If your living room floor is littered with dinosaur books and a stuffed triceratops or two, your budding paleontologist is in for a big treat. We’ve hunted all around the DMV and found the best local spots for dino-obsessed kids (and their families). Scroll down to see where to go for a rawr-ing good time.

Dino Summer at the National Zoo

Little zoo visitors can travel back in time during an interactive, dino-sized show and outdoor exhibit of dinosaurs that roar and move. Watch out for the life-sized replicas that spray water, your little ones might get wet! Don't forget to check out the live show where your kids can interact with realistic dinos. Be sure to plan your visit before the dinosaurs become extinct (again!) on September 2, 2019.

3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Woodley Park
202-633-4888
Online: nationalzoo.si.edu

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Dinosaur Land

A roadside gem, Dinosaur Land invites tiny paleontologists to step back into prehistoric times. After 50 years of family fun, you might meet a parent that visited when they were little and are back with the next generation. Dinosaurs are the main attraction, but you can also get up-close-and-personal with a big shark, King Kong look-alike and a giant octopus. On your way out, your dino-lovers might go nuts over the rows and rows of dino toys.

Insider tip: There are $1 grab bags next to the register 

3848 Stonewall Jackson Hwy
White Post, VA 22663
540-869-2222
Online: dinosaurland.com

The Smithsonian's Hall of Fossils–Deep Time

This newly redesigned dinosaur exhibit is the result of years of work by scientists and volunteers alike. As your little dinosaur lovers wander around the room, they’ll learn new facts and exciting details about the 3.7-billion-year history behind these majestic monsters. Unlike many similar exhibits, the Smithsonian’s dinosaur fossils look like they could leap off their displays. 

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
National Mall
202-633-1000
Online: naturalhistory.si.edu

Dinosaur Park

Are your dino-loving kids ready to meet a real-life Paleontologist?  Then this preservation site is the place to go. This is such a cool spot to explore Maryland's prehistoric days. Not only can your kiddos walk where dinosaurs walked, but they can also chat with the men and women still making epic discoveries today. Who knows?  They might even make a discovery of their own. 

13100 Mid-Atlantic Blvd.
Laurel, MD 20708  
301-627-1286
Online: pgparks.com/3259/Dinosaur-Park

Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD

Your kiddo will get to walk over, under and through Dinosaur Mysteries at this touch-and-explore museum. Their little feet can follow the dinosaur tracks.  Their little hands can work in the dig pit and field lab. Their little faces will light up at the sight of full-sized dinosaurs on display.

601 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-685-2370
Online: mdsci.org

Worth the Drive: Dinosaur Kingdom II

This wooded, walking adventure is totally weird and wildly fun.  Here, dinosaurs meet Civil War soldiers with a few silly movie references thrown in for a giggle. Think Stonewall Jackson meets snarling Spinosaurus. They even allow dinosaur lovers to host their birthday parties at the kingdom. You’ll need a camera handy to capture all the crazy photo op fun.

Insider tip: Fur babies are welcome too!

5781 S Lee Hwy.
Natural Bridge, VA 24578
540-464-2253
Online: dinosaurkingdomii.com

Worth the Drive: The Dinosaur Discovery Trail

The Dinosaur Discovery Trail features 16 dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. Once a month, your Littles can line up for the walking T-Rex’s parade. Come for the dinosaurs, and stay for over 250 species of animals found in Virginia.  The museum is a sanctuary for animals in need.

524 J Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601
757-595-1900
Online: thevlm.org

—Angelica Kajiwara

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