893 Union Chapel Road, Cedar Creek, Texas 78612
Currently Thursday through Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
summer-days, days-out-with-big-kids, plans-for-kids, days-out-with-toddlers, fun-paid-activities, outdoor-adventures, days-out-with-little-kids, social-distancing
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An excursion to Bastrop, Texas that will be fun for the whole family!
Hold onto your butts, channel your inner Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant, and get ready for a Dinosaur Park safari! Unlike Jurassic Park, these dinosaurs are not real, but this outdoor museum is still a guaranteed kid-pleaser! (Really, who doesn’t love dinosaurs?)
Located twenty-five minutes outside of Austin (on Highway 71 en route to Bastrop), Dinosaur Park features a series of nature trails adorned with life-sized dinosaur replicas. Displaying nearly three dozen dino species – including Raptors, Triceratops, a T-Rex, and a twelve-foot tall, twenty eight-foot long Stegosaurus – the park’s lifelike models offer a glimpse at the prehistoric animals that once called Texas home. Depending on the season, hikers might also spot wild rabbits, roadrunners (beep beep!), rat snakes, and stick bugs enjoying the trail too.
What’s lovely about this park is that it was clearly designed with entertaining little ones in mind. At the trailhead entrance, one-day paleontologists are encouraged to pick up an I Spy checklist (you can also print the list at home, or save it on your phone) for a challenging game of “I-Spy-A-Saurus.” Throughout the trails, kids are encouraged to search for footprint clues to find hidden gems along the way.
The park also features a Dino Dig, where kids jump in the sandbox to uncover fossils of their own, though this could potentially be subject to COVID restrictions. Once you’ve finished your safari, take a break in the park’s covered picnic pavilion – picnickers are still welcome – and let the kids enjoy the swings, playground, and rideable dinos.
Know before you go:
Park entry costs $9 per person ($8 for kids 2-12), but it’s a worthwhile adventure, and leashed dogs under thirty pounds are welcome to join in. Explorers large and small are asked to stay on the trail at all times for everyone’s safety. (Nothing spoils a good adventure like poison ivy.) Guests are also asked not to disturb or remove any of the plants, flowers, or little critters that live in the park.
The gravel trail is under a mile long and baby strollers with big wheels can easily traverse the rocky terrain. Outside food and drink are welcome as there are no concessions on site. The picnic areas are available on a first-come/first-served basis. So stock up the cooler for some cheap, from-home eats!