from the canteen.
- There are no high chairs available. The picnic bench was easy for my toddler and preschooler to sit on.
What does Dino-Bites have for Toddlers and Preschoolers to eat?
Their kids’ menu consisted of getting either a Dino Dog or Dinosaur Chicken. These meals come with fries and a juice box.
There are other things available to purchase at Dino-Bites such as drinks, water, ice cream, and food for adults. These have clever names such as Bronto Burger and Cretaceous Chicken Breast Sandwich. Most people visit here between 12 noon and 1 pm. Avoid those times and you will avoid the crowd. To see their full menu see this picture below.
Information for grownups taking Toddlers and Preschoolers to Field Station Dinosaurs
When is Field Station Dinosaurs open?
- The summer season is from June 22nd through September 5th. It is open from Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm.
- The fall season is from September 5th through November 14th. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. It is also open on November 11th and 12th.
- It is open on July 4th and September 6th.
Where is Field Station Dinosaurs located?
It is located at the Overpeck County Park: Henry Hoebel Area, Fort Lee Road, Leonia, NJ 07605. This is the older section of the park. In Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze it can be found by typing in Field Station Dinosaurs. Directions are also available here: https://jerseydinos.com/visit/#directions.
How much does it cost to take toddlers and preschoolers to Field Station Dinosaurs?
- A Day pass for the park is $16.95. This is very reasonable considering all of the things at this park. If attending with a preschooler or older kid I would recommend purchasing the Explorer Pass that is $24.95. This includes the Jurassic Jump which my preschooler loved doing.
- Kids under 2 are free! A free day pass still needs to be purchased for them.
- The Paleontologists’ Laboratory Add-on for Tickets is $5. This is best for kids older than preschool age. Our toddler and preschooler still loved doing it but it was very difficult for them and my husband and I had to help them a lot.
- Purchasing tickets ahead of time is a good idea so that you do not need to wait in line. Tickets are available through their website.
- Sometimes you can save money on Field Station Dinosaur tickets by shopping on Groupon or visiting their Facebook page.
How much is parking at Field Station Dinosaurs? Where is it located?
Parking is free. Handicapped parking is located near the entrance and there is a small parking lot next to the entrance as well. There is a larger overflow parking lot adjacent to this that is not a far walk.
When is the best time to visit?
It is best to arrive close to when the park opens as the lot closest to the entrance is not too large and fills up fast. Be prepared that you might then have to wait for a bit at the line in front to get in if you do not have tickets already purchased. If you are planning to go to the park for only a few hours then arriving later in the day around 2 or 3 pm is another good time since some of the people who arrived at the park earlier in the day may have left.
How much time can I spend with my toddlers and preschoolers here?
The whole day! There are lots of things to see and activities to do at Field Station Dinosaurs.
Do toddlers and preschoolers have to wear masks?
Masks are not mandatory for toddlers and preschoolers. Field Station Dinosaurs is following public park guidelines. Since guidelines may change it’s best to call ahead of time if you have any concerns regarding mask-wearing.
Strollers at Field Station Dinosaurs
We saw many people with strollers at Field Station Dinosaurs. I would recommend bringing one with more rugged wheels. The paths are well maintained.
Can I bring my own stroller to Field Station Dinosaurs?
Yes. I would recommend bringing a stroller with a large canopy. In lieu of a stroller, a wagon with a canopy overhead would be great as well. These would be convenient in having a spot for your kids to sit and have shade at any time.
Are there strollers I can rent?
This year Field Station Dinosaurs is not offering stroller rentals.
Can we bring in outside food at Field Station Dinosaurs?
Yes, this is allowed. Large coolers are not permitted. We had brought a small lunch bag that was also a cooler. I really appreciated that outside food was allowed to be brought in since my son has a health condition due to which there are many foods he cannot eat.
Other FAQ about Field Station Dinosaurs
Where are the best spots to find shade?
