A short drive drive off of I-91, Dinosaur State Park is worth a visit for anyone with an interest in Dinosaurs or some interesting ancient local history. The dinosaur tracks were discovered some 50 years ago and represent one of the largest on-site displays of dino tracks anywhere in the world.
The tracks are housed in a large domed building and the displays are very interesting for young and old alike. After walking through some interactive exhibits the pathway leads directly over the tracks for a close look (walking directly on the tracks is not allowed). A few life-sized dinosaurs are displayed along the walkway in a very well done diorama-like setting. There is an attached reading/activity room with different things for young kids to do. There is also a small theatre which shows two films, one a 30 minute documentary and another short claymation film for the kids on dinosaurs which the kids liked and was quite funny.
This is a small museum and will not take much longer than 20 minutes or so to work your way through. If you see the films that would add about another hour.
Just outside the building there is an area where you can make your own imprints of dinosaur tracks to take home. (Need to bring your own supplies - see website for details). I remember doing this when I was a child!
There are also 2 miles of maintained nature trails directly behind the museum, trail maps are available and the trails are well marked. They lead through forested areas, a maple swamp and edge of a ridge. You do not need to pay admission to access the trails.
I'm not sure this park would qualify as a destination in itself unless you or your kids were true total dinosaur enthusiasts. Given the close location to I-91 it is a great place to stop on your way north or south through CT.
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