Yesterday David and I took the kids to Field Station: Dinosaurs, a truly hands-on afternoon of science in a surprisingly beautiful twenty-acre park in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Field Station: Dinosaurs lets kids imagine themselves as paleontologists stumbling upon velociraptors and pterodactyls around each bend.
The animatronic dinosaurs are life-sized and incredibly realistic. Maggie (my four-year-old) had to be carried past the first few while I repeatedly reassured her that the dinosaurs’ teeth were 1) rubber and 2) not suitable for biting children. Eventually, she got a bit braver, telling me, “I’m not holding your hand cause I’m scared. I’m holding your hand because their roars are a little bit loud.” (The dinosaurs’ noises are also very realistic.) Still, she loved it, and was quite proud of her bravery by the end.
My seven and nine-year-old boys loved it from beginning to end. I wondered if they’d be a bit old to be truly excited by it, since our dino-obsessed years are long behind us. But they ran from one to the next, shouting to each other the facts posted about each. For them, the best part was that touching was encouraged! When’s the last time you heard that at a museum?
There are many shows and demonstrations offered throughout the day, so you can make a real day of it here with your dino-lover. Our visit was a bit briefer, since we picked a very hot afternoon to visit. But every single staff member I encountered was friendly and cheerful despite the temperature. It was a noticeable change from other zoos and amusement parks that I’ve visited; this staff was so proud of their new park and thrilled to share it with its visitors.
We really had a great time and I’m so grateful to MamaDrama for giving us the tickets and the opportunity to review. If you’re in the New York City area– or plan to be anytime soon– definitely put Field Station: Dinosaurs on your summer to-do-with-the-kids list!