Our favorite place in Field Station: Dinosaurs to find shade was hands down the River Trail. We went during an extremely hot day so this was the coolest part of the park. The trail is shaded and along the river. There were also benches and trash cans so this was a great spot to stop for a snack.
Our other favorite spot for shade was at the multiple benches near the Fossil Dig Site. All of these were also in the shade. This is a great spot for parents to actually be able to sit and watch their kids playing in the sand.
The family tent where the PaleoPicasso event was held was also in the shade as well as the Paleontologists’ Library. There is also a shaded eating area next to DinoBites.
I would recommend spacing all of these places out throughout your itinerary so that everyone has plenty of time to cool down and not get overheated.
Are there restrooms available?
Yes, there are some restrooms before you go through the Field Station Dinosaur park entrance and others opposite them on the other side. You see these close to the park exit once you are inside the park. There are restrooms for men and women in a trailer.
There are also some giant porta potties that are handicap accessible. They are installing a changing table near the restrooms in the near future.
Can I leave and reenter the park?
No. Field Station Dinosaurs does not allow for guests to reenter the park.
What should I bring to Field Station Dinosaurs?
I recommend bringing a hat, sunblock, and bug spray. I also recommend packing snacks and lots of water in a small cooler lunch bag. We also brought hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes.
If going with a younger child be sure to bring enough diapers and wipes since after entering the park people are not allowed to leave again. If it is very hot out I would also bring a few portable fans as well.
Many people brought strollers with large canopies or wagons with canopies to the park. If not bringing those you may want to bring some umbrellas for shade.
Keep a change of clothes and shoes for your kids in the car as mine were very sandy and dusty after our day there.
Is there a place to purchase hats, bug spray, water or sunblock?
Yes. The Tricera-shops had mini sunblocks, bug repellent wipes, and various hats for sale. There are no water fountains but water is available for purchase at Dino-Bites.
What should I wear?
I personally recommend finding some good dinosaur-related t-shirts before your visit to get your kids excited. We saw many park visitors wearing different ones. These are some of the affiliate links to cool dinosaur shirts from Amazon that our family already owns that are still being sold. (We participate in the Amazon affiliate program and earn a small commission when you make a purchase using links we’ve included.)
Target also has lots of different Jurassic Park and Jurassic World t-shirts like my red one pictured below I bought a few years ago.
If you are going to the park on a cooler day such as in the fall you may want to go all out and have the kids wear dinosaur costumes. Adults going with them can wear safari sun hats and khaki shorts to appear like paleontologists going with them.
Should I wear a hat?
Yes! Hats are definitely a must for the park since in some areas there is not too much shade. My daughter has a Trex hat from the Dollar Tree she wore that is pictured below.
This hat my son had received as a present worked great for the park and it is reversible as well.
How should I plan out the day?
Reading this guide is helpful since it may give you ideas of which things you want to do at Field Station Dinosaurs. I would pick out your favorite shows and activities you want to do and then spend the rest of the day looking at the dinosaurs.
When you first walk into the park, taking a picture of the park map and expedition schedule is especially helpful. This is the picture of the expedition schedule from when we went recently. There are also announcements made before some of the different events are starting.
What happens when it rains at Field Station Dinosaurs?
Field Station Dinosaurs remains open in the rain so refunds are not given. If there is lightning, passes may be given to people to return another day and the park would close.
Is this a good place to bring grandparents?
Yes. Grandparents, who have trouble walking far distances, could easily be dropped to the front of Field Station Dinosaurs. There is plenty of seating around the park and shows with seating as well. Field Station Dinosaurs is not too large so it is a good size for grandparents and younger kids.
Are there spots for breastfeeding?
There were lots of benches available. None of them offered a lot of privacy since they were in areas close to pathways. If breastfeeding you may want to bring along a breastfeeding scarf such as this one.
Our Day at Field Station Dinosaurs
When driving towards Field Station Dinosaurs we discovered that it was in a portion of Overpeck County Park. Our friends who live in the area told us this park is very nice and has many amenities.
