Tips for making the most of your trip to Dinosaurland with young kids.
We recently took our boys (4 & 2) to Dinosaurland- (Dinosaur National Monument). We all had so much fun and it’s a trip they keep talking about. I had many friends mention they wanted to go soon so today I am sharing some tips about going to Dinosaurland with young kids.
Where it is located
Dinosaurland or Dinosaur National Monument is located in Vernal, Utah. (Here are the directions.)
Activities, Hikes, Petryglyphs & Scenic Drives
Dinosaurland as you might guess is where the dinosaurs used to roam! They have over 1,500 Dinosaur bones to see. It’s truly amazing. There is also many more fun activities such as camping, hiking petroglyphs, museums, rafting, swimming etc.
Here are some fun places to visit:
Quarry Visitor Center
They have a tram that takes you up to see The Quarry Exhibit Hall. The boys loved it so much we might have taken it quite a few times!
The wall of bones is so breathtaking! There are over 1,500 bones! And you can even touch a few. They excavated many bones back in the early 1900’s but they decided it would be an amazing opportunity to keep all these bones in the wall for visitors to come and see for years to come. It is incredible! They also have some more fun things to see like a few dinosaur complete skeletons. Here is more information on The Quarry Exhibit Hall.
We did a few more short hikes with the kids which they really enjoyed. They loved all the lizards! (Can you spot the lizard?!)
The boys loved a place called Josie’s Cabin. It was nicely shaded and they really enjoyed watching a squirrel that seemed to like to be close to us. There’s also a fun little hike you can take there into the canyon.
It’s so beautiful down there. The rocks were a stunning deep red orange color. They have a lot of beautiful scenic drives.
Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum-
aka The Dinosaur Museum. This is a MUST see if you have young kids. This was one of the main highlights for our boys on our trip. Here’s their website.
We all loved the museum it was fun and interactive. Here the boys are digging for dinosaur bones! It was also a very nice break from the heat.
The highlight of the museum was seeing all the dinosaurs around the outside of the museum. This is them with the Utah Raptor. (Discovered in my state of Utah!) The T-Rex from my first picture in this post was amazing to see. It was HUGE. Seeing all these dinosaurs made it easier to imagine what it would be like to be around real dinosaurs. The boys were in dinosaur heaven!
Camping is a great option when visiting Dinosaurland. It’s so close to all the attractions and it’s so inexpensive. We camped at the Green River Campground in Dinosaur National Monument. It was only $12 a night!
I was nervous before how it’d go since our boys were so young but it went really well and they had a blast!
This picture was taken as we were just setting up the tent. They were SO excited to be in Dinosaurland and were just loving all the sticks, dirt, rocks and bugs! Typical boys.
One night just as I tucked the boys in for bed my husband found a toad for them to see. It was seriously one of the highlights of our trips! They thought it was so neat!
I wasn’t sure how they would do sleeping in a tent but they actually did very very well! They were so worn out at the end of the day they fell right asleep. Asher just woke up about once per night when his covers fell off of him.
A little boys dream to be surrounded by nature! I’m so glad they did so well. Ever since we got back they recreate our camping trip. It is the sweetest thing. They set up a little fire with their toys and Levi tells us what we are roasting over the fire and when it’s time to go to bed and wake up etc.
Here are a few tips to remember when camping with young kids:
-Know that they will get dirty and be ok with it! Clothes and little bodies can be cleaned when you get home. Let them have fun!
-Bring plenty of wipes to wipe down arms and feet. Especially before bedtime.
-Pack a first-aid kit. You never know what can happen! Also don’t forget to bring some medicine for your little ones just in case.
-Bring some fun things to keep them entertained such as glow sticks, their own little flashlight or simple games.
-Don’t forget bug spray, sunscreen, afterbite etc.
-Pack plenty of extra clothes.
-Bring their favorite blanket etc. to help them feel more comfortable sleeping away from home.
-Plan some down time to relax or take little naps each day. A day full of activities can be too much for little ones, especially if it’s really hot.
Kid Friendly Camping Food
Plan your menu ahead of time, make a list and check it twice!
Make sure you bring food your kids will actually eat.
Pack plenty of snacks, including fruits and veggies that are easy to snack on.
We planned a simple menu that wouldn’t be too much work but food our entire family would enjoy. We used our portable stove and cast iron for most of the cooking. We had simple side dishes such as canned fruit and salad kits.
Sausage, Eggs & Hashbrowns
Different types of sandwiches. (This was so simple and perfect.)
Malibu Chicken I wanted dinners my kids would actually eat and I know they love chicken nuggets but I think they ended up loving this dinner even more! I just prepared the chicken before we left and it was quick to cook up and super easy! We served this with this delicious pea salad we just picked up from our grocery store. I need to find a recipe for it. It was amazing!
Hot Dogs- The kids loved it and it’s super easy. We served it with a salad kit. I highly recommend that. It was easy to put together and so delicious.
Beef Stew- We kept this dinner super simple by just using a can of stew and also had leftovers this night.
We had these Campfire Scones a couple of nights. They are so fun to make and delicious!
Of course we had S’mores! But S’mores done right! We aren’t fans of milk chocolate so we got our favorite bar of dark chocolate and it was heavenly!
Some other snacks we had was dried fruit, trail mixes, granola bars, crackers, juice etc.
Some Last Tips
Bring plenty of water. Hats for your little ones especially is a very good idea! It gets very hot in the summer. A small bag like this would be great to carry the few essentials you would need on a short hike. Have lots of fun but don’t forget to relax!
Hopefully this post is helpful for anyone considering going to Dinosaurland, especially with young kids. Please let me know if you have any questions I didn’t cover. Also, for more information you can visit their website here or another helpful one here. (Here is also a great link with brochures.)
Enjoy your trip!