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Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

#16 of 115 in Museums in Connecticut
Natural History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
In August of 1966, bulldozer operator Edward McCarthy was excavating a rocky site for a state building. He turned over a slab of gray sandstone and saw something very exciting: six large, three-toed footprints. Within a few weeks of the discovery, state officials decided to preserve the site as a state park. Two seasons of careful excavation resulted in one of the largest on-site displays of dinosaur tracks in the world. Fossil tracks are named independently from fossil animals. No skeletal remains were found at the Rocky Hill site so scientists speculate that the animal was similar to Dilophosaurus based on the shape and size of the footprints and the age of the sandstone where they are found. Come learn all about it during a track talk!

The Park offers school field trips for grades 1 and up during the school year. As well as family-oriented programming on weekends, school vacations, and during the summer months.

The anniversary celebration will include a “First 50” giveaway one Saturday a month for the first 50 families that pay admission on that day. The dates will be posted by the end of 2015. The giveaways will not be posted until the day of the events but will include a different item each month. Books, videos, posters, and dinosaur toys are examples of some of the items that will be given away. The park will have several days where admission will be free over the summer months. These dates will be posted after the New Year and will include Connecticut Open House Day in June and Dinosaur State Park Day in August. Lectures, animal programs, book signings, and other special programs sponsored by our Friends group will take place throughout the year. You will want to visit over and over again!
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Dinosaur State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
249 reviews
  • We went over here just because we finished early with a different park. This is a great spot for children! Super neat. We dont have kids but it was still fun for us. There are 3 or 4 different...  more »
  • We only walked on the "red" nature trail because we only had about 45 minutes to spend here before our escape room appointment. I liked this trail because it had a boardwalk all the way around, so...  more »
  • Only five dollars to go inside and see the interesting things. I'd consider this a must see. A quick visit is possible as there isn't too much to read and most of it is aimed at children. The prints themselves are incredible if you like dinosaurs or geology or anything like that. They also have a cast of the world's only T-Rex footprint, which I've actually seen in person, so that was a treat. Much more impressive when you can stand next to it and get a feel for the size! The real thing is in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a don't-even-think-about-it fence, as it should be.
  • What a fun family site! Bring plaster of paris and make your own dinosaur footprint stone. Learn about local fossils, gems. Geology. Hands on activities for the kids Interactive displays Lovely walks with flora and fauna markers No military discounts Gift shop can buy a bag of rocks and take them to the sluice to "discover" what you purchased. Wheeled chair friendly.

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