Jurassic! 14 Jaw-Dropping Dinosaur Museums, Parks & Dinosaur Exhibits in Michigan & Beyond

Indianapolis Children's Museum Dinosaurs

Journey Through Time to Midwest, Michigan Dinosaur Museums & Attractions

Do you have a budding paleontologist or dinosaur enthusiast in your family?

Get ready to roar like a T-Rex because this list is for anyone in Michigan or the Midwest that loves dinosaurs!

There are a ton of cool places – dinosaur museums, dinosaur parks – dinosaur events – where you can see and learn about these fascinating creatures.

Add these stops to your Michigan bucket list – let’s go!

Michigan Dinosaur Park at Western Michigan University
Brachiosaurus at WMU’s dinosaur park in Kalamazoo, MI

In this Article

Dinosaur Parks & Gardens

Would you like to stop at a theme park filled with life-sized dinosaur replicas? Yes?

Then it’s time to head to a dinosaur park!

While the attractions at these parks very greatly from venue to venue, you can be sure they’re all dinosaur-themed.

1 – Western Michigan University Dinosaur Park 

2101 Wilbur Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

The WMU Dinosaur Park is a free outdoor park that is open to the public.

Visit to see 10 large-scale model replica dinosaurs, Brachiosaurus included.

Western Michigan University Dinosaur-Park-Triceratops
Triceratops at Western Michigan University Dinosaur Park in Kalamazoo, MI

Located just east of Rood Hall, this dinosaur park is tucked away on Western Michigan University’s campus.

Dinosaurs to See Here:
Get face to face with a Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Utahraptor, Parasaurolophus, Allosaurus, and Dilophosaurus.

Free Bonus!
Go inside Rood Hall to the first floor.

That’s where you’ll find the Schmaltz Geology Museum and can spot Mastodon fossils, mineral specimens, and shark teeth.

schmaltz geology wmu shark teeth
Shark teeth on display in Schmaltz Geology Museum – Source

The museum is free to enter and is open Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 5PM (except for holidays and university closures).  

2 – Dinosaur Gardens

11160 U.S. 23 South Ossineke, MI, 49766

Located just south of Alpena, MI, you’ll want to visit Dinosaur Gardens. It’s a 40-acre dinosaur park that’s open in the summertime and has been around for generations.

Take the self-guided half-mile walk to mosey amongst 13 different gigantic prehistoric creatures.

Educational signs outline dinosaur facts at each stop.

Dinosaurs to See Here:
You will be up close and personal with 13 different large scale model dinosaurs, including a Velociraptor & Stegosaurus.

Dinosaur Gardens Ossineke Michigan
📷 T-Rex at Dinosaur Gardens

Bonus:
To add more to your adventure, Dinosaur Gardens offers packages that include a variety of activities, including a fossil dig, miner’s sluice, putt putt golf and a gift shop. 

Noteworthy:
Paleo Joe offers fossil digs in Alpena and Rogers City, MI. Pre-registration required. Pay by the carload of fossil hunters.

Dinosaurs Museums in Michigan

If you want a dinosaur visit that includes fossils, dino replicas, and a place to see what life was like when dinosaurs were alive, you’ll want to find a dinosaur museum to visit.

Lucky for us, we have several museums with dinosaur exhibits in Michigan, as well as in nearby states.

3 – MSU Museum Dinosaur Exhibit

The MSU Museum: 409 W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48823

The MSU Museum features an astonishing exhibit featuring two massive, fully articulated dinosaur skeletons and plenty of other fascinating fossils.

The dinosaur exhibit is located in Habitat Hall inside The MSU Museum.

Dinosaurs to See Here:
A complete skeleton of a Stegosaurus and Allosaurus, a life size T-Rex skull, plus a collection of various dinosaur skulls from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

MSU-Museum Dinosaur
📷 Stegosaurus at MSU Museum Dinosaur Exhibit

Bonus:
Admission is free to this museum but registration is required.

4 – University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Biological Sciences Building, 2nd Floor
1105 North University Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109

At the U of M Museum of Natural History, you will find an exhibit that will take you on a journey through 4 billion years of life on Earth. You will discover dinosaur skeletons and other prehistoric animals.

