Jurassic World: Dominion promises to be a blockbuster hit this summer — but it’s far from the only place where kids can get their dinosaur fix.
Truth be told, America’s fascination with prehistoric predators dates well before Jurassic Park, directed by Stephen Spielberg, first hit theaters in 1993. In fact, it was more than 150 years ago when the first prehistoric skeleton stood on display in Philadelphia in 1868, tripling attendance at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
We love our fossil friends so much that nearly all 50 states — and the District of Columbia — have recognized an official state fossil.
From Alaska up north to Florida down south, the fossilized remains of prehistoric animals that roamed North America are on display in natural history museums big and small.
There’s likely one close by, making a day trip possible for grandparents to treat their grandkids. Tickets can be purchased online, and discounts are available to children and older adults at most museums. Check ahead for any COVID-19 restrictions or other special requirements. Hours may vary depending on time of year so check before you go.
Here’s a roundup of some of what is available.
National Mall 10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
What you’ll see: A new, 31,00-square-foot fossil hall features some 700 fossil specimens, including dramatically posed giants like Tyrannosaurus rex, Diplodocus and the woolly mammoth.
Open: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Dec. 25.
200 Central Park West, New York City
What you’ll see: On display since 2016 is a cast of a 122-foot-long Patagotitan mayorum, a titanosaur discovered in Argentina’s Patagonia region. Its neck and head extend out toward the elevator banks, welcoming visitors to the “Dinosaur” floor.
Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: $23. Discounts for children and older adults. Pay what you want, for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents. Tickets must be reserved online, with timed entry.