When we arrived at Field Station Dinosaurs it was a 90-degree day outside. We were prepared with a lunch bag full of water bottles and fruit, sunblock, hats, bug spray, and fans. We met our friends there and then went to the front entrance.
We had arrived at 11 am so the smaller parking lot that was right next to the entrance was full already. There was another larger parking lot adjacent to it that was not a far walk and that still had plenty of parking available. The good part about arriving a little later than the opening time of 10 am was that the line at the entrance cleared up by the time we walked over.
When entering the park it felt to us like we were entering one of the Jurassic Park movies in real life. The large entrance coupled with the crates, large dinosaurs, staff members in uniform, tents, and park-goers with dinosaur paraphernalia really lent to this atmosphere.
We started off by walking around to see almost all of the dinosaurs. The kids were excited immediately and ran from one dinosaur to the next. When we had seen two-thirds of all of the dinosaurs in the park we heard an announcement for a show starting at the amphitheater.
We were able to catch part of the new WhoDunit show. We had arrived late to the show and did not get a seat in the shade so we decided to keep walking more after fifteen minutes. My two-year-old son was enjoying the dinosaurs the most so he wanted to continue seeing them multiple times.
We just had to watch carefully where they walked since there was some poison ivy in some locations amongst the grass. The River Trail was our favorite place to cool down and we ate some snacks there on the benches in the shade.
After that, our friends took my four-year-old daughter through the Raptor Maze. She enjoyed taking some photos with velociraptors and finding the exit with them.
We then waited in the short line for the Jurassic Jump. My daughter, one of my friends, and I all did the Jump. Although this looked geared for kids it looked to be too much fun to pass on this opportunity. My friend and I were surprised at how much energy it took to jump. It was a trampoline with a harness and bungee cords that were pulled to help jumpers get very high. I was able to jump as high as the head of a T-rex. My preschooler loved this and was talking about it for weeks afterward.
Once we finished the jump it was around one and we were hungry for lunch. The line near Dino-Bites was now very small and it was very easy to get seating. We thought the burgers, chicken sandwiches, and kid chicken nuggets were all tasty. They were all served with very generous helpings of large and crispy fries. The portions were large enough that two items would likely be enough for three people eating. Condiments and napkins were available as well. There were also water and drinks such as Gatorade available for purchase.
After we finished our lunch we headed to the Paleo Lab. There we were given tools in a tray to find fossils. Each of us was able to find three fossils. It was difficult for my toddler and preschooler but they still had a lot of fun trying. There were different identifiers laid out so that you could determine which fossils you were bringing home. Field Station Dinosaurs also provided a little souvenir pouch to take home our fossils.
After we were finished with this we headed to the Fossil Dig Site. All the kids there seemed to love it. It was like a giant sandbox with sand toys that had dinosaur fossils for kids to find under the sand. This was a great spot for us to get a break as parents since there was a lot of seating for us along the sides.
The kids were starting to get hot so we headed back to Dino-Bites and purchased a $2 twin pop before heading over to the Dinosaur DayCare at the amphitheater. We arrived early this time so we were able to get some seats in the shade and my kids had their popsicles. They really enjoyed the baby hadrosaurus that came out to visit the audience members.
We then walked across the river trail multiple times before the start of the PaleoPicasso show. This show was filled with kids and interactive. The staff member upfront was teaching kids how to draw dinosaurs using easy shapes they knew how to draw already. This seemed ideal for the four to seven age range. After this, we were all tired and the kids were ready for a nap so we headed through the Tricera-shops on our way out of the park.
We had an amazing day overall and are very thankful for our great experience. The staff was all very friendly and great at interacting with the kids. The park was very well maintained and some of the new shows and the Jurassic Jump were great. We appreciated how it was a very hands-on experience, it really held the interest of our young children. Anyone considering a trip should definitely make it out there since the price is very reasonable and it is truly a memorable life experience.
Want to find more dinosaurs in New Jersey?
Visit our guide to The best spots to see dinosaurs in New Jersey.