Dinosaurs to See Here:
Dolichorhynchops, a short-necked plesiosaur of the Cretaceous period that live in the shallow seas covering the land that is now Wyoming and Kansas.

Majungasaurus, a late Cretaceous dinosaur from the Mahajanga province of Madagascar and the largest predator of its environment.

Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas
A traveling exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History opens on February 17 and runs through September 15, 2024.

U of M Museum of Natural History Dinosaur
📷Dinosaur Cast at University the of Michigan Natural History Museum

Bonus:
Admission to this museum is free.

Traveling Dinosaur Events

Keep an eye out for traveling dinosaur-themed events. They tend to visit a city for a few days or weeks and then move along and are not typically associated with a museum.

Some national tours that are known to visit Michigan and the Midwest include:

Jurassic Quest
– Chicago: March 8 – 10, 2024 
– Indianapolis: March 29 – 31, 2024
– Toledo: April 26 – 28, 2024

Dinosaur World
– Kalamazoo: April 20, 2024

Dinosauria
– Detroit: May 25 – September 8, 2024

Dino & Dragon Stroll
– Lake Orion: May 4 – May 26, 2024

Fantastic Fossils
– St. Johns: June 4 – September 6 , 2024

Dinosaurs in Motion
– Dearborn: June 9 – September 8, 2024

Dino Dan
– Grand Rapids: July 15 – November 10, 2024

Indoor Dinosaur Play

If your little one is a dinosaur lover and just wants a fun dinosaur backdrop, consider a visit to an indoor, dinosaur-themed play area.

5 – Stage Nature Center

6685 Coolidge Hwy, Troy, MI 49098

At Stage Nature Center in Troy, MI, kids will love pretending to be an archaeologist as they dig through rubber mulch for Mastodon fossils at this indoor dig site.

After you’ve discovered fossils, stop by the exhibit hall to learn about Michigan’s native wildlife, see live animals on the aqua wall then hit up the trails for some fresh air.


📷 Mastodon Dig Site at Stage Nature Center

Bonus:
Free Admission

6 – Fun Zonez

27200 Joy Rd, Redford Charter Twp, MI 48239

Fun Zonez is located 25 minutes west of Detroit near Livonia.

Play, eat and celebrate at this dinosaur themed indoor family fun center. Immerse yourself in virtual reality games, Jurassic World themed laser tag, a dinosaur themed play structure, toddler area + more.

Dinosaurs to See Here:
Take in the life sized animatronic dinosaurs, including a T-Rex.

Fun-Zonez Dinosaurs
📷 Animatronic T-Rex at Fun Zonez

7 – Dinoland

26450 Ford Rd, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
32109 John R Rd, Madision Heights, MI 48071

Bring your socks to play at Dinoland.

Let your kids channel their inner dinosaurs and release their boundless energy at this indoor play area and café, designed with a dino-themed twist.

Littles 12 months and up will love the soft climbing play structures, slides, tunnels and the life like dinosaurs.


Dinoland
📷 Dinoland

Bonus:
Free admission for adults and infants under 12 months.

Midwest Dinosaur Exhibits, Parks & Museums

If you’re a dinosaur enthusiast, you’ll find the Midwest’s dinosaur exhibits, museums, and experiences to be incredibly fascinating.

With just a weekend trip to Indianapolis or Chicago, you can immerse yourself in some of the region’s most impressive dinosaur-related activities.

Indianapolis Children's Museum Dinosaur Dig
Archaeology Lab and Dig Site inside of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

8 – Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN

3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Why you should go:
At the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis you can explore three floors filled with dinosaur skeletons, casts, dig sites, and even have the opportunity to touch real dinosaur bones.

Indianapolis-Children's-Museum-outside

Contemplate and theorize which dinosaur would be victorious in a hypothetical battle between a Triceratops and a T-Rex.

The whole family will be captivated by the chance to design their very own dinosaur, which is brought to life on a projection screen.

Indianapolis Children's Museum Dinosaurs
Dinosaur casts at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

9 – Jurassic Gardens – North of Chicago, IL

Volo Auto Museum, 27582 Volo Village Rd, Volo, IL 60073

Why you should go:
Immerse yourself in a thrilling adventure at Jurassic Gardens, featuring more than 30 animated dinosaurs, dark passageways, and thundering sound effects.

