Visiting Dinosaur World in Plant City, FL is a great activity for kids to do with their families. There are so many dinosaurs to see and learn about.
I love living in Central Florida because there are so many great things to do, just a short drive away. One day, after school, my friend and I took our kids to Dinosaur World. We had so much fun!
One of my favorite things about living in Central Florida is that we have so many great things to do around us. Within a 2 hour drive from us, are so many zoos, museums, beaches, and nature preserves. You really can’t be bored here because there are so many things to do.
Thankfully, Dinosaur World is just about half an hour from home, so my friend and I brought our kids there after school one day. It was a great activity to do on a nice fall afternoon.
It was our fist visit so we had a great time exploring the grounds, checking out the life sized dinosaur statues, and taking lots of fun pictures.
I suggest visiting Dinosaur World because it is a fun place to visit, it provides a lot of opportunities for kids to learn, and it’s an affordable activity. In fact, it has a really affordable annual membership– less than $35 for adults!
Plus, The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of South Florida has created the “Autism Friendly” initiative and named Dinosaur World as “Autism Friendly”. Please visit CARD‘s website for more information.
Dino Gem Excavation
The first thing we did when we entered was go to the Dino Gem Excavation.
The kids got right to work with getting a bag of sand and gemstones. They then started to pour the sandy mixture onto the metal sieve, which then was run through the mining sluice. The water washed away the dirt and small sand and rock particles revealing the gemstones.
Autumn had so much fun doing this excavation activity. She enjoyed the process of cleaning the gemstones and then enjoyed going through them at home later as well.
This activity is not part of the normal admission price. The Dino Gem Excavation is a $7 add on, resulting in a $18.95 kids ticket cost.
The Fossil Dig is a 15-minute guided activity that’s included in every child’s admission. Kids dig for fossils in a specially stocked pit area. They can dig for things like shark teeth, gastropods to stingray barbs, and Mosasaur teeth. They can select three of their favorites to take home.
Autumn was really excited to add 3 fossils to the bag of gems she excavated.
The Boardwalk and Paths
The best thing about Dinosaur World is how the boardwalks and the paths wind around the property with life-sized dinosaur replicas. You wanted through the shaded ground from the centuries-old oak trees.
All dinosaur displays feature plaques that have their name as well as information about the dinosaurs. This allows you to learn about the different relationships the dinosaurs had and how they lived in nature.
Be sure to have your camera/phone charged so you can take lots of picture of your family with the dinosaurs. There are so many fun opportunities for take a fun photo with them.
Hunter loved all the life-sized dinosaurs. Some scared him a bit, but he was really excited overall to check them all out.
Some of the scenes depicted along the plants are graphic for some kids. For example, there are some where dinosaurs are being ripped apart. A little gory but you can speed past them for the younger kids that could be upset by it.
The overall experience of Dinosaur World is about immersing you into the environment with the dinosaurs. Standing next to these beasts reminds you of their side and shear power that they had. Even those bus sized omnivore are pretty intimating. Glad they are extinct so they aren’t running amuck now!
Exploration Cave Show
We caught one of the Exploration Cave Shows during out visit.
You start the experience by entering through a cave, continuing on to a dig site, and then ending at Paleontologist work station.
Throughout the show you are learning about proper ways to excavate a fossil from a dig site and how they process them back in the lab. There is so much fun information to learn. Be sure to ask the Paleontologist your questions!
We learned that Paleontologists don’t believe that dinosaurs roared. My mind was blown!
Well, dinosaurs weren’t mute, but they hey didn’t roar like how we typically hear them in the movies. New research indicates they more likely made coos, and bellows the same way a emu or an alligator does. (Check out this NPR article about it!)
After our Excavation Cave shop, we wandered around a bit more before heading back to the entrance/exit.
Before leaving, we made sure to let the kids playing on the Dino-themed playground for a long time. They liked the slides, swings, and the fossils they could climb on. It was a nice way for us to wind down the fun experience.
Tips for Enjoying Dinosaur World
Wear Sunglasses and Sunblock
The majority of Dinosaur World is outside. There is a pretty nice canopy overhead but the Florida sun can easily creep on you and give you a sunburn.
Pack a lunch
Dinosaur World encourages you to pack a cooler. There are covered picnic tables by the playground where you can enjoy your snacks and lunch. While they have snacks in the shop, there is no cafe on site, so plan what you want to enjoy before you arrive.
Look at show times when you arrive
Plan your visit when you arrive so you can enjoy the most of it when you arrive. Coordinate when you will be by the different attractions at show times so you can visit them all.
Upgrade for the Dino Gem Excavation
The Dino Gem Excavation is a fun experience that results in a bag full of beautiful gemstones.
If you don’t want to buy this upgrade for all your kids, you can upgrade one and then they can split the sand to shift through.
Bring a stroller
There is plenty of walking to go so bringing a stroller or baby carrier is suggested so your little ones don’t get tired.
Bring your dog
While we didn’t bring our dogs on this visit to Dinosaur World, it is a dog friendly place!
Bring your well behaved, leash-trained dogs along with you while you explore the paths. They have water stations for the dogs so they stay hydrated, cool, and refreshed. (I personally, suggest using a short leash. If you use a retractable leash, please keep it tight to you!)
Build in time to enjoy the playground
The kids love playing on the playground so we spent A LOT of time there after we walked through the dinosaurs.
Save at Hampton Inn Plant City
15% percent off room rates at Hampton Inn Plant City when you mention Dinosaur World. Call ahead for this deal and to make reservations.
5145 Harvey Tew Road
Plant City, FL 33565
Open Daily: 9:00am to 5:00pm
More Family Activities in Central FL
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