Beware! The Dinosaur Invasion is going to get you at Leu Gardens! Roam the gardens to check out cool prehistoric creatures.
Leu Gardens, located in Orlando, Florida, is a great garden that features the “Dinosaur Invasion” every spring. From Jan to April, you can enjoy strolling the gardens and seeing dinosaurs among the lush Florida foliage.
During a recent hosted trip through Visit Orlando, my family visited Leu Gardens to check out Dinosaur Invasion. This is a great activity for the whole family yo enjoy. The kids loved getting to see all the dinosaur sculptures because they were so realistic. And, we all loved getting to check out all the cool plants and flowers.
I am always to thankful of the all wonderful things we can do so close to home. We have incredible things to do in Central Florida, from theme parks to museums to gardens. In less than 2 hours we can get to so many different styles of attractions that the whole family can enjoy.
The Dinosaur Invasion
Dinosaur Invasion at Harry Leu Gardens features sculptures of prehistoric creatures. They vary in size, kind, shape from the various time periods.
We followed the trails on the event map to take us to all 15 dinosaur locations throughout the property. The backside of the map also had some information about each of the dinosaurs.
The Tropical Stream Garden
The first section inside the gardens is the Tropical Stream Garden. Branching off the main path is a smaller trail that loops around the stream that is surrounded by a variety of tropical plants. The palms, ferns, and flowers like bird-of-paradise and heliconias, creates the atmosphere of a tropical rainforest.
We were so excited to the crocodile nestled among the leaves in the tropical stream garden. It was sponsored by Wild Florida, one of our favorite places to visit in Florida.
The Leu House Museum
The Leu House Museum is a restored 19th century home that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four families owned the property before it opened to the public as the gardens we know today.
Due to Covid, capacity is limited but you can still enjoy it when open Tuesdays – Sundays.
Not far from the Leu House Museum is the Herb Garden. The Herb Garden gives an example of culinary and medicinal herbs reminiscent of kitchen gardens from the turn of the century.
Art at Leu Gardens
The “Citrus Worker” by William Ludwig is one of the art work pieces at is on the property. There are sculptures, paintings, and mixed media works in their collection of permeant and rotating pieces.
Even though we visited at the start off February, the garden had an abundance of flowers in bloom. This a a great benefit to living in Florida. We get to enjoy so many great days of wonderful weather allowing flowers and foliage to be hearty for such a large portion of the year.
If you have a membership at Leu Gardens, you can enjoy free daytime admission to the Gardens and Leu House Museum for an entire year. As well, you get special member pricing on ticketed events and free admission to all movie nights.
As well, you can enjoy free or discounted admission at reciprocal gardens in the American Horticultural Society partners. There are over 300 gardens, arboretums, and conservatories nationwide.
We have a membership at Bok Tower Gardens and frequently go to gardens and museums throughout the state to enjoy this partnership.
Leu Gardens features a variety of flowers at different gardens on the property. From the 10 distinct mini gardens in the Idea Garden to the Color Garde to the White Garden- there is so much diversity in the collection of plants.
Florida’s climate and soil allows the curators to maintain and create beautiful gardens that are playful, lush, and educational.
Dinosaur Invasion features over 20 life-size dinosaurs at 15 stations throughout the property. The dinosaurs are nestled among trees or standing proud on the lawns. Some are even located in trees!
The sculptures are ranging in size from just 14 inches to the 33 ft. tall Daspletosaurus, a cousin to the T-Rex.
One of my favorite things about standing among the sculptures is seeing how big they are. Most people think that velociraptor are really big because of the Jurassic Park movies but in reality they are much smaller, like the size of the turkey!
The dinosaurs are created by Guy Darrough. He is a self-taught accomplished fossil expert and collector who is well respected in the paleontology field, where had has worked for over 45 years.
Guy meticulously crafts each dinosaur. He focuses on authenticity showing presumed size, sale, and color for each of the creatures. His skill and hard work has allowed him to create one of the most prominent dinosaur exhibits in the United States.
One of the things I really like about the event is that they located the dinosaurs in various locations around the property. There were some tucked around palms and others climbing along some fallen tree branches. They even had dinosaurs nesting in trees.
There are several signs around Leu Gardens reminding everyone to wear their masks and do social distance while enjoying the event. We felt that people were very considerate of maintain social distancing measures while enjoying the dinosaurs. When things got a bit crowded as a dinosaur station, people spread back out again. This was great for both safety and the ability to take some pictures.
The Rose Garden and Floral Clock
Central to the Garden are the Rose Garden and Floral Clock. The 2 features align with each other so you can stand int eh rose garden and peer down the lawn to the Floral Clock.
Harry’s wide, Mary Jane, loved roses so she saw the garden as a place of beauty and education for future generations.
This rose garden is the largest formal rose garden in Florida. It features both old garden roses, those existing prior to 1867, and modern roses.
The Floral Clock as donated by the Kiwanis Club of Orlando in 1975. It was inspired by the famous floral clock of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Lake Rowena Overlook
The trail wound down to the Lake Rowena Overlook. We took some time to check out the fish and turtles swimming the in the pond. The water was really clear so we had a great view of them all swimming around.
I hope that everyone has a ton of fun at Leu Gardens. Visiting Dinosaur Invasion is a great family friendly outdoor activity that everyone can enjoy together.