Engage in a hands-on experience at the Dino-lab, Dino-dig, and Moldville Plastic Factory, where you can create your very own plastic dinosaur right before your eyes.

Jurassic Gardens Indiana
📷 T-Rex from Jurassic Gardens

Note:
For those sensitive to loud noises, bring headphones. The 3rd Sunday of the Month is Sensory Sunday between 10 AM – 12 PM.

10 – Field Museum – Chicago, IL

1400 S Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60605

Why you should go:
At the Field Museum, you can encounter the largest dinosaur ever discovered by scientists. Meet Maximo the Titanosaur, a towering long-necked herbivore that originated in Argentina.

For an in-depth look at this colossal creature, catch his story from hatching to adulthood at the 3D theater.

Chicago Field Museum Dinosaurs
📷 Maximo the Titanosaur from The Field Museum

Bonus:
You can explore the rich history of the earth and its inhabitants, from single-celled organisms to humankind, by visiting Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet plus you’ll see Sue the T-Rex too. This exhibit is included with admission.

11 – Children’s Museum – Chicago, IL

Navy Pier, 700 East Grand Ave. Suite 127, Chicago, Illinois 60611

Why you should go:
Make your next destination in Chicago the Children’s Museum, where kids can have a blast digging for bones in the excavation pit and embarking on an adventure to discover a realistic re-creation of a Saharan expedition.


📷 Excavation pit at Chicago Children’s Museum

12 – Bess Bower Dunn Museum – North of Chicago, IL

1899 West Winchester Rd, Libertyville IL 60048

Why you should go:
At the Dunn Museum you can observe their oldest artifact, a fossil rock estimated to be 420 million years old. Additionally, you can learn about the dinosaurs that lived in Lake County, and get up close and personal with Dunn’s very own Dryptosaurus.

Bess Bower Dunn Museum Dinosaurs
📷 Fossils from Dunn Museum

Bonus:
Don’t forget to help excavate the ice age dig site.

13 – Center of Science & Industry – Columbus, OH

333 West Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215

Why you should go:
Embark on a journey to COSI and prepare to be thrilled by the sight of a six-foot-long mechanical T-Rex model that moves in place, an eight-foot-long femur belonging to a Titanosaur, and a life-size model of an Oviraptor nest with 20 eggs that can be climbed on.

Your admission to COSI includes access to “Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs,” where you can learn about these prehistoric flying creatures through casts of rare fossils, life-size models, and interactive exhibits that allow for hands-on exploration.

Center-of-Science-and-Industry Dinosaurs
📷 Center of Science & Industry (COSI) Dinosaur Exhibit

14 – Fossil Park – NW of Toledo, OH

5705 Centennial Road, Sylvania, Ohio

Why you should go:
Fossil Park abounds in fossilized brachiopods, coral, and over 200 different species of prehistoric life. Uncover these hidden riches through excavation and keep what you discover!

Fossil Park Dinosaurs Ohio
📷 Fossil Park

The digging pit is open seasonally mid-April to the end of October.

Bonus:
Fossil hunting, admission & parking are free.

Dinosaur FAQs

What dinosaurs lived in Michigan?

Dinosaurs fossils have never been discovered in Michigan. Fossils tell us that prehistoric creatures like wooly mammoths and mastodons once roamed Michigan, though.

Are Mastodons Dinosaurs?

Mastodons (mammal) are not dinosaurs (reptile), although they are prehistoric creatures. Mastodons and dinosaurs did not roam the Earth together – they existed during different time periods. For reference, mastodons were similar in size to Triceratops but mastodons looked like shaggy elephants

Are mastodons a big deal in Michigan?

Yes! The state fossil of Michigan is the Mastodon. So many mastodon fossils were found in Michigan that in 2002, school kids from Washtenaw & Wayne counties campaigned to make the mastodon the Michigan State Fossil, They were successful! it became our state fossil in 2002. The most recent Mastodon fossil was found in 2022 in Kent County and will hopefully be displayed in the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Michigan + Midwest Dinosaurs Map

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